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PASS Summit Evals – Plan Cache Querying

This past year, I spoke at the PASS Summit for the second time. The first time was a couple years ago and it was not the best presentation that I had ever given.  This year, though, things went a little bit differently.

Originally, I was slotted for a single session, but after someone dropped out was offered the opportunity to speak at a second session. Over the next two blog posts, I’m going to share the evaluations that I received from the event. They definitely sucked less than the first time I spoke at PASS.

My first session at the summit was Discovering the Plan Cache:

Execution plans are stored after execution in the plan cache. This metadata about how queries are executed can provide insight into how your SQL Server environment is functioning. By using XQuery to browse and search the plan cache you can find potential performance issues and opportunities to tune your queries. This information can be used to help reduce issues related to parallelism, shift queries from using scans to using seek operations, or discover exactly which queries are using what indexes. All of this and more is readily available through the plan cache. In this session we will explore the plan cache and start you on the road to discovery.

Overall Ratings

From a high level, the ratings are pretty good.  All were above 4’s and seem to convey that I have an idea of what I am doing.  Unfortunately, the rating scale doesn’t help me understand what I need to change to go from 4’s to 5’s.

How would you rate the Speaker’s presentation skills? 4.36
How would you rate the Speaker’s knowledge of the subject? 4.71
How would you rate the accuracy of the session title, description and experience level to the actual session? 4.75
How would you rate the quality of the presentation materials? 4.54
Did you learn what you expected to learn? 4.46


Fortunately, people left comments.  I like comments – they can be related to and I thank everyone that left them.

Did you learn what you expected to learn?

  • Too much information to take in. – Yeah, I do that often.  The balance between enough and too much is often difficult.
  • Well focused
  • Awesome content and speaker. – Thanks
  • Learned what i wanted
  • Best session I’ve been to so far. – And thanks for this one.

How would you rate the accuracy of the session title, description and experience level to the actual session?

  • Very accurate name – Yup, it is.

What will you take away from this session?

  • Most impressive talk at pass this year
  • Not much. I will need to re watch the DVD to absorb it all.    
  • Everything! I cant wait to get back to work and apply the knowledge learned.   
  • This course was awesome, lots to learn!   
  • I’ll go to the Microsoft site to check what’s possible with XML execution plans.   
  • A lot of good information that I can apply to my prod environment.   
  • How to use the plan cache to resolve issues in the environment I help support. A big feature is to get the execution plan from the cache.   
  • Explains real world examples for quickly identifying the worst problem.
  • Great session!   

What would you change to improve the overall quality of this session

  • Slow down on the examples. – I need to work on this some.  The Minnesotan in me wants to talk fast.
  • This was awesome!   
  • Nothing.   
  • Good presentation. Made topic very interesting – I think in any of the presentation I’ve attended. It is good to get audience participation as it keeps them more alert and get more from class. – This is one of my goals for the next year.  I’d like to pull people into the presentations more without losing the level or volume of information provided.


I’m glad so many people found the session interesting and informative.  Querying the plan cache can be a lot of fun and a good way to scale up your tuning practices.  If you watch the video on the Summit DVDs, let me know what you think.  Thanks again to every one that attended.

Related posts:

  1. PASS Summit 2011 Session Materials
  2. PASS Summit Submissions Complete
  3. Speaking At The PASS Summit


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