#SQLPalooza Part Deux – Speaker interview with Adam and Billy

Meet our speakers Adam McDonald & Billy Bratz

adam profile small  billy


We sent these guys a few questions in an effort to learn more about them.

When you are not tuning SQL code what might we find you doing?

At work I’m constantly looking for and addressing technical debt, and sharing the knowledge I have amongst my peers. Jiu-Jitsu, Weightlifting, Running, Exercise in general is very important since most of my day I’m sitting down. When I’m not doing that I am going on adventures with my family.

At work I spend a lot of my time helping our dev team make better solutions by sharing my database experience. Developers typically know just enough sql to be dangerous. Family, kids, teaching 5-6th graders at church, outdoor activities of many forms

What advice would you give your younger self or someone just starting out in the data world?

Be more concerned with the right solution than being right. Too often in the past I’ve been more concerned with proving that I was right, rather than listening to an alternative solution. These opportunities to get a different perspective on a problem help us grow personally and professionally.

Always look for ways to provide a little bit more than is being asked. This is how you differentiate yourself from the typical developer and provide more value to your business.

    • Test you data thoroughly before giving it to someone else, don’t depend on others to test for you. This is how you gain a reputation for being a data professional. Catch the bad data before someone else does.

Why did you decide to share your knowledge and start presenting?

I believe as we learn and grow it is our duty to share the knowledge we’ve gained over time with the rest of the development community.

I heard a presentation by Cory House on becoming an outlier developer. I realized that I did not want to be just status quo, so I started taking my career more seriously. Part of that led me to finding ways to become a leader, not just a doer.


Best tip for work life balance.

Scheduling time to do things you enjoy doing. Every day I have a set schedule of things not related to work and do not deviate from, generally speaking. There are always emergencies and exceptions, but if I go over on my work I make sure I schedule more time for myself later.

Don’t work at home. But if someone calls, be the person that goes out the way to help solve the problem, not the person everyone fears to call. This ensures you have a good reputation at home and at work.

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