Letters, February 2005

Cracking the Glass Ceiling

I enjoyed reading the December issue, which reports the results of the magazine's 2004 salary survey. Dawn Cyr's article "Surviving or Thriving?" (InstantDoc ID 44363) contains a sidebar that looks at the job satisfaction of women IT professionals. As a Black-Hispanic female IT professional with a bachelor's degree in IS (and an accounting minor) and more than 18 years of experience in the field, I found the early years in my career difficult. Often I was the only non-white, non-male person in the room. In early 1990, I seriously considered pursuing my first career choice (medicine) but ended up staying in IT. I don't regret that decision.

For the past 15 years, I've worked for a law enforcement agency in Miami. By working smart and hard and being committed to excellence, I've risen to second in command behind the IT Director. My official title (Software Developer Supervisor) and duties (DBA, analyst, tester, technical writer, network administrator, trainer, technical support) are night and day apart, but all I can say is, "I love my job."

There are many reasons why women and other minorities don't go into IT, but the principal reason seems to be lack of confidence. A few high school girls I mentored were extremely intelligent but didn't believe they could do the work. What I told them and others in the field is this: In IT, the only thing that matters is knowledge. When users encounter a problem, they'll accept assistance from anyone who can decipher the technological babble—regardless of the helper's race, color, or gender.

Sorting Grids

Itzik Ben-Gan's T-SQL Black Belt: "Implementing Paging" (December 2004, InstantDoc ID 44138) is a good article. Easy navigation to various pages of a query's result set is a functionality our clients typically require. Another common function that our users request is column-head click sorting on a grid. I've implemented this logic a couple of different ways, one of which is to use a CASE statement in an ORDER BY clause:

     CASE @Variable WHEN ... THEN ...
     CASE ...

However, I can't add the DESC keyword to indicate I want the column sorted in descending order. What technique do you use for descending or ascending grid-sorting on a column-head click event?

The technique used to control the sort order is similar to the one you're already implementing:

  CASE WHEN @col = 'col1' AND @sortdir = 'A' THEN col1 END,
  CASE WHEN @col = 'col1' AND @sortdir = 'D' THEN col1 END DESC,
  CASE WHEN @col = 'col2' AND @sortdir = 'A' THEN col2 END,
  CASE WHEN @col = 'col2' AND @sortdir = 'D' THEN col2 END DESC,

On Salaries and Demographics

The DBA team at my company enjoyed reading Suzanne Cone's "Who Makes What?" (December 2004, InstantDoc ID 44352). We're wondering how many survey respondents are included in your statistics and the breakdowns by gender, age, and race.

Here's the data in a nutshell:

  • 778 respondents
  • 14% female
  • 16% in their 20s, 46% in their 30s, 28% in their 40s, 9% in their 50s, 1% 60 or older
  • 75% White, 14% Asian, 4% Latino, 2% Black, 2% Multiracial, 1% Middle Eastern, 1% Native American or Pacific Islander


The original version of Listing 4 in T-SQL Black Belt: "T-SQL Back Doors" (February 2004, InstantDoc ID 41044) contained an error. Access an updated version at http://www.windowsitpro.com/Files/09/41044/Listing_04.txt.

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.