2010-12-07

A LinkedIn Question

I regularly read and respond to relevant questions on LinkedIn, and below is an Access Db question I thought worthy of responding to.

Question:

Is it possible to get a Database job (MS Access) where i can work from home? I am a housewife and want to start my [career] initially by working from home. I have [a] Masters Degree in Economics and also good knowledge of the MS Office Package.

Response #1:

I worked from home with some major telecommunications companies for 7 months, building an Access Db for use in an operations area. I enjoyed the time at home, but I went back to the office because I needed the excitement and pressure of the corporate environment, even though the higher rates for corporate were consumed dressing, eating and commuting.

My feeling is that becoming a developer is fairly complicated if it isn't your undergrad or education. Nowadays I spend my days coding VBA (Excel and Access, .NET (C# and VB.NET), as well as T-SQL for Sql Server.

Response #2:

Although I would not phrase it as harshly as [others], you should be at least be better then the majority of people selling their services before considering being a consultant, both for your clients and for yourself. I am more inclined make evolutionary changes into different careers, leveraging prior experience, all the while trying to maintain a sense of excellence about my work.

My desktop programming and project management was extended by using Excel VBA, then later Access development and SQL, with a primary focus on project management, while leveraging my desktop support knowledge. Later I began working in just Access/Excel Development with SQL, with little project management, then later extending my Access/Excel VBA skills into C# and VB.NET. Clients were typically paying for my expertise in one area, while I was developing skills in another.

With a Masters degree in economics, it might make more sense to set your goals on a data analyst job which might use Access, along with SQL and maybe some other Business intelligence (BI) tools. Particularly with your background in math and statistics, this might make more sense. You can then think of transitioning to MS Access and SQL development, as well as doing more programming.

Have you taken any on-line tests of ability? I use Brainbench to gauge my comparative ability, but there are tools offered by others. It can be both a way of comparing and learning.