SQL Quiz: Toughest Challenges

Chris Shaw posted a new SQL Quiz where he asks: “What are the largest challenges that you have faced in your career and how did you overcome those?”

I found this question rather tough to answer (as I have when I’ve been asked similar questions during interviews), but here goes.

1:  Dealing with some of the developers that I’ve had to work with in the past.

Most of the people that I’ve worked with in the past have been great.  But there are a few out there (who will rename nameless since the IT field is a pretty small group) that were just a major pain.  Never open to anyone’s ideas but their own.  No project is important unless it is their project.  Unfortunately at the time this was the CEO’s favorite employee since he was the one that had gotten the company that far.  It didn’t matter that a new group of people had been brought in to help get the company to the next level.

As far as dealing with the problem, we eventually went to our boss and basically told her that someone needed to bring him back down to earth.  There were other good ideas that deserved consideration and as the infrastructure team we should be listened to at least once in a while since we might know what we are doing.

2: Same company, a year later having to work with (and for) people that didn’t understand half the stuff coming out of my mouth.

After butting my head against statements like “a Table and a worksheet mean the same thing” I took the easy way out.  I just had to, I gave notice and left.  It took me several months of biting my tongue and explaining myself over and over before I had finely had enough.  I ended up moving on to another company which ended up laying me off after 6-8 weeks because they ran out of money.  But all in all it was a good choice.

(I’ll put up a third answer, but only because I’m cheating and stealing Brent’s second answer.)

3: Learning when to tell people “No”.

I love telling people yes.  Sure I can add that functionally.  Stay late and get that done; no problem.  Eventually people start taking advantage of you and planning on you being able to be taken advantage of.  My wife (Kris) helped a lot on helping me fix this one (I still have a hard time telling her no, but that’s something else to work on) and I thank her for that.

Brent Ozar  (brento on Twitter) tagged me for this one.

I’m tagging:

Denis Gobo (DenisGobo on twitter)

Tom Larock (sqlbatman on twitter)



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