PASS Summit 2013

In my prior post, I talked a bit about my career journey. I think about how attending SQLSkills’ Immersion Event 1, about 3 years ago, was a career milestone. Well, I’ve just completed another – my very first PASS Summit!

For the past week, I’ve been in Charlotte, NC, surrounded by several thousand other SQL Server professionals. I was given the opportunity to attend training sessions on a wide variety of topics. And boy did I fill my brain! Highlights include phenomenal sessions ranging from the Query Optimizer, Hekaton, Data File Internals, & Filtered Statistics.

In addition to all of the newfound technical knowledge, I grew my personal network. Wait, check that… not my “network”… my SQLFamily!

I had the opportunity to meet a number of other industry idols. I’d followed many of these folks on Twitter, and even occasionally interacted with a few. And at Summit, I was now able to shake their hand, put a face to my name. I only had 30 seconds to meet & greet some of these folks, but it was more than enough. Others, I was fortunate to interact more with throughout the week.

But arguably even more important than meeting these “big names,” I met & spent time with dozens of “regular joes” like myself. Sure, the community has some pretty big names, but for every one of those, there’s still 10 “regular joes” who are just as awesome – just “undiscovered” as I like to think. And I had a wonderful time with many of them as well.

Memories? I have many…

I enjoyed being able to wander over to the Community Zone anytime and recognize at least a handful of SQLFamily!

I enjoyed having an insanely difficult time leaving the convention center, always running into more SQLFamily to chat with.

I enjoyed sitting at a park, watching Twitter, and seeing someone tweet a photo from the other side of said park! Walked over, found and met Gina (@AmazingScotch).

I enjoyed partaking in Star Wars #SQLShenanigans, at the Community Zone (who else took photos?!?).

I enjoyed many late nights, getting to know and have fun with SQL Family.

And I enjoyed #SQLCigars with Ryan (@DBAGooner).

I have so many more, but I’ll ramble about ’em all

Back to technical topics, I’m going to list a handful of topics that I need to dive into. I figure posting it here will help to motivate me further to dedicate the time to explore them. And chances are, they’ll fuel future blog posts! 🙂 So in no particular order

  • Paul White’s Pre-Con Optimizer Demos
  • Plan Guides (Templatized)
  • Plan Guides for nHibernate queries
  • Filtered Statistics
  • Statistics Skew (Tripp)
  • Dr. DeWitt’s Hekaton Keynote
  • Rassumen’s Internals Presentation
  • Kendra Little’s demo scripts
  • Hortonworks & Hadoop
  • EQi — Emotional Intelligence for Presenting
  • Review Twitter Favorites for “links”

Time to dive in!

SQL Family Got Me Here

What a journey it’s been… and still is!  In less than 24 hours, I’ll be travelling in Charlotte, NC, to attend my very first SQL Server PASS Summit!  And what a better way to kick off my first Summit experience, than to kick off my SQL Server blog!

But how’d I get here?  Even before I started my career, I still fondly remember my Database Design class from Marquete University. Taught my Dr. Mark Barnard, little did I know how much influence it would have on my career.

I’ve worked with SQL Server since 1999. Around 2005, I specialized as a SQL Server Developer, focusing on T-SQL & performance optimization.

Then in 2011, things really changed for me. I discovered SQLSkills.com, and had the opportunity to attend IE1: Immersion Event on Internals and Performance, which changed my entire perspective on SQL Server.

I discovered the SQL Server community!  I discovered the SQL Server community on Twitter! I discovered a couple dozen SQL Server blogs!  And I discovered a new career and personal goal – to get involved in that amazing community.

I got my feet wet slowly, lurking on Twitter.  I attended a SQLFriends lunch with Brent Ozar, who gave me some fantastic advice about getting out into the community.  I attended some more SQLSkills Immersion Events, and focused on networking.  I attended SQL Saturdays and am now addicted!  And most importantly, I started meeting people.

Over the past few years, I’ve met many wonderful people.  Someone had coined the term SQL Family, and it is something that I’ve really embraced.  We are blessed, not only to be part of a community, but part of a family!  And I’ve benefited greatly from what others in this family, have given back.  Now the time has come, for me to give back, in my own way.
I’ve chatted about blogging with a handful of members of SQL Family.  Every one has encouraged me to dive in.  But I really want to thank Allen White.  I had the pleasure of meeting him and by chance, having breakfast with him at SQL Saturday Indianapolis, a few months ago.  We talked about blogging and he encouraged me to start blogging.  He encouraged me to share my own perspective.  And that chat really stuck with me.

So here we are!  SQL Family has given me a tremendous amount, and I can only hope that this blog allows me to give back even a fraction of what others have shared with me.  But I can’t give back without trying, so here goes nothing!

Onto PASS Summit!