Monthly Archives: October 2012

Photowalk at the PASS Summit 2012

Voting is in on the photowalk location for the PASS Summit.  Pikes place got the most votes so that is where we will be going this year.  I’ve created an EventBrite event so everyone can get the information easily enough.

Photowalk Event 

Unfortunately I have to cut my walk short but everyone else should keep taking pics and enjoying the wonders that is pike place.  I will be attending a SQL Saturday meeting on Tuesday so will only be able to make the photowalk for a little while.

So please come out and join us for a great photowalk.  It’s a wonderful time to learn some new photo tricks and to socialize with more of the #sqlfamily!


Sql Saturday #153 Review

This weekend was the 3rd SQL Saturday we have held in SLC Utah.   We had a good turnout of about 130 people.   We had planned for a little higher but it was a beautiful fall day in Utah and a weekend where many school/districts had a long weekend on Friday so some people were already out of town.

As with all my events I like to wrap up a good/bad list so I can learn from that event and keep making better events for my attendees.    Hopefully this list will help you in planning and event in the future as well.  I always start with the improvements as I like to end on a good note.

Things to Improve

Doors opened late.  The building worked properly but our student worker was late so that hurt us when trying to setup registration and the sponsor area.

Printed Schedule snafu:  I forgot to put the levels for the sessions on the printed schedule and I had one session with the wrong speaker presenting.  Correct content just wrong speaker.

Better lunch:  I knew Pizza going in wasn’t the best option but it’s what met the budget and I didn’t want any chance someone went without.  Next event we will look at a higher budget so we can make sure we get another option

More Speakers:  Make no mistake our speakers rocked, that doesn’t mean I don’t want more people speaking not only to grow the speaker community but to give more variety.

Organizing too Rushed:  Hopefully most of you never saw it but organizing the event was very rushed because of some time constraints I had.  As always we try and prep earlier for the event and I plan to focus on that for future events.

What went well? 

Lunch: While I said it was bad above we have to admit no one went hungry it was smooth no one waited a long time so overall it went well.

Sessions:  In general the sessions moved along well.  I noticed some pack rooms and that’s a scheduling point I’ll look at dealing with in the future but overall it was a smooth day for the schedule I even managed to make it to 2 sessions.

Speakers: No last minute cancellations and I feel all the speakers did a good job.  I heard lots of compliments from attendees.  Surveys will give us more feedback on this.

Socializing:  I saw a lot of conversations/chatting going on and I know many knew each other from other jobs many were also just discussing new ideas/procedures at the event.  I love to see people working together to come up with solutions.

Open source:  We had 2 hadoop presentations and one Nosql!  My goal for the SQL Saturday is still a full track devoted to open source db technology and we get closer to that all the time.

Shirts:  The shirts I think were well received and lots of people will enjoy them and wear them around.

Overall I was very pleased with the event and was excited to be part of it.  I know some people think I do this all myself but that’s far from the truth.  Tjay Belt (B|T), Ben Miller (B|T) and Scott Heffron (B) all helped out greatly in putting this event together and making it a success.  A huge thank you to Randy Knight and SQL Solutions group as well since they donated family (literally) to the registration booth so they could handle checking people in.

Now it is time for me to gear up for Utah Code Camp will be on March 23 2013. We have big plans for the event and expect it to top the charts.    Don’t worry we will have another SQL Saturday next fall and we will make sure it’s a great event!

Attending the PASS Summit for First Timers –Summary

Thanks to a very busy work week last week it took a little longer for me to get all my summit blog posts published.  I wanted to make sure I got a summary out today so that you had all the info you need at your fingertips.  I’m working on my emails to my first timers group and this where I’ll be sending everyone.

Here are my posts about preparing for the Summit.

Pre-Summit (planning/Packing)

Sunday Day 1 

Monday Day 2

Tuesday Day 3 

Wednesday Day 4 

Thursday Day 5

Friday Day 6 

I noticed I missed a few key points in these Posts.

  1. Schedule, you will find it here.  Many people like to prepare this before the summit if so the schedule builder is for you. Personally I pick my schedule when I get to the summit after talking with others on what they want to see.  I like to get interaction with others and find out what they like to see and which speakers they really like to hear from.
  2. Water is important make sure to drink lots of it.
  3. Sleep is important.  There is a very good chance you will get very little sleep. If you don’t work well on little sleep don’t push yourself and stay up with the super late crowd you want to be fresh for the sessions during the day.  This is something you have to realize on your own many people have no problem staying up very late and they can function on little sleep.

Finally I wanted to add some other great Blogs I have been reading for first timers.  I strongly suggest you look through them as well.  If you know of other great blogs leave them in the comments.

Midnight Dba’s Blog for PASS First Timers

MS SQL Girl PASS Summit 2012 Tips

Attending the Pass Summit, Friday Day 6

This series of posts is going to be for my first timers to get them ready for the PASS Summit.  This post will cover Friday.  Here is a link to the previous day in the Series Thursday.

Friday unfortunately marks the last day of the official summit.  No keynote this year on Friday so it gives you more time to make sessions and socialize with the many new friends you have made.


  1. Many people fly out Friday so if you are flying make sure to get your bags packed in the morning.  All the hotels will hold your bags for you during the day if you want to check out of the hotel and then head to the conference.
  2. Friday breakfast will be a great time to chat with the new friends you have made and make sure you have contact info/business card so you can keep in touch after PASS is over.
  3. The bird of a feather lunch that happens on Friday is a great time to meet people based on similar areas of expertise with SQL Server.  So if you are into DW/BI there will be tables dedicated to others that are working on the same problems as you are probably facing.
  4. If you are not flying out early on Friday it’s a good evening to kick back and relax with friends and get dinner.  Many have already left so you’ll find it a little quieter than previous nights but a great time to catch up and review the conference with friends.

Attending the Pass Summit, Thursday Day 5

This series of posts is going to be for my first timers to get them ready for the PASS Summit.  This post will cover Thursday.  Here is a link to the previous day in the Series Wednesday.

Hopefully you were out late Wednesday night socializing with many of your new friends at the Summit.   Unfortunately some events are scheduled early on Thursday morning so you may have a very short sleep before things get kicked off.   I wouldn’t skip breakfast on Thursday either not only for the chance to meet new people but you’ll need some coffee if you had a late night the evening before.


  1. A hosted Breakfast will be happening Thursday morning brought to you by SIOS technology and Fusion-IO.   You can RSVP and find the info here. 
  2. PASS will only be having 2 keynotes this year so your last chance to hear about new products and technologies will be at the Thursday keynote.   This one historically for me as not been that interesting but since we are only having 2 this year that might change.
  3. Thursday has the WIT (Women in Technology) lunch.   This is not just for woman, Men are welcome as well and personally I love to attend this lunch.  I have two young daughters and finding ways to help them in technology in the future is a great way to spend my time.  I highly suggest this event to everyone to try and attend.
  4. The Community Appreciation event will be Thursday evening.  MS and PASS want to say thank you to the community for all its support so they have rented out the EMP space and will have games and karaoke and all sorts of events going on inside.   You can find more information at the PASS evening Events page.
  5. Thursday is usually a great evening to get out late night and get some more photos as well.  I can’t confirm an impromptu photowalk at this time but make sure to watch the #sqlpass #photowalk tag to hear the latest info.

Attending the Pass Summit, Wednesday Day 4

This series of posts is going to be for my first timers to get them ready for the PASS Summit.  This post will cover Wednesday.  Here is a link to the previous day in the Series Tuesday.

Wednesday is the start of the summit!   Kicking your Day off with Breakfast and a keynote is a great way to start a full day of learning.  Hopefully you met some new people at the welcome reception and now you can get to know them better between sessions.


  1. The Wednesday keynote is usually full of product announcements from MS so you won’t want to miss it.
  2. #sqlrun is going on in the morning if you are into running this is a fun way to meet others as well.  Info here.  I am a walker myself but I may be around to take pictures for this.
  3. Wednesday is SQL Saturday support day so wear your favorite SQL Saturday shirt.  I have several to choose from and not sure which I will be supporting yet.
  4. Wednesday the lunch is for you to find your local chapter.   The tables will be segmented out by chapter so that you can find fellow members of your community you may not have known.   If you are not active in your local chapter this is a great time to get to know some of the other people from your area.
  5. The Expo hall welcome reception is on Wednesday and is a great time to start meeting all the vendors and see the products that are available to you in the market.
  6. I imagine there will be a few people heading to Bush Gardens this evening for Karaoke as well so make sure to save some time in the evening to head out with others and socialize.

Attending the Pass Summit, Tuesday Day 3

This series of posts is going to be for my first timers to get them ready for the PASS Summit.  This post will cover Tuesday.  Here is a link to the previous day in the Series Monday.

Tuesday is similar to Monday in that most people are either flying in or they are attending a pre-con.  The really cool/smart kids will be attending the PhotoWalk in the morning.   I’ve kept some of the same information from my last post on here since it still relates to Tuesday as well but I’ve added items as well.


  1. Sit up front and take lots of notes.  Pre-Cons are excellent deep dives into a specific portion of SQL Server and your brain will hurt after the day is done.  Stay focused throughout the day and it will really help to learn the topics.
  2. It’s a great time to really get to know someone else at the conference.  Talk to the person next to/behind you at Pre-cons.  Remember you all have something in common and you never know when you’ll make a lifelong friend.
  3. Eat with others at lunch and chat at the tables.  Making connections now will help you all throughout the conference.  One common theme you will hear frequently is never eat alone at PASS!

Travelling into the Summit 

  1. Take the Train from the airport; it’s the easiest and most economical.  Find out more here.
  2. Register early, Registration will be open all day.
  3. Check out the convention center if you’re a first timer.  Good idea to get yourself familiar with where some of the rooms are located.


  1. Start the day off with the Photowalk!
  2. Tuesday starts the first timer’s events and the Welcome reception for PASS. If you’re a first timer you should check out this page for all the info you need.  I strongly suggest signing up for a networking session.  Don does an excellent job giving helping you to learn the ropes of networking.
  3. Attend the Exceptional DBA Awards party, another great way to meet people and have fun.  Not to mention they have been known to hand out lots of giveaways!  Well worth the price of admission.
  4. Most likely you will find a group heading to Bush Gardens on each night of the summit as well.  If you are into Karaoke and love hanging out with others Bush Gardens is the place to be!  Check twitter often and the #sqlkaraoke hash tag for groups heading out.
  5. Check out the schedule for Wednesday and what you might be looking to attend.  I’ll talk about my approach to planning my schedule on the Wednesday blog post.