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This post is inspired by Kenneth Fisher’s [blog | @sqlstudent144] post, An interview with me. Ken suggested,

“Now if any other bloggers read this and feel like answering questions too I’d love to read them so make sure you put a link to your blog down in the comments below.”

I’m in!

1. What are the various database job roles and respective hiring requirements at your company?
Enterprise Data & Analytics (EDNA) is a consulting company. We hire people with different levels of experience ranging from intermediate skills to experts. Intermediate skills usually means 1-3 years experience, depending on the type of experience. Experts write books, write blog posts, and/or present at SQL Community events. One goal is to help people grow from their current skill level to senior or expert.

2. Describe an entry level job and the hiring requirements at your company?
Although EDNA hires experienced people, we will consider any applicant. I shared some advice about careers in this post.  Maybe it’ll help…

3. What is your job role?
My official title is Data Philosopher which I equate to Grand Poobah from The Flintstones (without the cool hat… although I could totally rock a Grand Poobah hat…). I own EDNA and a software development company named Andy Leonard Consulting. Why does the name of my software development company contain the word “Consulting” while my consulting company doesn’t? That’s another story…

4. What is your background?
Triflin’-kid-with-a-big-mouth, Long Haired Country Boy, farmer, student, tobacco puller, computer hobbyist, hay bailer, peach picker, sax player, guitar picker, truck driver, stockyard hand, soldier, electronics tech, TOW and Dragon (tank-killer) missile guidance systems tech, alarm and vault systems tech, electrician (manufacturing only, I don’t do houses), electrical contractor (ditto), engineer, entrepreneur, husband, dad, believer, instructor, divorcee, husband (again), dad (some more), granddad, software developer, author, blogger, technical community person, consultant, manager, ETL/SSIS architect, co-founder, leader, follower, failure, quitter, re-starter.

5. Describe the path that led you to this job role.
I started tinkering with Motorola machine code in 1975. I learned BASIC and computers were a hobby until I became an electrician at a manufacturing plant. In that role my hobby and day job started to merge. In the 90’s I owned a business that designed, built, programmed, and installed electrical control systems for manufacturing machines. Some of the human-machine interface software acquired data from the control systems and stored it in databases. I earned the Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer certification back in the day (before .Net). I started doing data integration before I knew what it was called. The secret to my success […whatever…] is:

Make the problem you are trying to solve give up before you do.

6. Give me an example of an interview question that you would ask an entry level applicant, and explain what you would look for in a response.
I like to open an interview with, “Tell me about your greatest failure as a human being.” I’m kidding. I loathe questions like that almost as much as I dislike “Why are manhole covers round?” – unless I’m interviewing for a job that requires working underground via manhole access, and some of the alarm systems tech work did require that, but I digress… I fish for mistakes, errors, and slip-ups when interviewing consultants. Why? First, it’s an integrity test. I cannot work with people I can’t trust. Second, as a consultant (and human), you are going to fail. I’d like to hear that you’ve already failed (and lived through it) because I’d rather you already know how to deal with (and, Lord willing, recover from) failure. I’d also like to know you’re not too ashamed or too afraid to tell me about failure. I’ve made mistakes. I will make more. I’m not going to judge you for failing. Your failures aren’t going to scare me off, most likely. I’ve probably done worse. And if you’re working for me and make a mistake, I’m going to want to know about it so we can fix it.


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