Blogger Table – Day 1 – Thomas LaRock

The key note has just begun and the number of first timers standing up is quite incredible and large. Thomas LaRock has begun the keynote speech and runs through the board of Directors and then makes a plea for people to stop by the Community Zone and connect.

Some of the numbers quoted regarding the number of Chapters, SQLSaturdays and Virtual Chapters is quite staggering and demonstrates the growth of PASS today. The discussion moves to looking back at how our personal careers have grown in the last 5 years, which is interesting  because 5 years ago just pre-dates my first ever Summit, how things have changed for me back then in that time frame.

He highlights that by taking advantage of what PASS has to offer will grow and advance your career. PASS are even now offering a Programme workshop that will encourage future speakers to understand what it takes to have your sessions accepted for the PASS Summit. There is even the speaker idol competition to win a place.

Finishes with a big shout out to the Sponsors who (lets face it) make this event possible.

{Applause}

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5 Days of PASS – Day 2

Welcome folks to the second enthralling instalment of 5 days of PASS! As I am sure is about to become very clear, I type with the knowledge that I have a very busy day ahead with various pieces of preparation to complete. The biggest thing that bothers me is that by the time my PASS related workload ends, so will most of the conference. This is perhaps the biggest downside to being involved in events as something more than just an attendee, since you don’t quite get to relax and do as much with your time that you would normally do and your time doesn’t really feel like your own, however if I didn’t enjoy contributing I wouldn’t do it right?!

The highlights of Day 2 can be summarized as follows…

I spent the very first part of the morning working on some of my backlog and eventually had a late breakfast. Bizarrely my waiter didn’t bother pouring me a Coffee and I really didn’t have the energy to ask him for one :). I am still suffering from not feeling 100%, but I think I am starting to improve and do seem to pick up in the evenings. For the rest of the day I worked more presentation materials and then finally quit for the evening to make various engagements.

My first engagement was the SQLSaturday round table in which I found it fascinating listening to all my fellow SQLSaturday leads and how they all expertly run their events. Equally of value was listening to the sponsor perspective and what they expect of you and the event. A huge thank you to SIOS, ApexSQL and Microsoft for contributing to this session, and a big well done to PASS for arranging their involvment.

Right after this round table was the Chapter Leaders meeting in which I attended not just as a Chapter Lead, but as an outgoing RM. Again, listening to fellow Chapter Leaders ideas and passion, and understanding how truly amazing the SQL Community is was quite humbling and there were lots of personal take-aways from this session for me. I’m really happy I attended these sessions.

Tuesday was actually a very busy evening with a selection of out of hours events available. There was the Welcome reception followed by the Volunteer party and finally SQL Karaoke. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t manage to attend any of these (for the first time ever!) and got caught up with a few of my friends chatting whilst having an excellent couple of drinks followed by a most superb meal. There was no Burger and Fries this time for anyone, and each meal was absolutely fantastic -and if I might say, so was their company. I love listening to my peers and what they have to say about their lives, work and future aspirations and their insights into these areas, so thanks to those guys for joining me, it was a great evening and worth the travel to the Summit in itself.

Well, a VERY busy day is about to start, so I wish you all have a happy conference, and if you are nearby the Blogger table (in which I should be on today), please feel free to stop by and say hello. It would be brilliant to meet new and old faces alike!

Bye for now,

Mark.

See also in this series:
5 Days of PASS – Day 5
5 Days of PASS – Day 4
5 Days of PASS – Day 3
5 Days of PASS – Day 1

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5 Days of PASS – Day 1

taphouse_beer

It is now the morning after the night before, having completed the official first day of the PASS Summit 2014. It is nice to be back in Seattle and America after not being able to travel last year so it has been particularly great to catch up with a couple of old friends and ex-colleagues. I actually arrived in the States on Saturday evening (two days ago) where I met up with my good friend Régis Baccaro at the Airport, and then later we had a nice meal and drinks with the most excellent Ruben Pertusa Lopez and a bunch of other SolidQ guys (at the Taphouse -of course).

Sunday was an extra special day for me because I finally got to visit CenturyLink field, and watch the Seahawks after so many years of promising myself I would go. That’s my bucket list item #1 ticked of the list! Also along for the ride as my guests of honor were PASS Community evangelist Karla Landrum and SQL Server guru Rodney Landrum -which was my way of saying thank you for their support over the years. We have for a long time enjoyed bending each others ears about all matters of community and while I think it is fair to say we do not necessarily agree on every single matter we discuss, there is no doubting the passion we each feel for the SQL Community at large and long may that continue. Also along for the ride was Les Reading, who having previously worked on a short contract for him several years ago, is someone I like and respect highly. It is also great to see and hear how well he is doing in his new current role.

Seahawks start

The game ended 30 – 24 with a Seahawks win, and I absolutely loved the experience.

Monday was officially the beginnning of the PASS Summit for me, as I attended Kalen Delaney’s IN-MEMORY OLTP INTERNALS: HOW IS A 30X PERFORMANCE BOOST POSSIBLE? [DBA-398-P] pre-conference session. I have always been a massive fan of Kalen and her work, but I confess I didn’t really feel that I got out from the session what I wanted. This is partly (I believe) due to the fact that my jet-lag was kicking in towards the end and the aircon was sending a bit of a chill on my head (which was an unpleasant distraction), but I also think that since becoming an MCM I am finding it harder and harder to find sessions that I can get maximum value from. I believe this is partly due to the way that I go about my training and I like to be able to stop, rewind and go over certain key points and focus into them more. This is obviously an impossible ask with a pre-conference session and one of many reasons why I wish PASS would go back to recording them. Doing so would suddenly increase the value of attending (to have the right to buy) tenfold.

Finally in the evening I met up again with my good friend Martin Schoombee who I’ve known for a good couple of years. Again we initially hit the Taphouse and finally headed to a swanky Restaurant where two of our party decided to order…. Burger and fries! There is only so much POSH you can but into a Burger, but I confess it did look nice all the same and the fries tasted amazing.

Seahawks game

The only major downside to my trip so far has been that I am not very well and have felt a little sick since arriving. I am of course putting on a British Stiff Upper Lip and continuing to enjoy my time here but seriously hope that my feeling of sickness does not last much longer.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to my day ahead today in which I will be attending several community engagements and also catching up with some work. Hope you are all having a great time at the Summit too and hope to bump into you at some point.

Bye for now,

Mark.

See also in this series:
5 Days of PASS – Day 5
5 Days of PASS – Day 4
5 Days of PASS – Day 3
5 Days of PASS – Day 2

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