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Summit 2013 – Part the First

While not technically the first day of Summit since the official start is yet to come, here are my thoughts on Sunday and Monday of PASS Summit 2013.

For many of us the week began Sunday evening.  Many, the start was not until Tuesday.  Others still might have started Monday or Wedneday.  My first day of Summit 2013 was actually last week as I began my travels to the East coast the Friday preceding SQL Saturday in Charleston, SC.

So, I want to share those experiences as a prelude to the events in Charlotte, NC.

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The event in Charleston was a first time event in more than one way.  This was the first time that SQL Saturday had ever been presented in Charleston.  It was also the first time that the organizer had ever a) attended a SQL Saturday and b) organized a SQL Saturday.

The event was successful.  Some of that success can be attributed to many factors.  One factor I think was the quality of presenters that was selected.  Another big factor was the responsiveness of the venue and volunteers to help resolve issues big or small.  Another factor was the general help of the volunteers.  And finally, the attendees were FANTASTIC.

One big issue that we ran into affected all presenters in the afternoon for one of the rooms.  The projector died!  I just so happened to have my projector with me.  When it became apparent that nobody would be able to get the projector to work, we hooked up my projector.  Whether it was a Surface tablet or a normal laptop, we got it working.  We had different connectors and just made things work.

As an attendee, I took advantage to see sessions by Andy Warren, Laerte Junior, Grant Fritchey and David Klee

As a presenter, I thoroughly enjoyed presenting on compression.  Even with Andy Warren (who is a really really good presenter) sitting in the room trying to offer distractions.

I also enjoyed taking part in the two different QA panels in two different rooms as two of the three afternoon presenters no-showed.  The QA panels were a riot.  In one room we had Andy Warren and Shannon Lowder.  In the other room we had David Klee, Steve Jones, Mike Wells and Grant Fritchey.  I tried to split time between the two because they were different topics and questions in each.  The room with Grant, Steve et al ended up being largely entertaining as well as informative.  Yes, Grant is still preaching NO PANTS (even three days later).

From there, I rode with Wayne Sheffield back to Charlotte to start the actual events of Summit – with a few left hand detours on I-26.  You’ll have to tweet Wayne (blog | twitter) to get more details on the Charlotte motor speedway (I-26 and left hand turns).

Sunday was a slow day filled with mingling and talking to people who I haven’t seen in months or a year or so.  Combine that with the opportunity to network with people I have never met, and then those with whom I have only virtually met – and it was a good day overall.

Monday was the day to really start diving into the deep end of Summit 2013.  This is the day that I was supposed to get to “Color with Crayons” during the precon by Paul White. I am still waiting for my pack of crayons.  I know that was all just said in jest by Paul on twitter.  The session was an advanced look into the Optimizer and Execution Plans.  The session did not disappoint.  I have a lot of playing to do with the stuff learned from that precon event.

Monday evening was filled with a networking party where I met soooooo many of the SQLFamily with whom I have frequently chatted and talked.  That event was worth the price of admission and then some (cost of the meal ;) ).  That event was shortly followed by a quick jaunt to the Friends of RedGate gathering a few blocks up the street.  Which, was another fantastic opportunity to meet and greet with more SQLFamily.

Tuesday is a bit of a different story.  Some people continue on with the precons.  Some people had various meetings to attend.  I was in the latter group.  I had meetings about SQLSaturday, Volunteering, and a meeting for Chapter Leaders.

Tuesday was capped with the Quiz Bowl that seemed to be over before it even started.  I think a good majority didn’t even know it was happening when it happened or that it had completed when it did.  Many were busy socializing or in a different part of the Welcome Reception where you couldn’t hear the announcements.

After the welcome reception (where the Quiz Bowl happened), I spent my evening at a bowling alley called Strike City.  There was an event for volunteers and another party hosted by Linchpin People.  The evening was filled with great networking opportunities and was time well spent.

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