It’s time for me to interview another outstanding member of the SQL Server community, Chris Yates (blog | twitter | linkedin). I want to say Chris and I “met” on Twitter first, but we have met in person, and he’s as awesome as they come. He’s always cheering someone on to reach a goal, he’s always positive, and he has a wicked sense of humor. He didn’t know what a Culver’s Butter Burger was, but I’ve corrected that injustice!

I sent Chris a few questions to find out more about who he is, what he does, and how he’s involved with the SQL Server community. Here we go!

Chris, what’s your job title, and what do you *do* every day?

I am an Assistant Vice President | Database Administration Manager at Republic Bank. Yes, I do get to sit in a lot of meetings as one may think, but I also am fortunate enough to lead a group of talented DBAs, who I believe, are some of the best in our region. A lot of my day consists of

  • Building a framework for accurately capturing, sharing, distributing, securing and leveraging Republic Bank’s data resources, including creating and refining data models and establishing and maintaining an enterprise data repository
  • Strategically plan for Republic Bank’s future information requirements
  • Ensure our customers have access to high quality information when required and promote their self-reliance in its use for effective business decisions
  • Support effective and efficient business processes in partnership with other teams
  • Identify ownership and accountability for enterprise information, serving as mentors to data stewards
  • Design sharable models of data and recommend access methods for using this data
  • Ensure that information needs and business rules are in compliance with global policies and standards
  • Participate in evaluating new technologies to ensure the continuity and advancement of data and technology within Republic Bank’s information needs

End of the day I’m a regular guy who hopes to inspire others to be the best they can be whether it is being a DBA or something else.

You’re an athlete – we share a love of running, and you love basketball (although this five-foot-tall person does not). What is the most important life lesson you’ve learned from athletics?

5 ft. tall!! You could be our point guard.

There are so many lessons that I’ve learned over the years from sports – hard work ethic, teamwork, leadership, being a play maker. But more than anything else I learned the importance of determination. Basketball has been a huge part of my past. You have to put the work in to become better; same concept in our professional careers.

I can remember waking up at 3 a.m. to go to the gym before classes to shoot 1,000 jump shots, or running wind sprints in the street followed by going to class, then hitting afternoon practice sessions. To be good at anything you have to put in the effort; when someone says you can’t do it chances are I will be seen working toward proving that you can do it.

Hard work and determination does pay off.

You recently stepped up to the plate (ha! another sport!) and helped organize SQL Saturday Louisville. First, thank you – having run several events, I know it takes a team of dedicated people. Second, what did you learn? Third, would you encourage others to volunteer, too?

First up is the dedicated people. I was humbled to be allowed the opportunity to jump in and help with this year’s event. Up to this point I’ve attended several of these, and spoken at other conferences and UG’s; I never really thought about the behind the scenes people and what it takes to put an event like this on. SQLSat403 in Louisville showed me how much effort a dedicated team is needed. Very thankful for the opportunity.

Secondly, I learned that it is a marathon not a sprint. It takes careful planning and coordination all the while trying to streamline and make it as efficient as possible. Another valuable piece of information I picked up on is that people are hungry to learn; I was pleased when I found out that our event maxed out with attendees for the venue, and that we had some on our waiting list to get in. Means we are doing something right.

Thirdly, I had this conversation with another SQL Community member. I think everyone should do it at least once. It shows you a few things that you might not have thought about before. Once you put in the hard work and effort you begin to realize, and not take for granted the things that go on behind the scenes at an event like this. I would 100% recommend it.

What’s your favorite built-in SQL Server tool to make your job easier? What’s your favorite third-party tool?

Great question!

My favorite built-in SQL Server tool would be either the use of DMV’s or Extended Events. I’ve been using Extended Events a lot more lately since it is pretty lightweight and helps tremendously with monitoring memory-related information.

My favorite third-party tool would have to be the Red Gate utilities. I use quite a bit from them such as:

  • SQL Compare
  • SQL Data Compare
  • SQL Search
  • SQL Prompt
  • DLM

Red Gate has a lot to offer that helps the day to day activities for DBAs.

If you weren’t in technology, what completely different career would you choose, regardless of schooling required or salary earned?

Physical Therapist. Initially, I started down the path in sports medicine due to my background. I enjoy helping others, teaching, leading, and motivating which goes hand in hand with working one on one with individuals who are recovering from injuries.

Now you know why Chris is one of my favorite people – he’s motivated, helpful, and he loves Extended Events. Make sure to introduce yourself if you’re at an event with him!