Honesty and Integrity

I was talking with one of the Sr. system administrators where I work yesterday about work related “stuff” and the subject of honesty came up. Before I go into what we talked about let me give a little background.

I work at a software development shop and we have clearly defined departments. Development, IT, HR, you get the picture. The IT department is responsible for the day to day operations of keeping the company infrastructure alive and kicking. There are no DBAs within the IT department. We (DBAs) all work in the Development group. We generally build, maintain and tune the databases during the development process. We generally don’t do production DBA work on a daily basis. On occasion, I have been called upon, by IT, to tune and troubleshoot applications (vendor) used for different internal processes. I have even gone to the Director and asked if I could participate in the disaster planning, backup and recovery testing they do (that was several months ago). I did this for selfish reasons. I want to gain more experience and at the same time hopefully ad additional value to the process.

Back to the conversation, as I mentioned, I was talking with one of our Sr. Systems Administrators. We were talking about DBA types. I mentioned I have been trying to make the jump from Developer DBA to a production DBA but experienced some blocks recently. I do have some production experience but it is limited and I do not do production DBA tasks on a daily basis. I know I could do the work but finding a company (mine or another) willing to take that risk is harder than you might think.

That’s when he said he lies about experience and always had. If asked if you have experience doing a certain task, “I always say I have done that task 3 or 4 times. They assign it to me and I go about figuring out the issue/task and get it done.”

Wow. That thought never crossed my mind. I am not that way. I can’t say I have experience and skills with something and not have the skills or knowledge to back it up. I know I would be able to figure out the task, after all, I did not get where I am by not being able to do the work or task assigned. But, I have to be honest. I would rather be honest and up front and not get the job than to be dishonest and get the job. I think that would be a bad situation to be in always wondering when I might be called out for being dishonest and not trust worthy.

So, I will continue to learn, grow in the community, work and most importantly play to gain more experience. One of these days I will make contact with the right company and manager for a job and get it based on my knowledge, skills, and honesty and integrity.

Just wondering how many others feel the way I do or align more with my coworker.

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6 comments

  1. I’m not sure you’re going to get a ton of people saying “OH YEAH I LIE IN INTERVIEWS ALL THE TIME” because that rather looks bad to potential and current employers, friends, dates, pets, etc.

    I will say that while I don’t really promote lying, there are better and worse ways to present yourself in situations like that, or job interviews. We tend to undervalue ourselves (at least I know I do) because we read books and hang out online with the likes of [insert your favorite SQL guru/god/goddess here] online all the time, and EVERYBODY looks like a n00b next to him/her/them.

    I think we talked about this some in the webshow (not sure which! If I had to guess, I’d say “When to leave your job”)…I know, I’m using your self-promotion to self-promote, but we really did talk about this.

    Good talk, son..
    -Jen
    MidnightDBA.com

    1. I guess I asked the question wrong. I was not trying to get people to admit to lying on job interviews, although it appears many do. I was more trying to see what others have come across and what level of honesty and integrity others aspire too. While most people will say they are honest and true, others (like my Sr. Sys Admin) will freely admit they lie all the time in their jobs.

      I do agree with you on under valuing ourselves (something I tend to do too). That is one reason for the self promo and my attempts to move more into the “public” eye and deeper into the community over all.

      Thanks for the comment.

  2. I’m more concerned with your mental state. You want to transition from the Good Life – development DBA – to being responsible for production systems and carrying a pager?! Are you a mad man?

    1. Ha-ha. Since when does mental stability have anything to do with being a DBA.
      All those of sound mind and body raise your hand.
      …See no hands 🙂

  3. I’m with you. I present myself to potential employers as a Jr. DBA, because I know that’s where my skill level is at this time. I have an MCTS, and I know that reflects my skillset. I can’t imagine telling anyone I am more than I am, I’m too afraid to get called out on it!

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