The day finally came and I was fortunate, no I was blessed to be a part of the PASS Summit held out in Seattle, WA. This year would be my fourth year attending in five years. I did miss when it was held in Charlotte, go figure it was closer there to me. In any sense this year did not disappoint.
It’s almost hard to put into words the experience you get when attending, by that I mean the learning, sessions, people, community, and much more. I am always pleased to see all the first timer ribbons on badges as I remember when it was my first time attending the conference and the overwhelming factor you may feel. I try to make a point to seek out a few first timers and introduce myself, oddly enough I had a few actually say hey, your Chris this time around – very weird to me.
I doubt I can do it justice with a blog post, but nevertheless I will do my best to let you have a look into what kind of an experience can be had by attending such an event.
I started my journey a bit earlier due to being invited to Brent Ozar Unlimited (blog | twitter) FreeCon put on by Brent Ozar (twitter), Kendra Little (twitter), and The Doug Lane (twitter). A full day of learning on a wide range of topics got the week off started on the right foot. I’ve had the opportunity to speak to Brent in the past; this year I had the pleasure of getting to know Kendra and Doug a little. All three are some phenomenal and stellar individuals who truly care about the community.
One thing that stuck out to me was the authenticity shown by both Brent, Kendra, and Doug along with the 50 or so of us who were asking questions. It was very nice to hear real world issues from other colleagues and walking through thought processes. Very captivating.
Some of my cohorts in crime from the community from Mike Fal (blog | twitter), Mala Mahadevan (blog | twitter), Gareth Swanepoel (blog | twitter), Mike Hillwig (blog | twitter), and Vicky Harp (blog | twitter). The event was truly an awesome experience and one that I am not taking for granted. I walked away from it with a ton of notes and things to implement in my own career!
Interesting enough I found myself at the Live Blogging table for some events this year. I was able to cover the two Key Note addresses on consecutive days right after breakfast, and let me tell you this was one of the highlights to my week. I’ve attended the Key Notes in previous years; however picking up key pieces was essential along with having a good plug-in to the blog for doing live blogging. I did some homework prior to and talked to a few individuals who had done live blogging before at the event just so I could prepare a little. Being able to capture events such as Dr. Dewitt and Rimma Nehme (twitter) talking about their last Key Note at PASS Summit was something that sent chills through me.
It was truly and honor and privilege to be a part of the event with so many people I have looked up to in my brief time in the community – Tim Mitchell (blog | twitter), Allen White (blog | twitter), Jes Borland (blog | twitter), Erin Stellato (blog | twitter), and many more.
This is definitely one that I could spend a whole topic on from community zone, to side bar meetings, to talks with vendors, and the list could go on. I will say that I spent a majority of time having face to face meaningful conversations with peers, vendors, and colleagues. I cannot list them all here nor would I attempt to; many of you took the time to come up to me – even individuals who I did not know or met before and I appreciate that. I wish I could have spoken to more individuals, but if you ever see me around feel free to reach out.
Community Zone and Community Wall
This was some time well spent where you could meet friends, peers, other data professionals from all walks of life. I was first enamored by this last year in 2014; it’s a cool place to hang out or just detox from what you have learned. Many insightful conversations happen here; not just from work load or issue perspective, but ideas on what others are experiencing and doing as well. If you have not taken advantage of the opportunity to speak to some of the community members I strongly urge you to if you make it back. Community is a big aspect of the PASS Summit and you will not be sorry for taking advantage of such
One of the big reasons we can do what we do are the sponsors, volunteers, and tireless countless numbers of workers who put in hours, money, and sweat into pulling an event off for 5k-6k individuals. A huge thank you goes out to them for their hard work and effort.
I did like the fact, not sure how many others feel this way, that PASS Summit recognized the sponsors where people could see as they walked back and forth to the community zone, breakfast and lunch area, and vendor area. It allowed me to take a quick snapshot of the pic to the left.
If you haven’t had time yet, some of you may even be customers. Shoot them a thank you note; they do appreciate it.
Argenis Without Borders
This year alone this initiative brought in over 22k dollars. Argenis Fernandez (blog | twitter) and Kirsten Benzel (twitter) started this a few years back; now some of you maybe have wondered why people were all dressed up for in the middle of the community zone; well certain targets needed to be hit for certain, shall we say, fun to take place. Not to many places you can see people dressing up and Mike Fal playing a trombone. Heck they even through in some individuals getting tattoos since record numbers were broken.
In all seriousness this is for a great cause put on by some great people. If you haven’t had the opportunity to be a part of it take a look here; every little bit helps.
There were a ton of highlights for me. Conversations that were had along with meeting some new people along the way such as Warwick Rudd (blog | twitter), Ben McNamara (twitter), Karla Landrum (twitter), Alex Yates (blog | twitter) to name a few made my day and getting time to spend with a lot of my friends made for a good week.
I am pleased to say that I will begin helping with the HADR Virtual Chapter in the very near future. More to come on that in future posts, but am thankful that John Sterrett (blog | twitter) and David Klee (blog |twitter) are taking a chance and investing some time in me.
Sessions were strong this year. I got to see a few from my good friend John Morehouse (blog | twitter), Mike Fal’s awesome session on PowerShell, to the outstanding session Erin Stellato gave on XE. If you missed any make sure to visit the PASS Summit website and purchase the sessions; you won’t be disappointed and it is an investment for your company.
Being part of the PASS Community is something that has changed my career. I’m living proof that what we do on a daily basis works and is working. If each one reaches one then our mission is complete ~ I’m thankful yet humbled to be on this journey.
It’s always a pleasure to see everyone at PASS Summit and look forward to many more conversations, collaborations, speaking engagements, and demos. Let’s keep moving this community forward one day at a time and keep investing time in others. What you do today influences someone else tomorrow – Let’s Roll!
As I sit here in an offshoot of the convention center, I started reflecting back to this morning’s keynote for various reasons. It got me thinking about 3 key words for myself when it comes to this conference:
- SQL Family
How did I come to these three key words for myself? I’m not sure I can do them justice or at this time even provide detailed thoughts as my mind is in overdrive right now. I don’t like blogging anything without a good proof read by a second pair of eyes, but in this case I’ll type now and ask for forgiveness later.
I’ve seen this all week thus far from the SQL Saturday meeting I attended on Monday, the after parties I have the fortunate opportunity to attend, to the keynote shared today and the PASSion Award winner. Stop a minute, look around you. The hustle and bustle of the conference is everywhere around you. From first timers being overwhelmed, yes we were all in that situation at some point in time, to the speakers heading to their sessions, to the vendors spending all day at their booths. You may ask how is that related to impact? Believe it or not each person here at the PASS Summit has impacted someone or somebody in their career whether you know you have or not. The Keynote given today did just that, each speaker today spoke to someone in that room. If it wasn’t you then they reached someone else.
I’ve had numerous conversations with friends, SQL Family members, people I have no clue who they are, and people who came up to me and knew me and introduced themselves. As I sat at the bloggers table this year I stood up and looked back at the audience and was amazed that we do in fact have a close-knit technical community who enjoys learning immensely. That’s evident by everyone being here. As a SQL Family there will be times when people are struggling, and yet I see from all over this convention people encouraging each other. It will not always be easy; it wasn’t meant to be easy. Hard work and dedication goes into one’s career and I iterate that it is an awesome sight for me to see people in careers bond together to forge new relationships, expand existing ones, and help encourage where they can.
Today I had goose bumps as Dr. Nehme and Dr. Dewitt announced that this would be their last Keynote. First of all what an inspiration these two individuals have been for our community. As I looked at them I thought about some others in terms of dedication:
- Volunteers – have you thanked anyone today?
- Speakers – do you know how much work goes into preparing to speak?
- Attendees – you are dedicated; if you weren’t then you wouldn’t be here
- Vendors – vendors are interacting all day long along with setting up their booths etc. Job well done this year.
- Sponsors – if it wasn’t for these fine folks then we wouldn’t be able to attend what is being put on for us.
**Humbled to be here….thankful for the opportunity….and looking forward to moving this community forward.
Security as been invested more in SQL Server 2016 than any other.
Protecting your data at rest and in motion with no impact on database performance. Always Encrypted in 2016 will make it a more simpler task to protect your data. This is huge for the data professionals out there that struggle day in and day out with how to protect their data.
When you are using Always Encrypted you can instinctively choose which columns you would like to encrypt (keep in mind the size of the table does matter when you build it).
Moving on to Stretch Database….
Cutting the storage costs with stretch database and yes…you can utilize Always Encrypted into Azure.