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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.


  1. Wendy says:

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

  2. SQLRockstar says:

    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?

  3. 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.

  4. Brent Ozar says:

    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.

  5. 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.

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