We are a week out from PASS Summit 2014 and there will be many there attending for the first time. You are in the same boat I was in back in 2011. To be quite honest, I’ve never seen or attended anything quite like it before.
No, it’s not some mythical place that you hear about. It is a real conference with real people who are in the daily trenches just like you are. The key that I learned back in 2011 is to step out of your comfort zone, meet some new people, network, speak with the vendors, and get your learn on.
Will you be overwhelmed, perhaps, but keep in mind that you are not the only one. This event is by far, in my humble opinion, one of the best learning opportunities in our industry and field. There will be plenty of sessions to go through and attend along with some other activities once the sessions end ~ get involved.
Here are some things to note that may help you along your way:
- Pass Summit Schedule Builder
- PASS Evening Events
- SQL Karaoke @ Busch Gardens – Thursday night ( (check out some of the past ones here)
- Twitter feeds to watch for (#TSQL2sday, #sqlpass, #sqlrun, #sqllongrun)
- Twitter handles to watch (@sqlpass)
- Download the EventBrite app; if you are scheduled for things such as the sql run your event will remind you through this app
- Download the GuideBook app; this app will remind you of the schedules you build out
- Vendor booths – yes go meet them. Some of the tools you utilize everyday will be there; stop by the RedGate booth and see some of my friends
- Community Zone – take advantage of some of the best in our industry
- Eating – this might look weird putting that on here but take advantage of eating at a table with others you don’t know. Introduce yourself I promise it won’t hurt.
- Miss a session – yep you will because there are so many to attend. PASS has you covered and you can purchase the full tracks
I have some commitments while I am there this year, but make sure you stop me and say hi and introduce yourself. Without a doubt I look at my career and there is one thing that stands out that helped change my career outlook – attending PASS Summit.
Safe travels to everyone attending and hope to see you there.
Although the time frame has passed I would be amiss if I didn’t continue on my journey of joining in these block parties; with that said I’m going to write what I “would” have contributed. This month’s topic is intriguing in that it can cover a wide array of discussion – Passwords.
When I think of passwords I think of etiquette. I cannot tell you how many times I have been on calls, meetings, emails, and the list could go on of scenarios that relate to passwords where users just don’t think or take into consideration the impact of their actions. To me the last four words are the key, “impact of their (our) actions“.
- Conference Calls – how many times have you been on a production call with numerous individuals and hear someone say, “Okay here is the user name and password?” If you have then you are not the only one. Credentials should be kept out of the hands of unnecessary individuals.
- Open Text Passwords in tables – check into encrypting those; protect yourself before you realize breaches have occurred and you are left holding the bag.
- Email – transmitting password information via email; not a big fan of. This kind of relates back to the conference call section; who all is on the email? Are you sending it to Project Managers and the like? Probably not the best choice to make.
- Backups sent offsite – do you have any backups going off site? Is any pertinent credentials contained in the dB and if so are your backups being encrypted before shipping them off?
- Length – Look at the length of the passwords you are creating; how strong is the password you are making?
- Sharing – don’t do it; simple enough.
All the above reflects, what I deem, good etiquette. That barely scratches the surface. You have to take into consideration many other factors one of them being a policy. Small, big, medium – whatever kind of shop you are in define out what the best practice is for your shop and then adhere to it. A good reference could be found on Technet Best Practices
Lastly, if you feel as though a password has been compromised be proactive and take the necessary steps to change it. Don’t wait for something to happen; you be the game changer.
Get your defense model in place and let the good times roll.