I arrived at the hotel around 12:30 after one of the best flights ever. Others arriving later in the evening were not so lucky as another storm system rolled in.
My plan was to head over to Pike Place Market after settling in, but I got paged from work and ended up involved with a problem (non-SQL Server) off and on for a couple of hours. Because my plan was delayed, I didn't want to end up wandering around in the dark by myself in Seattle so I just stayed at the hotel and worked on my notes for the Women In Technology Luncheon.
In the evening, I met up with Tom LaRock for dinner. Later, Denise McInerney and Bill Graziano joined us. One topic of conversation was the "PASS Summit weather curse". We wonder what is going to happen in Denver next year (that's right, Steve!).
Today I am attending one of the pre-conference seminars. I hope to run into Alex Ji at lunch.
Yesterday was great.
I met up with Tom and friends at breakfast. I attended the performance monitoring pre-conference seminar with Andrew Kelly. Anytime you get a chance to hear someone from Solid Quality Learning, don't pass it up. I wasn't disappointed.
At lunch, I ran into Denise McInerney. We were surprised at the size of the crowd for a pre-con day.
At dinner time, I went with Tom, Todd Robinson, Alex Ji and Alan to a brewery not far from the hotel. (Sorry, Alan, I don't remember your last name.) Somehow, the PASS board ended up at the table next to us. One more table over we found Bill and Denise.
We tried to talk Bill and Denise into going with us for Karaoke, but no luck. Bill actually was busy with board meetings later.
Alex had just arrived in Seattle right before we went out, so he headed back to his hotel. Tom, Todd, Alan and I walked the 1.4 miles to the International area. It was a beautiful night for walking, but we didn't choose the best route. We managed to make to the sushi bar in plenty of time.
Karaoke is always an adventure, and it was actually kind of tame compared to some of the outings I have been on. Todd even got up and sang one song. Tom said he would sing "It's Raining Men" for $200.
While were at the bar, we received the announcement from SSC on our blackberries and Qs.
Today is training for PASS volunteers and chapter leaders. The welcome reception and the SSC party is tonight. I have to make sure my laptop is ready for my talk tomorrow, so I'll head back to my room after SSC.
Yesterday was another great day. This year PASS held a volunteer and chapter leader training day. We learned a lot about the history of PASS, the board of directors and how it really works. Later in the day, we broke into focus groups for the different areas.
The Welcome Reception kicked off the event. By that time I had met so many new people and ran into so many friends from last year, that I can no longer keep track. Notable was Carol O'Donnel and Julie Bloomquist, friends from St. Louis, Brian Knight, Tim Ford, Vince Napoli, Scott Stauffer, Chuck Heinzelman, Rick Heidges.
Those lucky of us to have used the SSC code went to the SQL Server Central party. Once again, the guys put on a top notch event.
Because the guys had so much fun at Karaoke Monday night, we found four more people to join us and headed back to Bush Garden for more Karaoke.
Today the sessions begin...
Sorry for not posting yesterday.
Wednesday was a really tough day for me. I gave a presentation on beginning T-SQL but had major technical problems getting the presentation started because my laptop was not compatible with the recording setup. It went well once it was underway, but I was pretty disappointed.
After the talk, the editor of Simple Talk Newsletter interviewed me. The newsletter is owned by RedGate who also just bought this site.
Yesterday was just incredible. I moderated the Women in Technology Luncheon. It is always a fun event and was standing room only. I got to talk to introduce Kalen Delaney, one of my heros.
I attended a presentation by Nick Duckstein at the end of the day. Unfortunately, Nick was up against some of the top speakers and didn't have a good turnout. His talk was on how to communicate with managers and how you must have data to support what you say. After the talk the attendees continued a lively discussion for almost 30 minutes.
The networking opportunities at PASS are incredible. I feel like I am at a giant family reunion. This is something special.
On Friday I spent the day going to sessions and saying goodbye. I attended one on SMO by Peter Ward. He has inspired me to convert some of my maintenance scripts written in T-SQL to SMO using C#.
Chuck Heinzelman gave a really good talk on soft skills. Talks by Chuck two years ago motivated me to get involved with PASS as a volunteer. One thing I can tell you, when you are a volunteer at PASS, it is a completely different experience. Chuck also said that I shouldn't compare PASS to a family reunion because you usually can't wait to go home and get away from the relatives. Well, I like spending time with my family.
There were still quite a few people leaving Saturday, and I was able to spend one last night enjoying Seattle. Tom LaRock had to leave for the airport Friday night, so we all headed back to the hotel early. Even though many of us were completely exhausted, it was hard to stop talking and go back to our rooms.
It was an incredible week. I encourage all of you to attend PASS next year. And, if you are already a member, become a volunteer.