Sunday, 16 October 2011

Thoughts On SQL PASS 2011

This year I attended SQL PASS in Seattle, Washington for the first time. The experience exceeded my expectations, and my expectations were high. If you know me at all you know that I'm typically guilty of holding exceedingly high expectations from anything training related so saying that the conference exceeded my expectations really is something.

The quality of the presentations given were all very high and the knowledge demonstrated by the speakers was beyond anything I've seen before. Without a doubt SQL PASS is where you go to meet the experts. I learned so much in-depth knowledge about advanced internals like workspace memory, IO, and residuals & predicates that the time and money it took to attend will be made back in the first week that I'm back at work. I thank everyone who gave their time and talent to SQL PASS as there's no doubt it takes a huge amount of effort to pull off something that great.

Now, I'm not saying everything was perfect. The big brother/sister program was a failure from my perspective. I never met either my big brother or anyone in my "first timer" group. I was where I was supposed to be, but so were about a thousand other people and there were rooms big enough to hold maybe half of that in a usable manner. I have no idea if my big brother even showed up - according to the group leaders I found he wasn't there. I can't say I was upset about it, but if I've got any feedback to offer for areas of improvement I think that would be it - fix that whole program or just kill it off. The first timer networking session with Don Gabor was well run though, and certainly valuable.

Overall it was a fantastic week in Seattle. I met some new people, reconnected with some others, learned a lot, and for the first time ever; felt a sense of community. I think it's the sense of community which has really left me feeling motivated. I want that feeling to continue and thus I've committed to posting up a technical series!
I've decided that not a lot of people know about the magic that is MSX - TSX SQL Agent setups and thus I'll be blogging a lot about that in the near future. It's my way of saying thanks and giving back to the SQL Server community that has given so much to me.