Day two of the summit found me in the keynote, an interesting but much too long (2 hours) for comfort. Among the most notable information was the confirmation that SQL Server 2008 R2 will definitely be released during the first half of next year, along with a couple of new SKUs for the product. Also part of the presentation was a demo of a SQL Server application running on a 192-processor box sitting on the stage. Interestingly, the server started making a lot of noise after the demo, resulting in a lot of Twitter speculation as to whether the server would either explode or lift off.
I started the training day in a business intelligence session, which I ended up leaving early mostly due to some audio issues with the mic. I took the opportunity to jump over to the session of fellow Dallas-area tweep Trevor Barkhouse, who did an excellent job on his first PASS Summit presentation. I spent the rest of the time slot visiting with a couple of folks at the PASS booth.
Lunch was the best part of the day on Tuesday! I spent two hours at Joe Webb’s table talking about technical consulting, as part of the Birds of a Feather lunch. I’ve been corresponding with Joe via e-mail and Twitter for a while now, so finally meeting him in person was a pleasure. About a half dozen other people came and went, each with a unique perspective, and the ensuing conversation was insightful. My takeaway from this was that it’s possible to make a very comfortable living as an independent consultant, but this life is not without its risks or costs.
I spent the remainder of the afternoon taking in parts of several sessions. I had a great time taking in multiple sessions at once through Twitter – following the #sqlpass hash tag is almost like attending every session at once. I’ve got another blog post planned to discuss my reflections on the use of Twitter during this conference.
This evening held the exhibitor reception in the main exhibit hall. There was food, giveaways, vendor demonstrations, and lots of swag. I spent some time catching up with Kendal Van Dyke, whom I just met on Sunday, and Wes Brown, a fellow Texan whom I’d just met tonight. Later, I was invited to the SQL Sentry party at the Tap House next to the Sheraton, where I’m almost certain that the sheer number of people in the room was a violation of the fire code. Thanks to Peter Shire and the other SQL Sentry guys for their hospitality.