Thursday, April 7, 2011

perf ^ functional-query -- 2 sought-after skills on DB

Q: As a Wall st IT hiring mgr, what single DB skill is the most valuable?

Depends on who you ask. Many laymen and most experts would say tuning skills.  This has become the default answer. That means literally 99% of hiring managers would believe tuning is the #1 DB skill.

However, i have worked with many developers. When push comes to shove, i know the badly needed skill is "implementing complex logic". Wall St is all about time to market, quick and dirty. Most Wall St systems have all of their financial data in database and huge amounts of non-trivial logic in SQL. SQL know-how (mostly SELECT) can blast through brick walls -- see post on blast.  Therefore if I were hiring my #1 focus is the know-how to implement complex query logic, using 8-way outer joins, CASE, group-by, correlated sub-select ...

So here we are -- perf vs SQL tricks. These are the 2 most valuable DB skills on Wall Street.

Incidentally, both depend on detailed knowledge of a tiny language known as SQL. It's remarkable that SQL ranks along with java, Unix, OO, threading etc as a top-3 technical skill, but the SQL language itself is much, much smaller than the other languages.

A tiny subset of of the tuning interview topics to study --
* show plan, show statistics io
* sproc
* hints
* index selection, design
* index stats
* join types, join order
* temp tables

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New York (Time Square), NY, United States
http://www.linkedin.com/in/tanbin