Hope Foley's Blog

Another day in the life of a SQL Server DBA

Top Ten Things Learned at my First PASS Summit Experience November 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — hopefoley @ 7:13 pm

Work has been crazy since I got back from my vacation after the PASS Summit.  Vacation always seems you work extra hard on front and back end.  Finally taking a little bit of time for myself to finally get a blog post out of my experience.  Even at the risk of over using the term there really is no other way to say it…PASS Summit was da bomb!  It was an uphill road trying to get myself to this event so when I was there it was like a victory on top of the normal goodness.  I got myself addicted to the SQL Server community at SQLSaturdays.  If that was the piece to create the addiction, this was the full on overdose.  Everywhere I looked were wonderful SQL folk.  I was on a whole different level of happy while I was out there.  The only bummer was when I was asked if I was presenting but there’s always next year.  Here are some of the tidbits I learned at my very first PASS Summit.

1. I have many more folks I am adding to my intellectual crushes list.  The level of training was amazing!  I got to see presentations from folks I had never seen before, especially some that I’ve followed forever in blogs and etc (i.e. Paul Randal and Steve Jones) .  I did attend a Bob Ward session which lived up to it’s reputation.  Kind of scary there are people that smart out there…I’m skeptical he’s human.  There wasn’t a bad presentation that I saw though.  I did also get to partake in a pre-con session with Adam Mechanic…fantastic!  Too many really so many good things out there that your saving grace is the DVD.  If you don’t you HAVE to get the DVD.  Makes the ones you miss not such a tragedy.

2. Must make sure to use Zoomit profusely at all future presentations.

3.  SQLKaraoke is always something that is more than that it really should be.  Always a wallflower at these…no one would want to hear me sing…I promise.  Super fun though.  Glad my bad influence for the conference, Eddie Wuerch, invited me to go.

4. The term “networking” has new meaning for me.  I had no idea that drinking more than I should and staying out way too late means “networking”.  I did a lot of networking back in college and it was a lot easier then than it is now on this older Mom version of myself.  At least next year I know that sleep is out the window, be prepared for it and accept it.

5.  They were really serious about the kilt thing.

6.  Need to rethink about animations in my slides.  It can help and be non-cheesy if done right.

7.  It was nice to see the W.I.T luncheon in person this year.  Loved all the ladies up there!  I don’t remember what it was Karen Lopez said, but I remember thinking standing up and saying “Amen” felt like an acceptable thing to do.  I go to all the WIT events that I have opportunity.  Always get this fire in my belly feeling at those, so sent the email to offer up my services and get more involved in that.

8.  There was also SQLGive going on at the Summit.  Very nice to see when someone thinks outside of themselves.  Thanks to all the folks to coordinated that.

9.  The professional development sessions are much better than I ever gave them credit.  I normally am a technical fiend at any of these events and always trying to soak up as much knowledge as I can.  These types of sessions always had gotten the axe when they were set up against something fun technically.  I ended up going to see Steve Jones do one and it was really good.  It may have been good timing too.  I ended up getting into management on accident and now that the team is bigger I’m struggling with the technical/management question it seems many have been faced.  So after his session I opened myself into going to two more.  Very good information I gathered and definitely got my wheels turning.  I love picking the brains of others to hear their experiences and I got a lot of info that relates to this internal struggle.

10.  All the cool kids ended up with longer ribbons.  There became such a thing as “ribbon envy” by the end of the summit.

I knew I would dig this PASS Summit thing I kept hearing about so much.  I talked my company (Perpetual Technologies) into sponsoring this year as well.  It’s a good thing…I think and hope it won’t be such a hard sell next year.  And who knows…maybe next year will be my year to present.  This first timer is hooked so I have to hedge my bets and make it happen to go next year and all to follow.

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