What Is The Most Difficult Challenge Facing Your Career?

The Most Difficult Challenge Of My Career
The Most Difficult Challenge Of My Career


“What is the most difficult challenge facing your career right now”?

Your most difficult challenge may be about how to get a job or how to improve your skills or how to get promoted on the job

Perhaps your most difficult challenge is about how to transition out of or into a business analyst or computer programming or database developer career.

Whatever your challenge is, just go ahead and post it as a comment on this page and I will deal with it for you.

I may answer it by writing a new article that addresses your concern or by posting a comprehensive reply to your comment.

The concern or challenge facing you is important to me, so go right away and post it as a comment on this page.

Thank You,

72 Responses to "What Is The Most Difficult Challenge Facing Your Career?"

  1. SANDISO   February 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    i’M currently waiting for my results for special exam in Applied math 301,

    I was doing Computer Science and my problem is I want to be a business analyst but i dont know where to start.

    What if I do a diploma in Financial management and investment to gain some basic ground for the time bieng.

    • IT Career Coach   February 15, 2010 at 7:29 pm

      Your degree or college education does not make or qualify you for a business analyst job.

      Take the time to find out which of the two disciplines you are better suited for (computer science / financial & investment management) …

      then when you leave school, try and get a job in an Information Technology (IT) department so that you will get exposed to the IT work environment and to other business analysts, project managers and computer programmers.

      Learn business analysis on your own through a self study / coaching program or a business analyst training program

      Finally, start looking out for opportunities at work to do some BA work.

      You want to start asking for some Use Case, UML User Story or Requirements Gathering work.

      This will give you the opportunity to get your hands wet and build up experience.

      And when you have built enough formal experience … your managers or another company would give you full-time business analysis work!

  2. noura   February 15, 2010 at 9:10 am

    the most difficult challenge is how to get promoted on the job

    • IT Career Coach   February 15, 2010 at 8:23 pm

      getting promotions depends on your level of performance which in turn depends on your skill level and your caapcity for work.

      1. Sharpen your Skills: do more work in a shorter time by first becoming the best. This means that you have to take the time to identify the skills that you use on a daily basis and then work hard to sharpen or improve them.

      The result is that your managers and team-members will notice that you are faster, better, more knowledgable at your job … which makes you a better candidate for promotions

      2. Increase your Capacity for Work: be ready to work hard, seize or make opportunities and do more than you’re expected to do … at all times.

      I explained in detail … how to get better at your job which results in a better compesnation in my book: http://www.it-career-coach.net/book/

  3. Grady Jones   February 15, 2010 at 7:26 am

    My biggest challenge is my age. I am 53, wanting change jobs, I am currently a cobol. natural/Adabas developer and I would like to do something different, like a business analyst, so I can move to be closer to my parents. I realize my age will be held against me(even if they it will not.

    • IT Career Coach   February 17, 2010 at 9:33 pm

      if you’re discriminated against because of age, so what?

      1. Is it better for you to quit on your dreams now in anticipation of future failures or

      2. go ahead and make the effort to become a business analyst and live closer to your parents and see how that plays out?

      If you decide right now, that you will be discriminated against because of age, you assure yourself of one outcome only … you lose, your parents lose, your fears win and grow bigger until you become truly powerless. Then, what happens if you lose your job and have to get a new one?

      If you empower your fears, they will eventually grow so big, that you will be powerless to do anything with your career … is that the outcome that you want?

      If you decide to face your fears, you’ll empower yourself, learn more about the world that we live in … figure out how to make things work, give your parents a better life.

      Which wil you choose? To empower yourself or to empower your fears?Here are more of my thoughts on discrimination

      If you decide to empower your fears

  4. Pip   February 15, 2010 at 2:13 am

    Hi Coach,

    I have a degree in Computer Science and I’m currently pursuing an MBA.

    I have six years of working experience; five of them in functional administration, software implementation, security administration, system analysis, business solutions and trouble shooting.

    I also have a year’s experience in project coordination.

    I didn’t want to limit myself to the technical field so much which was why i began the MBA.

    I am currently working as an HR Business Planner and i’m beginning to wonder what I can do next after this.

    Am i just becoming a Jill of all trades or i’m heading in a business analyst direction?



    • IT Career Coach   February 17, 2010 at 9:59 pm

      You’re Jill Of All Trades.

      However, is that by design or by accident? Did you choose to work all these different careers at different points in your life or did it just happen to you without much thought?

      It seems that you’re in searching of something that will satisfy you. Some people are like that … either restless and always having to do something new (keep their brains alive) or just looking for something that will hold their interests permanently.

      Now, I am not sure if anyone has ever told you this, but it is okay to be a Jill of all Trades.

      You just have to take the time to figure out what makes you tivk before making the next move.

      I am really be interested in knlowing the answer … what makes you tick 🙂

  5. Maxine   February 15, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Hi Coach

    I am currently employed as a IT Campaign Administrator, which involves a whole lot of changes to front end applications in IT. but the issue is trying to find a more suitable career and not knowing what it is or where to from here. i do not have and formal qualifications either as i am not sure what to study.

    • IT Career Coach   February 15, 2010 at 8:31 pm

      There is a supply of good IT jobs, but what you have to figure out first is … what you will be good at doing ( a suitable career).

      There are several types o IT Careers including: business analysis, computer programming, networking, tech support, pre-sales / sales / recruiting / database development, etc.

      You have to take a hard look at your skills and identify the sorts of things you’re good at learning or doing.

      You don’t have to know how how to get started … just what you would like to start or do in a broad sense.

      For example, it’s enough to know that you want to be a computer programmer, you don’t have to also define whether you want to be a Java Programme or C# Programmer

      Next, take a look at the market demand / salaries or wages available in that career.

      Finally, line up how you will study or learn the career and how you will get some experience at the job.

      Without the two things going hand in hand, you will find it hard to transtion your career … after identifying what you really want to do.

      There are several articles on this site that talk to people wanting to choose or find the right career.

      There are also articles on this site that talks abiut each career … business analysis, software development, software testing, database development, etc.

      Read them carefully and compare the type of learning you have to do (technical or programming vs. busines analysis) and then choose that which matches your skills, background, personality and inclinations.

  6. Maria   February 14, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Hi Coach,

    The most difficult challenge in my career right now is trying to transition from an insurance underwriting assistant position which I have landed to pay my bills the time I arrived in Canada, to a business (systems) analyst position.

    I have a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Business from a university in my country and I took a certification program in Business Analysis.

    My problem is that I have never worked as a BA and all the jobs posted online require at least two years experience.

    Thank you,


    • IT Career Coach   February 17, 2010 at 4:25 am

      You can transition from an insurance underwriting assistant to a business analyst job by getting handson business analysis experience.

      Since you have completed your business analyst training, the next logical step in your career is to get some experience.

      Unlike careers in underwriting / insurance or other professions, the IT Industry requires some form of experience for most positions.

      Even when you see an advertisement for an entry level or junior business analyst position, the company is still secretly looking for some handson experience because unlike what obtained 10 to 20 years ago, corporations are now no longer willing to sponsor your handson experience or training.

      What that means is that you have to get business analysis experience without a job or figure out a way to prove that your past experience somehow qualifies you for a BA job!

  7. lola   February 14, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Hi coach,

    i want to build a career in bussiness analyst but dont know how to go by it,

    i just rounded up my MBA,though i have my first degree in microbiology and biological sciences.

    i have experience in sales, marketing and lab work and basic on IT.

    just want to know where to begin from?


    • IT Career Coach   February 14, 2010 at 8:27 pm

      1. You have a good educational background. You need to add business analysis specific education to that and some IT / Systems background as well.

      2. Note that having an MBA does not make you a business analyst. That may sound contradictory because an MBA is a business degree and business analysis is just a branch of that, right?

      Not really. Business Analysts need a strong background in the IT Industry and with specific analysis and requirements gathering tools.

      They frequently use Use Cases and UML in gathering requirements and they often work with stakeholders and help to bridge the gap in software development projects with developers.

      They do this by helping translate business requirements into specifications that developers can implement.

      Having said this, all BAs do not work in a software development project … a number of them specialize in domains like sales, marketing, etc.

      So, I suggest that you get some BA Training, some Hands-ON BA Experience and then tailor your career / resume towards the IT BA Job Market or the Domain Business Analyst Job Market.

  8. Ajit   February 14, 2010 at 4:55 pm


    After years of experience in the Hospitality industry, I am trying to move into the IT field.

    Have completed my Masters in Business IT from RMIT University and am still trying to get a break in IT as Data/ Business Analyst or Project Management.

    Due to lack of relevant experience I have not been able to get a job where I could use the skills and knowledge gained from my Masters Degree.

    Please advice on what I could do or what I may be doing wrong in getting this so important break.

    Am currently looking to do a Certificate in Project Management to refresh and add to my skills.



    • IT Career Coach   February 17, 2010 at 9:50 pm

      focus on one career and don’t try to be all things to all people.

      You can’t be trying to break into a data analyst / business analyst and project maangement career at the same time.

      The requirements for each career are tough enough … and rigorous enough for you to focus on one.

      Listing all three careers as options shows that you’re still in the planning phase and you’re not sure yet what to do.

      Also, forget about your Masters education and pan on starting from scratch towards an IT career.

      Don’t say to yourself, I have a Masters Degree and I can just get a business analyst or daat analyst job by showing lots of people that I have a Masters Degree.

      Rather, pick one career,, find out what the roles and responsibilities of professionals in that career are … learn it. Learn not just from an academic perspective but by solving some real world problems with your learning ,., otherwise it will be just another certification or educational qualifications and like your Masters, will just be useful for decorating your wall

      • Ajit   February 19, 2010 at 5:48 pm

        Thanks for the reply.
        That was a really good,frank and sound advice.
        Much appreciated.
        So if I want to go for Data Analysis, how do I get practical experience.
        To solve real world problems you need to get a break first.
        I have been looking for volunteer and internship opportunities,but still havent succeeded.
        I’d like to update skills in Data Analysis which would help me get a break through in IT.
        Any recommendations??

        • IT Career Coach   February 22, 2010 at 4:59 am

          You would hardly get internships or entry level jobs without a strong skill set.

          That means you have to become a data analyst first before asking for internship opportunities.

          So, the question is: have you learnt everything that there is to learn about data analysis?

          Since you belong to LinkedIn, are you also leveraging the full power of LinkedIn for Networking purposes?

          Many of the people who can give you a job, are accessible to you on LinkedIn, but you haven’t leveraged the power of LinkedIn for Networking.

          You’re asking excellent questions: perhaps you ought to read the post titled: become a leader and get the job you want!

          • Ajit   March 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm

            Hi Coach
            Have just bought your ebook on Roadmap to Career success. Have read half of it and must say its interesting.
            Have read the post recommended by you on becoming a leader to get the job. That’s a great article too..some fantastic advise there.

            Am now looking to join the Data Analyst bootcamp to add to my skills. Just looking for your advise as to how long it can take to complete and if you would recommend the Business Analyst bootcamp to follow. I checked the combined price as $1200.wondering if there wass any discount on that.

            • IT Career Coach   March 15, 2010 at 6:55 am

              The feedback on the-book / articles is appreciated 🙂

              I also have some good news for you.

              We just sent an e-mail to your in-box … all you have to do is to respond to it an you’re good to go okay?


  9. ANNIE HALL   February 14, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I want a transition into a database developer career but instead I am trying to hold on to a job as a purchasing assistant just to pay my bills…just to get by.

    This recession as driven fear in my heart and It is crippling my vision to start my business.

    The website that I have designed was for that purpose.

    Now I have to temporarily abort my vision and dreams.

    I have no mentor nor motivator career wise to help me reach that pinacle in my career.

    I just get up daily thankful to God that I can go to work!?

    • IT Career Coach   February 15, 2010 at 1:33 am

      fear of recession is indeed a dream killer. It causes you to take actions that in the end prove not to be rational.

      For example, if you learned database development, you could perhaps double your salary assuming that you are currently making between £20,000 to £25,000 as a purchasing assistant and you will be making between £40,000 and £50,000 as a database developer (based on London, UK wages).

      Yet, fear of recession will stop you from getting that additional income and career success.

      Think again about how much the fear of recession is robbing from you.

      If you overcame that fear and you became a database developer, you would have additional income and additional skills with which you can lunch your web design business … but then that may never happen considering that you’ve allowed yourself to be limited by fear.

      What you may have to consider is that, you don’t have to take all the steps towards your dreams at once … just the next step.

      1. you don’t have to quit your purchasing assistant job yet … just learn database development

      2. if you learnt database development, you still don’t have to quit your job, just send your resumes out

      3. if you got a new database developer job, you don’t have to hold on to your purchasing assistant job any more … because you have an offer in your hand

      4. you don’t have to quit any job to run your business yet … just start small with what you have … and make it grow

      You also have to realize that your purchasing assistant job is not guaranteed to last forever …. the company could lay people off … you get the point don’t you?

      If you want a mentor / coach / motivator … I would be honored to be that person for you

  10. Leena   February 14, 2010 at 4:28 am

    I am 37 years of age with minimum IT knowledge and recently made redundant. I want make a career change and get onto the job ladder quickly. Would getting certification in Networking be the right move and how do I go about it.

    • IT Career Coach   February 14, 2010 at 8:34 pm

      Getting a certification in Networking may help you … but consider that as one of several things you also need to do.

      You need to start building hands-on experience in Networking. Find some commonly used Networking software and take some time to learn about it.

      Then find a way to get some hands-on experience by perhaps volunteering at your school or religious organization or for a non-profit or even a small business that needs those sorts of talents but cannot afford to pay for it.

      In the 90s, I did some Networking Work as part of my Sales Job. Borrowing from that experience, I would say that you have to do something … anything about your minimum IT experience.

      Find a way to get into the IT Industry, even if it’s not in Networking. Even if it’s sales, pre-sales or customer support.

      Find some personal skill or experience that you can exchange for a job in the proximity of your interest (Networking) .

      Getting your foot in the door is all that matters at this stage!

  11. Jaison Jacob   February 13, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I would really like to know, weather any IT roles are part of my talent.

    • IT Career Coach   February 14, 2010 at 7:27 am

      IT offers opportunities for everyone and that includes you. I got convinced of that as a fact in my teen years despite a lot of the contrary advice (I was trained as a chemical engineer).

      There are various roles in IT Including:

      IT / Tech Support
      Computer Programming
      Business Analysis
      Data Analysis
      SQL Query Writing
      Technical Writing
      Sales, Pre-sales Account Management and Recruiting

      As you can see, there is a wide list of careers available to IT Specialists and the list I just created is my no means exhaustive.

      What you really need to do is to use a Tool Like SWOT Analysis to review your background, education, experience and then match that against the opportunities or threats (competition) in your environment.

      You also have to ask yourself some basic questions … like what do I like to do … what am i good at … what am i interested in … then work your way into making it happen.

      Excellent Question … Many people ought to be asking this question and this is a fundamentally important question because it is not something that you answer once and you will never have to answer again … many people will switch careers more than once in their lives.

    • IT Career Coach   February 14, 2010 at 8:28 am

      Which Career is Right For Me: http://www.it-career-coach.net/2010/02/01/what-career-is-right-for-me/

  12. Rohan   February 13, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Lack of experience and Being in USA on non immigrant visa

    • IT Career Coach   February 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm

      I don’t have enough information to help you. Are you able to work in the USA?

      What don’t you have enough experience in?

      What do you have experience in?

      Is your Visa status about to expire?

      If you can tell me the answer to these questions, I would be able to offer you some solutions.

  13. Ame   February 13, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I am working towards improving my programming skills so that I can switch from testing software to programming software. The biggest challenge I face is to figure out how to proceed with my learning and how exactly to go about learning software development well enough to make such a change.

    What all to learn in order to jump start a programming career is the big question. Having taken programming classes years ago, sometimes I feel I know quite a bit and at other times it’s overwhelming and seems I don’t know enough.

    Thanks for any input and pointers!

    • IT Career Coach   February 14, 2010 at 6:44 am

      Switch Careers From Software Testing To Programming With These Guidelines:

      1. Choose a Programming Language to Start With: You can choose a language like Java, Microsoft .NET, VB.NET, C#, PHP and then choose a database platform that matches it (SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle) because programmers are also required to work on databases.

      2. I usually recommend Microsoft .NET (C#, VB.NET) because it has the lowest learning curve and has one of the best prospects for getting a job.

      3. Learn Your Language In Steps: In my coaching programs, I emphasize that people space themselves otherwise they get overwhelmed by the amount of new material. What this means is that you have to break up your resources into byte sizes and then focus on each byte size at a time.I explained all this in my career coaching book: http://www.it-career-coach.net/book/

      4. Include adequate handson projects and assignments. Bear in mind that computer programming is a practical endeavor, so you can’t learn all just by studying. You have to get your hands dirty as well.

      5. Create a Roadmap and a Study Plan: In my coaching sessions, one of the first things that I do is to offer a roadmap and a study plan. Here is why it matters:

      Without a RoadMap, you are almost guaranteed that you will be overwhelmed by the amount of new resources or information. You have to cut through the thousands of computer programming books available to the few that will actually teach you something and you also have to verify that you have learnt something after each study session ( I cover this in our coaching / self study classes).

      So, these are the main reasons why you are having a challenging time with your programming lessons … I hope that I explained myself

    • IT Career Coach   February 14, 2010 at 8:15 pm

      I also wrote a post about software testing careers here: http://www.it-career-coach.net/2010/02/14/the-job-of-software-testing-quality-assurance-career/

  14. Laetitia Munro   February 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    My toughest challenge is finding a job after being laid off a year ago as a project manager.

    I have come to the conclusion that there are people out there with stronger resumes that beat me out every time, despite the fact that I have 21 years of experience with a large company, have had a great deal of responsibility, and have done well for my former employer. Not only did I do a good job, but I was a favorite with the business community because I was responsive to their needs, and I was an excellent troubleshooter.

    If no one could find the problem, or provide a fix, I could. I would not give up.

    In the role of a functional/operational manager, I always looked to improve each system by making it more efficient, using less resources, eliminating garbage in the system and enhancing its reliability and data visibility.

    My problem is probably that I do not have any fancy software experience under my belt, have mostly mainframe experience and have not had the opportunity to get into state-of-the-art systems.

    My domain is kind of narrow too , working in media/entertainment so that limits me as well.

    So…what do I do? I am passionate about my career and just love IT. I am a manager, not a technical guru, but I can put together projects and bring them to successful completion through my people skills and system knowledge.

    So…what do you recommend?


    I need to strenghten my position as

    • IT Career Coach   February 15, 2010 at 7:20 pm

      You have solid work experience and a good management / business background.

      What is happening to you is not uncommon … many people are caught off-guard by the transitions that happen in life, the global economy or the job market.

      These transitions or shifts are sometimes due to technology changes. Like when technology shifted emphasis to PCs from Mainframes. Now, your career was safe for a while, because you still kept working for one employer.

      Unfortunately, when you left that employer, you realized (a bit late) that your mainframe skills are not that relevant any more.

      Perhaps, you may be comforted by the fact that, you are not the only one caught off-guard by such shifts.

      It is happening more frequently and more rapidly as we see once popular skills … die overnight or become obsolete (like how MS Access skills are no longer that relevant for getting a job … even though they were hot, just ten years ago).

      The cure or solution for this is to not only embrace technology but to expect / anticipate technology changes and to be always learning.

      For many people, this requirement to be always learning places a burden on them … because they want to learn only once and keep their skills current forever.

      However, that won’t work for the age that we live in.

      Now to the solution, I would advise that you get yourself well acquainted with modern, software development projects either through volunteer or mentoring / coaching opportunities.

      Learn the language of the day … technology / software

      Become familiar or completely initimate or converstaional in technology.

      Update your resume slowly as you revise your experience and then go out and market the heck out of your resume …

      and remember, never stop learning and living on the technological edge 🙂

    • IT Career Coach   February 17, 2010 at 9:38 pm

      I wrote this post for you … make sure to read it

  15. Sheetal   February 13, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Which one has better prospects in future, Business anayst or software testers?

    • IT Career Coach   February 14, 2010 at 8:14 pm

      I wrote a post to answer to your question: http://www.it-career-coach.net/2010/02/14/the-job-of-software-testing-quality-assurance-career/

      I don’t advise that you look at your career from the standpoint of which has better prospects but from the standpoint of which are you better suited for.

      Take a look at your skills and do a gap analysis for the two careers and then find out which one will be easier for you to learn or transition into.

      if you must factor in the financial angle; then simply run a reality check on Monster.com or Dice.com for the number of job posting related to each career.

      The real truth is that the prospects are what you make of it … if you are an exceptional, talented professional then you will be rewarded better than if you’re incompetent or unsuited for your job or even ill qualified or poorly trained

  16. Benjamin   February 12, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    My biggest challenge at the moment is not only not knowing what the correct criteria is to becoming a business analyst but also not knowing if I have the right qualifications to become one and the last is to find some where willing to take on a graduate with little experience.

    • IT Career Coach   February 15, 2010 at 7:04 pm

      Becoming a business analysts starts with learning the art and science of business analysis.

      You learn the science of business analysis like you would any other IT discipline, by getting training on business analysis or depending on your own personal self study efforts.

      You learn the art of business analysis by getting your hands wet on a business analysis project. You learn by doing, because business analysis like most (if not all) Information technology (IT) disciplines is a practical, hands-on endeavor useful for solving real-world problems.

      So, you can’t learn business analysis through study alone, you also have to work on BA Projects.

      That is why the Business Analyst Boot Camp is designed with Use Case, UML, Requirements Analysis Hands ON Projects.

      Finally, I would advise you to forget about looking for someone willing to take on a graduate with little BA Experience.

      That is kind of lame … sorry to say. You’re looking at things from your perspective and you’re saying … how I hope that someone will see my certification and realize tha I’m a nice, smart guy and hire me.

      Sorry to say, that things don’t really work that way. You have to take a bold look at the BA Job Market and say something like:

      “I understand what the BA Job Market / Hiring Managers are looking for … therefore I am going to give it to them … by upgrading my skills, presentation, attitude, mindset … etc. I will do whatever it takes to meet the qualifications set my employers’.

      The difference between the two mindsets is that the first mindset, is looking or hoping that someone, somewhere will make it happen while the second mindset is confident, self-assured and determined to make it happen, regardless of the challenges!

      My 2 cents 🙂

  17. Pip   February 12, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    My biggest challenge right now is if i’m on the right path to being a business analyst.

    My degree is in computer science and so far i’ve worked as a systems and security analyst, functional analyst for Supply Chain, an HR information systems analyst , Project Coordinator and now an HR Business Planner.

    Am i just doing a bit of everything or i’m acquiring the knowledge i’ll need to be a business analyst?


    • IT Career Coach   February 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm

      the path to business analyst careers is not paved with gold, so don’t feel like you are taking too many detours.

      You have many things in your favor including a good education or college degree and a background in several domains.

      What you need to do is to manage your business analysis career objectives on two fronts:

      1.) Marketing / Positioning your Skills: Take an inventory of your business analysis skills and rewrite your resume to emphasize your BA background / experience more.

      For example, if you have had to use Use Cases or UML or some Requirements Management tools and processes in your various roles … rewrite your tresume to emphasize those sections.

      That will do two things:

      1. Assure you that you know something about the BA role and that you are not just wasting your time.

      2. Help you make a better case to prospective employers. By presenting them with a better focused resume, you give them the assurance that you really do know what you’re doing.

      The other thing you need to so after doing your skills inventory is a Gap Analysis.

      Using a Gap Analysis, you can figure out what you really know and what more you need to know to become a business analyst.

      … Finally, you have to bridge the gap between your current skills and the expectations of hiring managers.

      This may seem to be a lot of work … but then few good things come that easy in life.

      If you need help working all this out, be sure to contact or hire us to assist you, OK?

  18. Feroz   February 12, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Well thanks for your mail. I’m going to have written test on coming Monday as a Data Management Officer.

    But I’ve very little idea regarding this.

    One of my friend suggested me to memorize the role and responsibility of Data Management officer and Definition of Data Management.

    Anyway, if u can help me sending some tips or question type (Pls with answer) from ur experience, I would be highly grateful.

    • IT Career Coach   February 13, 2010 at 5:38 pm

      Ace your technical job interview for a data management position following these principles:

      1. Start your preparation at least 2 months ahead of time because it takes that amount of time to prepare for a job interview … if you want to out your best foot forward

      2. Master Relational Database Design, SQL Query Writing, Data Management (Quality, Extraction, Transformation, Loading, Cleansing, Validation)

      3. Use a Practice Test software like the type that comes with the SQL Boot Camp to prepare for your interview because you need to be sharp, correct and informative in the way you answer your questions

      4. Keep a log of the question asked after each interview and then research on the answers before you attend another interview … that way, you are carrying mistakes forward.

      I hope that this helps

  19. Regina   February 12, 2010 at 9:12 pm


    I am glad you asked.

    My toughest challenge is finding a company who, at these economic times, is willing to sponsor an H1B visa for me, in order for me to work for them.

    With all the timely restrictions, I would need a company to commit to me and send out the application on April 1st, and only then, after approval of course, would I be able to start with them the following October 1st.

    In addition, I havn’t been working in the last 5 years, but have earned a masters degree 6 years ago, and have about 4.5 years of job experience.

    Any ideas how to sell this to a company?


    • IT Career Coach   February 13, 2010 at 5:17 pm

      computer programmers tend to find it easier to get h1b visa sponsors than many others.

      That being said, if you are not already a computer programmer, here are some actions you can take about your situation:

      1. Employers are skill centric. Having a hot skill is frequently the best way to get employers to hire you or sponsor your visa. So, go to Dice.com and analyze the job market for hot skills that you already have … then rewrite your resume or build your portfolio around those skills.

      2. Network like a butterfly: people tend to respond differently when they are in personal touch with a candidate than when the candidate work in from the blue.

      Network online and offline aggressively and be sure to leverage social media. Don’t network just to send a resume … build real relationships with people.

      I told a business analyst job seeker to do the same thing and she worked away offended … because she thought that only sending resumes was valid.

      We live in a digital, social media age, so work with the time and not behind it.

      I hope my advise helps.

  20. The Adams   February 12, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Toughest challenge: Importing online data into an MS Access database without creating duplicates

    • IT Career Coach   February 13, 2010 at 4:46 pm

      Importing online data into a Microsoft Access Database starts with your Requirements and Design First.

      You need to have a clear understanding of the nature if the data … whether it is free form text that is loosely structured or whether it has a clearly defined format.

      Depending on the source of data, you have to clean the data before importing it into the database

      Then you also need to be able to design the correct database table structure following proper normalization guidelines.

      This is important because the goal of normalization is to reduce or eliminate redundancy in your database.

      So, if you are having duplicate data, it may be that your database design does not follow proper normalization rules (up to the 3rd Normal Form)

      If that is the case, then you will be repeating the same data elements multiple times and you will find ir hard to update all references to a data element … a sure prescription for redundancy or duplicates.

      Finally, I assume that you know that Microsoft Access has a Find Duplicates Query Wizard that allows you to eliminate duplicates in your data,

      But that feature will not help much if you have the wrong database design.

      You should enroll at the SqlBootCamp Online Training


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