GENERAL SSRS QUESTIONS

Question: Which versions of SSRS have you used? Comment: Differences between 2005 and 2008 are quite big so if someone hasn't used 2008 or 2008 R2 before (or vice versa) than make sure you know this will require a few days to get up to speed with the new/previous version. If the candidate used several versions ask to describe the differences between them. Question: Have you got samples of your work? Comment: If SSRS is main skills for the role than it is worth asking for samples (before interview) they will often tell you a lot about the candidate quality of work. Question: Do you have Data Visualization skills? (optional) Comment: If you need dashboards then it is worth asking this question (we will ask more specific questions later). This is also related to previous question. When you review samples ask the candidate or yourself two questions: What is the purpose? And is it useful? Someone who does not know anything about data visualization will usually use pie charts, gauges (exception is bullet chart which is classified as gauge in SSRS), 3D effects, make colourful designs (without any colour meaning). Some candidates may mention Stephen Few or Edward Tufte and this normally is a big plus. Question: How have you learnt SSRS (on the job, articles, books, conferences) Comment: The thing is that most people who read good books have usually an advantage over those who hasn't because they know what they know and they know what they don't know (but they know it exists and is available)…. Blog/Articles vary in quality so best practise articles is a big plus+, conferences can be also a plus. Question: Do you have certifications Comment: This is rather disappointing point for me. Qualifications generally are welcome but unfortunately many people simply cheat. Companies run courses and then give questions and answers, or people find them on the internet. I've met people who had certification but knew very little, I've met people very experienced and knowledgeable without certification and people who have done certification for their self-satisfaction and are experienced and knowledgeable. Important: (My opinion only) Microsoft BI certifications test tool proficiency…. They do not have much to do with best practice which is very disappointing as this is usually what makes a difference between poor quality solution and high quality solution….. Fortunately 2008 preparation books/exam seem to be going in the right direction. In other words be careful with certifications…. It is easy to get misleading impression if you don't assess the candidate's actual knowledge.

SSRS DEVELOPMENT QUESTIONS
Question: How do you normally create reports (wizard/manually)? Comment: If wizard in most cases then you got rather inexperienced person, if manually than it is usually good answer. The best answer is using a template. Generally developers create reports from scratch which is not bad but it is not very efficient either. Question: What languages have you used to query data for SSRS Reports?

and chart or use one of the questions and ask the person to explain it using SSRS. shadows etc SSRS ADVANCED QUESTIONS Question: Have you used custom assemblies in SSRS? If Yes give an example Comment: This allows to re-use code in reports and it is not very common. Attention to details and good memory is always welcome. If someone build reports based on cubes before than they will say MDX. gauges (apart from bullet graph which classified as gauge in SSRS).Comment: Most answers will probably be SQL (TSQL). You can also query data from other sources (not recommended) or use data mining expressions (DMX = advanced). graph. You can also have hidden and internal parameters which get very handy for more advanced stuff. . Effects should be limited to minimum. Question: Gives examples where you used parameters? Comment: Typically you use parameters to filter data in datasets (or data on reports) but you can also use them to restrict values like the well-known make->model->year example. You can ask them just to create a simple report. Re-usability is good but building dependencies is not so good… so one small mistake might break all reports using it. Question: What is the formatting code (format property) for a number with 2 decimal places? Comment: N2. Bad graphs are pie charts. Question: What types of graphs do you normally use and what effects do you apply to them? Comment: Good graph are bar. "glass" effect. scatter. Developers should avoid 3D effects. Question: Can you update report data using SSRS? Comment: This is not often used (and probably shouldn't be used in most cases) but it is possible. so it should be used with care. But T-SQL is not the only query language. area graphs. MANDATORY QUESTION (TASK) The last question (task) is one of the most important ones. bullet graphs. It is usually very easy to spot how familiar is the person with the software and options/properties. line. Ask the candidate to do the job using the software! It doesn't have to be anything special.

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