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I need some help with my verbage

By Xyza ·
I need some career advice! I have a lot of experience working with relational databases. When people ask me which database I use, I really don?t know how to answer that question. I?ve worked in a few organizations that have proprietary database systems. I guess this is the best way to put this. For example, I currently work for a school district as a computer literacy teacher and I am also the database admin for the student database. We purchased a SIS (student information system) that has a self-contained database and I am the person who set it all up. I am currently on working on writing some reports using the built-in ?code?. It?s not any language I?ve seen, just parameter driven reports that I?ve learned by looking at other reports that are available with the SIS.

I used to write reports using Crystal Reports and SQL Server and also did admin, and would like to get back into this since I feel like my skills with this current DB are way too specialized and I can?t transfer these skills to another position. I understand that the skills in working with a relational database are transferable, but I want to get into something that more people are using for better job marketability.

Here is my question. How do I answer this question when asked what database I work currently work with. I feel like I am using the wrong vocabulary. Like I said, I?ve held several jobs with companies using their own database and I need to figure out how to use the proper words to show that I can transfer these skills.
Gosh, I really hope this makes sense!

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Depends

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to I need some help with my ...

Do you want to go down the admin or the development route.
Admin is much more vendor specific. Development, once you know SQL, there's just a few proprietry extras to learn like Oracle Sequences vs MS SQL's Identity.
I tend to say using SQL since 1992, doing database design ...
Products MSSQL, Oracle, Sybase, MySQL ....
they get the idea.
The only thing that annoys is when they say what about Access.

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So, what about....

by jamesgrimes In reply to Depends

....Access. In general, I don't find many things wrong with it as long as its on a stand-alone machine without any internet access; a minimum its on the network (no internet means no security updates needed from Microsoft; without those "updates", there products are fine).

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Exactly

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to So, what about....

Why look for someone with experience with a proper DBMS and then asked them about Access. Like asking a formular one driver if he can use a robin reliant.

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Suggestion

by BFilmFan In reply to I need some help with my ...

Why not post what you currently have on your resume and let the peers make suggestions.

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What's on my resume

by Xyza In reply to Suggestion

Well, here's what's on my resume. I think there is too much stuff in here. Also, this resume is one I prepared for a software training position. I'd like to create a resume for database admin. I plan to learn more about SQL Server and Oracle and need to get that added in there once I've completed some training. I don't have any practical work experience with Oracle and only about 6 months with SQL Server. I have an "additional training" section that contains workshops I've completed. I think additional training in Oracle and SQL Server would fit there nicely. I also didn't put my "official" title, these are more functional titles that explain my duties a little more clearly.


Copy and pasted:

Instructional Technology Development

 Developed and implemented elementary level computer technology curriculum for approximately 350 students
 Staff development of approximately 25 teachers and administrators in all aspects of technology related to education in workshop and one-on-one settings
 Created, modified, and maintained tables in a relational database for student information system
 Designed elementary school report card layout and interface with student database
 Updated information presented on three elementary schools? websites using HTML
 Member of district technology committee


Financial Systems Development and Analysis

 Designed administrative and financial reports using Crystal Reports
 Maintained and administered system upgrades on Compaq Alpha Server running Open VMS
 Lead testing and implementation of Maxxar CTI
 Tested and implemented Cisco VoIP system
 Created, deleted, and modified user accounts in Exchange and Windows 2000 Server


Help Desk Administration

 Oversaw daily operations of help desk team supporting over 1,000 end-users
 Modified, tested, implemented, and maintained Atrium software for POS and polling systems in a retail environment of over 200 stores nationwide
 Configured and maintained automated polling, automated system operations, and EDI using ROBOT on an IBM AS/400
 Participated in rotating 24x7 support and maintenance of AS/400 operations and approximately 450 POS systems nationwide
 Analyzed and determined feasibility of alternative options for retail IT operations
 Planned and implemented operating system and hardware upgrades of 800 POS terminals nationwide
 Prepared and presented training sessions on POS software to management team

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how to answer

by slm1 In reply to I need some help with my ...

Since you never really know how knowledgeable the person is who is asking, start off keeping it simple as possible and let the person who is asking lead from there. I would simply say, "SQL, and also proprietary systems." That will either shut them up, or lead somebody who knows SQL is a portable language to ask further questions.

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Highlight the common DB concepts

by M_a_r_k In reply to I need some help with my ...

If you haven't used the current in-demand databases like Oracle, SQL Server or DB2, then try to genericize (if that's a word) your resume so that you bring out the concepts similar to all databases. Sure, each one has its own unique way of doing things but the concepts are the same. The means to the end is different. The point I am making is that it is easier for someone like you to become an Oracle admin than a person like me who has never done an DB maintenance or admin at all. Stick to the general terms like maintained, administered, configured, upgraded, etc. Highlight your in-the-trenches experience.

You might get a better response if you post this in the Careers forum. This seems to be a question regarding career advice. A lot of people post questions similar to this in that discussion forum.

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