5 Days of PASS – Day 4

Being Buck WoodyAs I write, the penultimate day of the PASS Summit has been and gone. It was again an overloaded rollercoster of a ride filled with appointments, chance meetings of old friends and most significantly the day I gave my Community Session called Being Buck Woody alongside the ever fabulous Buck Woody. I spent the early hours of the morning in deep concentration preparing for this session and even while eating breakfast I had my head down gathering thoughts and listening to some recorded notes. Later on, myself and Buck got together in the speaker room and did a final run through of the deck and both of us were fairly happy with the content and flow of the presentation.

We headed to our room which was a nice relaxed small formal room, and suited the topic nicely having arrived around 30 minutes early to set up. We already had a few people there and for the last 20 minutes before its start time, Buck proceeded to perform a comedy routine! If I wasn’t already intimidated at the prospect of presenting with a Premium speaker then I really was now. But I think this was also the point of our presentation, that I shouldn’t have to feel that I needed to compete with Buck to be like Buck (I cannot) and just be myself. So I calmly listened, laughed and waited for the time to count down before we began.

I felt the presentation went far better than it could have done given the difficulties that myself and Buck have had hooking up and considering our respective workloads, and we both have received some nice comments from people who attended. Even more heart warming to me is the fact that a couple of people who attended said it has given them food for thought about their own career, so that is great news. As I have said in previous posts, I am my own worst critic, so those things in the presentation and my performance that didn’t work will be examined and addressed.

After the session I had lunch at the Women In Technology Luncheon with Kimberly Bryant from Black Girls CODE, which was actually a very interesting interview. My whole opinion about these W.I.T events has changed significantly over the years but I do believe that there certainly appears to be a real and present need for them in the U.S at very least. I was particularly touched by one a lady in the audience who emotionally took the microphone to make her comment, and I could see what it meant to her -so well done Denise McInerney for organizing this event and the excellent interview. Mention should also go to Kalen Delaney (blog|twitter) who made a fantastic comment that the fathers of boys should spend more time introducing their child to positive female role-models to change their perception of how they see women when they grow up, and this for me was a wow moment.

EMP Museum

A few hours after the Luncheon, I headed with my good friend Niko Neugebauer to the famous Annual Bob Ward PASS Session , in which he performed back to back sessions called Inside SQL Server I/O (Part 1) and Inside SQL Server I/O (Part 2). His content was (as always) excellent, but I do suspect a lot of people left these sessions scratching their heads wondering what they had just seen. I believe the Summit DVDs will be necessary in order to obtain the full return on these truly level 500 sessions, so I am looking forward to doing so.

Later that evening I headed out with a few friends for a quick meal at the Taphouse, and it was really good to catch up with Mark Ginnebaugh (web|twitter) again. Once the meal was over we all piled into a Taxi and headed to the EMP Museum where PASS were hosting the Community party event. I didn’t get to see all the exhibits at the party, but had a great time bumping into even more old faces. Once the party was over, I headed back to my hotel for a fairly early night so that I could get some sleep and rest for my session on Day 5 of the Summit in which I will deliver Enter the Dragon: Running SQL 2014 on Windows Server Core so wish me luck!

Footnote: I was told later that evening that I had been shortlisted for the PASSion Award which was very humbling to hear (so thanks to those involved for making that happen). I unfortunately had to miss the keynote for obvious reasons described above, but I think the prize went to the worthy winner in Andrey Korshikov who has done marvellous things in his mother country of Russia -so congratulations Andrey, great job!

See also in this series:
5 Days of PASS – Day 5
5 Days of PASS – Day 3
5 Days of PASS – Day 2
5 Days of PASS – Day 1