I have a good contract job and I’ll extend that contract until I find an amazing job, nothing less.
I’m not a typical DBA, and anyone who wants to employ me should know how I’m different ahead of time. The main thing is that I’m amazing at performance tuning while being humble enough to know I got to where I am by standing on the shoulders of giants. This shows both in my abilities and my commitments to help others learn, both of which are passions that I’m not willing to give up.
Second, I don’t like surprises, and prefer methodical approaches to avoid the unknown. No, this doesn’t mean boring or lacks creativity, it means being up-front and proving the creative ideas work. For instance, I’m willing to stray from normal now by having a single cover letter that everyone sees and request long-term positions start with off-hours work.
This is my only cover letter. It will change for clarity, but not a job description. I’ll never be a 100% perfect candidate for any position, and that’s ok as long as everyone knows the differences before making a commitment. I feel strongly that making myself look like I’m 100% perfect for any position would be misleading, so here’s who I am.
Also, I’d like for any long-term job to start with off-hours work because we’re not talking about a minor investment for either side. An employer should know my abilities and quality of work from the start, just as I should know that my abilities would be accepted and make a large difference. I think this benefits everyone.
Here’s what makes a job amazing to me:
- SQL Server Performance is the Top Priority.
- A company considering migrating off of SQL because it’s not fast enough is a positive challenge, not a deterrent.
- SaaS and other environments where performance and reliability keep the company alive are ideal.
- Ability to Make Changes
- I prefer companies that develop their own databases so all options are on the table including T-SQL changes in the short term, and possibly architectural changes in the long run.
- Willingness to Change
- Some companies read the previous points and say, “Yes! We need that!”, then put up barriers that make those changes next to impossible to implement. That’d leave you with a lot of suggestions and no benefits, and the leading reason I’d like to start with off-hours work.
- Uses Change Control
- All changes has risk, and change control is absolutely necessary to mitigate that risk. Everyone should be aware of what’s going in, why it’s going in, and know that it’s been tested. I’ll implement my own change control if needed, but prefer to work with an established process.
- Ongoing Challenges
- I prefer multiple TBs of fast growing data. The smaller and more stable the data sets the easier it is to make them run fast, and for me those environments would only be appropriate for shorter terms or off-hours work.
- More than one DBA
- Although it’s not critical, I enjoy teaching, learning from others, and having someone to bounce ideas off of. Having another DBA there is a definite plus, but I’ll provide my own resources if needed.
- Learning Plan
- I learn best by putting myself in fast-paced challenging situations. If you meet my criteria for an amazing job, you’re already providing me with everything I need for my learning plan.
My issues, the things most people leave out:
- I have three young kids, and I’m typically involved in getting them ready in the morning and picking them up after work. I have some flexibility, but also some deadlines where I have to finish some tasks at home or the next day.
- Professional Speaking
- I speak at about 5 conferences a year, typically regional events on Saturdays where I take the Friday before it off for travelling. Those dates are known months in advance, and skipping one a year is acceptable. If a company wants to sponsor these events it’s welcome, but not required.
- I’d prefer to make it to user group meetings more often, and they’re typically at 5:30 PM near downtown Pittsburgh.
- Live in Robinson Township
- I own my house and I’m not open to moving.
- Ideal drives are:
- I-79 from Canonsburg to Cranberry
- I-376 from Aliquippa to Green Tree
- Office Available
- I prefer to do a majority of work from an office. Although I’d do short-term or off-hours work from home, I wouldn’t want 40 hours a week from home.
- Only know SQL Server
- I don’t know other data platforms, including SSIS and SSAS, well enough to say I’m worth the rate I’m asking. I’ll learn enough to do what’s needed on any platform, but you’ll get the best ROI with me on SQL Server.
- Off-hours work
- I want to do side projects off-hours for other companies, but will only take ones that benefit my permanent employer. I’ll take projects that keep me at the top of my game, but not ones that keep me too busy to fulfill my responsibilities or sleep enough to do great at a full-time position
- I can work on W2 or 1099, and have my own LLC to facilitate that flexibility. I’m also open to working directly for a company or through a 3rd party. Anything that doesn’t provide long-term stability or paid time off would have to compensate for that in pay. The main concern is having the challenge and learning opportunity, not being paid a specific way.
Please contact me with any questions. Email is typically best, especially for initial questions, and my email is Steve@SimpleSQLServer.com.