SQLBits 2023

+5 Wisdom - Learn to Ask Better Questions to Solve the Right Problems

By asking the right questions we can solve the actual problem - not only the problem we think we are facing. Take a step back, look further, and ask better questions. We'll show you how.
Asking questions is easy. Anyone can do it, and, in fact, it is done every day. Asking good questions is harder. It takes some thinking about the problem before the question comes to mind, but it can be done.
Asking really good questions is very, very hard. It's so hard that the really good questions are rare. Why is that? It might be because we're asking the wrong questions.

We think that the technical community tends to jump straight to trying to solve the problem as stated instead of considering if the problem identified is even the actual problem in the first place! By taking a step back and considering the bigger picture instead of focusing solely on the stated problem, we can not only find other solutions, but we might even find better questions to ask. In essence: look further. Ask better questions.

As a journalist, Linda used to be all about open ended questions in order to let the subject frame the problem. As a solutions architect, Alexander was all about trying to avoid the detailed technical solutions to a people problem. Together we found better ways to find the answers that mattered.
We want to help you figure out how to ask better questions - and subsequently how to become a better problem solver.

We will discuss why words matter, when you should not always listen to what is said, and how your choice of questions will always give you the answers you deserve.