Somehow between the sessions, networking and socializing I never found time to post anything last week. So, I'm going to post two summaries, one for what I learned, one about the social stuff.
I attended Itzik Ben-Gan's all day pre-con session. He covered a lot of material and it really helped that I recently read his "Inside T-SQL Server 2005 T-SQL Programming" book. Otherwise I may have been really lost.
My favorite part of the day was the time he spent going over 2008 features. I am most interested in the new Merge statement that lets you insert new rows and update existing rows in one statement.
On Tuesday I attended the volunteer training day. Greg Low gave a presentation on building a sense of community at the local user groups and gave each of us a copy of his new book on the same subject. Unfortunately, I was getting paged from work and didn't get to hear everything he had to say.
We heard reports from several board members and found that the move to the new managment company, though painful, had been the right decision.
Finally, we broke into groups for brainstorming sessions about how to solve the issues that are facing PASS.
The best part of Wednesday was the general session where some of the Katmai features were demonstrated. I am especially interested in the new policy functionality. It looks really flexible and I think it will really help out DBAs who administer many servers.
I was hoping to attend Itzik's session at the end of the day titled "What's Between Index Internals, Isolation Levels, Locking and the Consistency of Reads", but work was calling again. Luckily, all the sessions will be available online in a month or so and I'll be able to view it.
I attended three excellent sessions on Thursday. A session on MOM by Tom LaRock, one on DMVs by Rick Heidges and one on system engingeering by Peter Ward.
Tom's session was the most valuable to me because we have MOM at Brian Cave, but so far I do not have access to it. The server team that is responsible for it will set up alerts to page me when bad things happen, but haven't given me rights to view anything using the MOM console. Now that I know what can be accomplished with it, maybe I have a better shot at getting the tool. The ironic thing is that MOM broke recently and they came to me to fix it.
I attended a really cool Q&A session Friday afternoon with Ken Henderson. I read one of his books when I first became a DBA so I credit him with some of my success. This session was more about Ken than T-SQL. I was just amazed at what a humble guy he is. He doesn't consider himself a guru but more of a seeker of knowledge. He also gave some good advice for people wanting to get into writing and how quality is so much more important than quantity.
Once again I left PASS armed with knowledge that will help me on Monday back at work as well as glimpse into what I can expect in the future.
Kathi Kellenberger is a Sr. Consultant with Pragmatic Works. She is an author, speaker and trainer.