Summit 2023 Speaking Support

  • I got rejected for speaking at the 2023 Summit. It happens, and the review committee either

    a) didn't like my submission enough, or

    b) had better submissions in this area and I fell below the cut line.

    It's not the first one of these I've received, and while I'm slightly disappointed, I'm also a bit relieved after being far too busy last year.

    I don't quite know why they didn't choose this one. I've asked for feedback, and we'll see if I get it. This also shows that the review is fairly blind. After all, I

    1. have been a popular speaker rated well at both the Summit and other events (usually 4.x+/5)
    2. this is a popular topic
    3. I work for the company hosting the event


  • I was going to reply to Steve in his blog, but decided to reply here instead.

    I submitted five presentations to Summit, and they were all rejected.  I'm also not taking it personally, but that said, I'm also disappointed, mainly because being picked to speak is the only way I'm able to attend Summit (I cannot afford the registration fee -- I do these things on my own time and my own dime), and I'm going to miss out on seeing my #SQLFamily friends.

    I'd been picked to speak four straight years, and unfortunately for me, it will not be five straight.  Personally, that I was picked for four straight years is remarkable.  People call PASS Summit "the Super Bowl of SQL Saturday," but I think that's inaccurate.  I once referred to it as "the All-Star Game of SQL Saturday."  (Very appropriate, seeing that Seattle just hosted the MLB All-Star Game!)  To be selected once is a great honor.  To be selected four times?  Now we're entering Hall of Fame territory.  That is not an honor that I take lightly!

    I'm in a unique situation, because my presentations are all professional development topics; they have nothing to do with SQL Server.  I must be doing something right, because I keep getting asked back to speak for user groups and SQL Saturdays (and even the occasional Summit 😉 ).  However, professional development presentations tend to get short shrift when it comes to conference slots; I've seen several SQL Saturdays that don't even have a professional development track.  (I apply to them, anyway, and unsurprisingly, I get rejected.)  Soft skills are important; I argue that we should be teaching STEAM, not just STEM.  As Richard Dreyfuss said at the end of Mr. Holland's Opus, "pretty soon these kids won't have anything to read or write about."  I'm glad that PASS recognizes this, but generally, we still have a long way to go.

    Anyway... I went through the speakers list, and I saw a lot of friends on there.  I'm happy for them.  I also saw a lot of names I didn't recognize, and I'm happy for them as well.  I'm not sure how many of them are new speakers, but new speakers are a good thing.  Having new blood and new points of view are always a good thing.  I've spoken at Summit four times, but if I was bumped for a new speaker, I can accept that.

    Like Steve, I also do not take it personally.  Good luck to all the speakers who were accepted!

    Check out my blog at

  • Sorry you didn't make it Ray, but hoping to see you somewhere later this year.

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