This may sound like a weird one but i couldn't think of a better audience to ask!
If you are a SQL Server DBA (or were, or aspire to be, or play one on T.V., etc.) and the CIO of your 2.something billion $ a year company has offered you an 1 hour forum to sit down and ask him anything you want with the pretense of getting a straight answer, what would you ask?
I know this offers an excellent opportunity to cut up a bit...and do so if you must (keeping us entertained around here is important too!)...but i'm looking for work related, SQL related, direction, strategy, etc, etc type stuff.
Not: 'Whats it like to drive a $250k 'benz to work everyday?' OR 'Can i have .5% of your $2,000,000 bonus this year?'
While i genuinely have those questions in my mind...i'm not looking to waste his $5,000 an hour ass's time - and I only have 1 hour to chew his ear off.
...not knowing the type of business you're involved w/ ...I guess I would take the slant of trying to find out how secure the IT division is within the company...job security these days is fleeting, I've been fortunate only 3 co.'s ni 25 years...
...on the lighter side...I'd want to know what he's investing in!!!
Depends on what you want. A raise, promotion, job security, new career, to marry his daughter, to make an impression, or to be forgotten. What is the industry? Is he technical? Find how how to educate him about your field and it's importance. Ask him what his vision for the company is and where it will be in 5 or 15 years. How long does he plan on being at the helm? What would he do differently if he had to build the company again (assuming he did build it). Ask him who is competitors are and what about them he fears. Ask how you and your department can help him and your company be more competitive. Find out what his interests and hobbies are, what his family is like, where he grew up, make small talk about his home town or college. Ask him what the most difficult part of running a 2 billion$ company is. What is the most enjoyable part? Ask him why he does it - gets up every day and comes to work instead of retiring. Ask to take him to lunch. Do you want to run a 2 billion$ company some day?
The CIO? As in not the CEO? I would probably want to see what the overall strategy for the department is What are the big projects coming down the line that always seem to take the line support folks by surprise.
Planning on consolidating all of the SQL Servers in the company onto one big Unisys machine?
Declaring parts of the SQL Server landscape to be High Availability?
Designing a Disaster Recovery (or is that Business Continuity, now?) site? Maybe develop plans for one?
What is the strategy for growing the department, or hiring strategy? Just hire College grads who may be eager, but are not very experienced, or hire veterans? One way, you are in an endless training loop. The other way may limit your career growth opportunities, if too many people get hired above you.
Then of course, what are the training options? Will people get transferred to other teams regularly? Get trained regularly?
Which brings us to strategies for new technologies. Wait for stuff to get de-supported before upgrading, or use all beta software?
There are a lot of questions to choose from, but I think the most important one would be: "Do you read DBForums?"
HAH! If so...i hope he at least appreciates my interest in getting something out of this opportunity! (Though i'd wonder who was steering the ship if he's knocking off around here!)
Depends on what you want.
Looking for some glimpse into the motivations behind the man and/or the title. I believe in order to come to some understanding about someone you must first understand what moves him (beyond the basic electomagnetism technically moving everthing).
How long does he plan on being at the helm?
type of business you're involved w/
Where else can you generate a 2+ billion $ a year revenue stream these days...drug dealing, of course...uh...i mean Healthcare.