PASS Summit 2011: Who to See and When to Do It
Ah, conference season, that most swagtastic time of the year. For all those of you heading off to the annual PASS Summit, deciding on which of the many amazing presentations to attend will be no easy task. Allow veteran PASS instructor and speaker–and Data Education founder–Adam Machanic to share his recommendations for this year’s conference.
Take it away, Adam…
Tuesday, October 10: Pre-Conference Sessions
Well, this one’s easy: Join me bright and early Tuesday morning for a full day of performance troubleshooting and fun, fun, fun: . Sure, the idea of sitting in a room all day when you could be out exploring Seattle doesn’t initially sound great, but I promise to make it VERY worth your while.
Wednesday, October 11
- After you grab a smoked salmon crepe with arugula at La Creperie Voila right outside of the convention center on Pike St. (add a scrambled egg for fifty cents; it’s worth it) and listen sleepily to the keynote, head on over to Gail Shaw’s Bad plan! Sit! session or Thomas Grosher’s very interesting-looking session, SQL Server Storage Engine under the hood: How SQL Server performs I/O.
- Later in the day is my number one, can’t-miss session of the show: Bob Ward’s half-day monster, the simply titled Inside Tempdb. If a 500-level deep dive isn’t your style, make sure to check out the day’s Lightning Talks—a collection of fun, five-minute, rapid-fire talks, including one from Rob Farley that I’m sure you’ll want to see (can’t tell you more right now—just trust me on this).
- At the end of the day you’ll have a chance to answer the burning question on everyone’s mind: Are You Smarter Than An MCM? (Well, are you?)
Thursday, October 12
- After a large cup of Seattle coffee (let’s hear it for those late-night PASS parties that always seem like such a good idea at 1:00 a.m.; I’m talking to you, SQL Karaoke), start Thursday off right with a bit of career development. The ever-prolific Steve Jones will guide you through the muddy waters of self-promotion with Branding Yourself for a Dream Job–The Modern Resume. Or, if 10:15 in the morning is too early for introspection, cast your wary eye on the SQL Server team with the aid of Itzik Ben-Gan’s (and upcoming Data Education instructor!) Bug or Feature? session.
- After lunch a few interesting options present themselves. Thomas Grosher returns to the stage to teach you something that sounds impossible: how to achieve 100% Availability Without 100% Uptime. At the same time Aaron Bertrand will improve your coding skills with his always popular T-SQL: Bad Habits to Kick. Close out the day with Rob Farley’s 100% demo-fueled session, certain to be filled with jokes that you’re not quite sure are safe for work. Only Rob gets away with this, and he does it with style. Make sure not to miss Joins, SARGability and the Evils of Residualiciousness.
Friday, October 13
- Friday morning at PASS is always… interesting. The keynote is actually pretty enlightening (typically technical or theoretical, rather than marketing-oriented), and most of the crowd is starting to wind down. I hope you’ll save a bit of energy for my session—immediately following the keynote—that will teach you an element of tuning that you may not even know exists. Intrigued? Excellent. I’ll expect to see you at Query Tuning Mastery: Zen and the Art of Workspace Memory, then!
- I’m going to require a three-sided coin to make my post-prandial decision on Friday afternoon. (Can anyone bring one to the show for me? Maybe I can find a light-up one in the Summit Expo.) The first option is Jeremiah Peschka’s Rewrite Your T-SQL for Great Good!—a session all about refactoring techniques. Next up is Mike Rys, Microsoft’s top XML madman, with Best Practices and Performance Tuning of XML Queries in SQL Server. XML is something I’ve regularly avoided, but SQL Server relies on it internally more and more, so it’s an incredibly important topic today. Finally, I can’t ignore the rather arresting title of Kevin Kline’s Crash! Boom! Bang! 10 Ways to Blow Up Castle SQL Server and the Techniques that Catch Them.
So, there they are, Adam’s suggestions. We look forward to seeing so many of you at the PASS Summit 2011. And stay tuned for a little extra fun that Data Education has planned for that week. (Hint: It starts with “free” and ends with “money.”)