SQLServerCentral Editorial

PASS Data Community Summit 2021 Report


The 2021 virtual PASS Data Community Summit was held from November 8th through the 12th. PASS Summit has always been the biggest yearly conference for database professionals, and this year’s virtual conference had over 18,000 individuals registered!

If you signed up for the event, you may now stream the sessions on-demand. This is an exclusive benefit for six months. After that, the sessions will be available on the PASS TV channel on YouTube for everyone. The keynote sessions are available now on YouTube. With a record number of sessions from which to choose, there is something for everyone.

This year, the Lightning Talks were given by speakers new to PASS Summit. New speakers delivered several general sessions as well, which was an excellent opportunity to get some experience with a wider audience. The 10-minute Lightning Talks cover a broad range of topics, Synapse to security to getting things done. If you have a few minutes to spare, you’ll probably find something of interest.

Learning Pathway sessions were curated to introduce a particular area of interest. The Learning Pathways provide an excellent way to get up to speed on a topic or improve your skills. The Learning Pathways are

  • Become an Azure Data Engineer
  • AI & ML
  • Cloud Migrations
  • Data Security & Governance
  • DBA Basics
  • Power BI
  • Query Basics
  • Query Tuning

Microsoft announced SQL Server 2022 at Ignite the week before but saved all the deep-dive sessions for PASS Summit. You can catch a summary at the Day One Keynote. I’m especially excited about the Parameter Sensitive Plan Optimization feature. This feature allows more than one plan for a query and switches plans depending on the number of rows. Many customers fight parameter sniffing issues, and while there are many ways to solve them currently, none are optimal. This feature is a real game changer!

The star of Summit was undoubtedly the networking feature, Spatial Chat, which we use internally at Redgate. We knew this would be a fantastic platform for those hallway conversations and fun meetups like SQL Karaoke. Spatial Chat lets the organizers set up virtual rooms. Once entering a room, you can move closer to a group to join in the conversation. We’ve heard lots of positive feedback and, while it’s not as good as being in person, it was the next best thing.

Redgate has announced that next year, Summit will be held in Seattle with a virtual option. The data community members have genuinely missed being back together in person, so I can’t wait for the event. If you would like to be informed about details, sign up to receive news.