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Looking Back – PASS Summit 2009 Day 3

I started Wednesday planning on going to the Quest sponsored breakfast (plus presentation about DMVs) but when I bailed when I saw the line of 50+ people leading out the door. I ran into Andy Warren (Blog | Twitter), Patrick LeBlanc (Blog | Twitter), and Greg Larson (Blog| Twitter) on the way to the dining hall; the four of us grabbed some breakfast together and talked shop before making our way to the keynote.

I lived blogged the keynote, but if you haven't read it or heard it elsewhere it was focused on BI in SQL 2008 R2 – mostly PowerPivot for Excel and PowerPivot for Sharepoint. Basic gist – only 20% of decision makers have the data they really need and it's up to us IT folk to give it to them or "that guy" will create some hodgepodge solution in Access that we will end up having to support. (Now if I could just figure out those fancy cube thingies I might be able to help with that…)

After the keynote I caught Paul Randal's (Blog | Twitter) session on logging and recovery. Unfortunately I got the inevitable call from work about a problem so I spent half the time listening and half the time trying to put out a fire. Regardless, I thought it was a great session that reinforced some of what I already knew (good) but I was still able to pick up a few new things (better). One thing I'll mention that I was surprised he didn't – you can use DBCC SQLPERF(logspace) to see a summary of transaction log size, % space used, and status for all databases on the instance.

From Paul's session I went to the Women In Technology luncheon where I think I was one of about 20 men in the room (it was dark though, so hard to count). Honestly, I'm disappointed that more men didn't come to this. The food was great (better than the dining hall!) and the speakers – Jessica Moss (Blog | Twitter), Kathi Kellenberger (Blog | Twitter), Cathi Rodgveller (Twitter), and Lynn Langit (Blog | Twitter) – were fantastic. If you haven't read it, check out Michelle Ufford's (Blog | Twitter) live blog of the event. A nice bonus is that I won a Zune 120 at the end which I plan to give to my daughter as a Christmas present (keeping with the theme of introducing women to technology, of course).

PASS HQ booth outside exhibitor hall After lunch I made my way to the exhibitor's hall and spent an hour and a half talking with Red Gate and SQL Sentry. I didn't realize it at the time, but the exhibit hall was only open through Wednesday and I had arrived in the last few hours. Lucky for me, because I walked out with books and a stack of T-Shirts to give away back home.

Since I had just been sucked into a production issue earlier in the day I thought it was a good time to go visit the SQLCAT clinic and see if they could help me figure out what happened. All I can say is those cats are smart! No surprise I got the answers that I needed…and felt like what I knew about SQL was tiny and insignificant compared to Bob Ward (who I happened to get paired up with).

I wrapped up the afternoon by going to the PASS Board of Directors Q&A session. I'm not sure if there were more people up on stage or in the audience – and yes, that's a knock against people who didn't come. There was a virtual donnybrook over the BOD elections this year (see here, here, here, and here if you don't know what I mean) and I'm surprised that more people didn't show up to grill the board express their opinion. There were some interesting questions asked, but nothing too pressing or controversial. I'm sure it could have gone worse. Either way I'm glad to see the BOD recognize that the SQL community is paying attention and is willing to show some transparency into what they are doing for us and how.

Wednesday night's party was courtesy of Microsoft – they rented out GameWorks across from the convention center, paid for food and drinks, and gave everybody swipe cards for unlimited games. It was there I made the biggest networking blunder of the Summit…I met Ted Kummert (as in the Ted Kummert who gave the opening keynote the day before) and, thanks to some tips I learned from Don Gabor, was able to keep a conversation going despite not knowing him personally or otherwise having much in common. My big mistake, though, was not giving him my business card before parting ways. Would he have chucked it in the trash? Yeah, probably…but I didn't even give him the chance to.

I left GameWorks to join up with my friends Steve Jones, Andy Warren, and Jack Corbett (Blog | Twitter) for dinner at PF Chang's just down the road, then headed back to my room for an early night. I was presenting my session the next day and wanted to try to put some time in on it, but lack of sleep got the better of me and I fell asleep before midnight for the first (and only) time since I had arrived in Seattle.

…Day 4 tomorrow!


Posted by Steve Jones on 12 November 2009

You forgot to mention me kicking your butt in Shoot Everything that Moves 4 :)

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