The Where’s Waldo of Red Flags


September 30, 2009 by Mike Hillwig

Not that I’m actively looking for a new job, but I like to look at my options once in a while.

I came across this posting on Craig’s List, and it’s looks incredibly fishy.

As a DBA, we’re part of a team. I just can’t imagine a DBA/sysadmin being remote 100% of the time. Even if the data center is hosted/remote, this just feels wrong to me.

What red flags do you see? It smells like a bunch of developers got together and built a monster, and now they need a DBA to keep it running.  My red flag is that they have a major app with millions of rows in tables running SQL 2000.

Thanks to Tom LaRock for the title.

  • Wendy

    My favorite is “kill customer requests and inform them”. HA!

  • The ad describes 3 (possibly 4) full time jobs. That means you will get, at best, someone who knows a little bit about a lot, but not enough to do anything well. The end result is a lot of stuff done half-assed.

    Imagine if you advertised to build a house and said you wanted someone to come in and do the plumbing, the electrical, the framing, the roofing, the landscaping, etc. do you know why a general contractor hires out for each of those tasks?

    And this is a good reason for me to never use that service, if they look to cut corners on staff, where else do they cut corners?

  • The SQL problem at the end seemed mismatched with the job description.
    It’s as if an advertisement for an artist-in-residence wanted applicants to demonstrate they can hold a crayon. Or draw a happy face.

  • I laughed at their required skills list. You can pick maybe 3-4 of those skills and hire it at $85k, but not all of the above. All of those skills combined is a ridiculously expensive job because of the rules of supply and demand. “Recompile a Visual Basic application” – seriously? I have this vision of somebody with 4 monitors running SQL Server 2000 Enterprise Manager (shudder), Visual Studio, and a bunch of terminal windows. It’s like the Matrix, only without the sexy costar.

  • The ad is simply looking for an admin assistant (fast typist!) with admin skills (e.g. DB/System Admin). And, oh, the ad didn’t mention they are willing to pay up to $12.00 per hour. They can give you $15.00 if you know programming.