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PASS 2008 Day 3 (Wed)

Went to the intro and keynote yesterday, even though I know better. They weren't bad, they just weren't great. I think most people would have been happier with a much shorter start up and get into sessions earlier. Thoughts on keynotes that they might consider for next time:

  • Excitement is good, but the whole thing can't be max enthusiasm
  • Talking about dreams and direction is good, sales pitch is bad - we're mostly sold already
  • Inject reality by talking about areas where things need work to fix/patch

I wandered after that, just chatting with people I ran into and trying to get going - time zone change killing me. Checked in with Brian who was co-presenting with his brother Devin, mentoring at it's best - I'd like to write down the suggestion now that everyone speaking next year consider bringing a less experienced speaker with them, even if only to run the slides or do a few of the demos.

Lunch was ok, have to give them credit for moving people through very quickly. Why  no iced tea? Just isn't right!

After lunch Steve and I went to find our room and do a quick review of the slides. We had time for coffee after that, so we went to Tulleys and back, then just talked until time to start. We've both done enough talks that we don't get nervous with typical crowd sizes (might be different talking to 3k at once!), just in the Zen zone. We had a minor bet on attendance, Steve said 16, I said 40. Final count was 52. Not bad at all for a professional development talk (sorry, it was 'So You Want To Be a Manager') and we had good participation. Steve discussed it also here and says I painted a dark picture, which was only part of my goal. Managing is both challenging and rewarding...if you're prepared!

After that I looked in on Grant's talk and it seemed to be going well. It's good to see new faces presenting at PASS, and good to see Grant be one of them. I also spent a few minutes watching Jessica Moss and Andy Leonard discussing SSIS, Andy the old pro and Jessica doing a good job of her part of the presentation.

I skipped the last session and just called it a day, did some reading and caught up on email, and then ordered pizza for dinner, just didn't feel like going back out. Tomorrow I'm looking forward to more sessions and seeing if I can't meet a few more new people (I need some mentoring on that!). 


I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


Posted by tjaybelt on 21 November 2008

i think the idea you had about a less experienced speaker is a great one.  I have often wanted to speak at PASS, but havent the guts yet to do it alone.  I've spoke in many other arenas, but not PASS.  Being a tag team would prove to be a very valuable approach for exposure, experience and mentoring.  I hope that you push this a bit in the next year.

Posted by Andy Warren on 22 November 2008

Tjay, I think you'd do fine presenting! For all that, I'll see what I can do to get something started and if nothing else, we can do it informally - see if we can match some less experience speakers with more experienced ones.

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