I recently attended most prestigious SQL Server event SQLPASS between Nov 8-11, 2010 at Seattle. I have only one expression for the event –
This year the summit was at its best. Instead of writing about my usual routine or the event, I am going to write about the interesting things I did and how I felt about it!
This was my second trip to Seattle this year and the journey is always long. Here is the travel stats on how long it takes to get to Seattle:
Every time I travel to USA I gain a day and when I travel back to home, I lose a day. However, the total traveling time is around 3 days. The journey is long and very exhausting. However, it is all worth it when you’re attending an event like SQLPASS. Here are few things I carry when I travel for a long journey:
I do not watch movies on the plane and usually spend my time reading something quick and easy. If I can go to sleep, I go for it. I prefer to not to spend time in conversation with the guy sitting next to me because usually I end up listening to their biography, which I cannot blog about.
In any case, I love to go to Seattle as the city is great and has everything a brilliant metropolis has to offer. The new Light Train is extremely convenient, and I can take it directly from the airport to the city center. My hotel, the Sheraton, was only few meters (in the USA people count in blocks – 3 blocks) away from the train station. This time I saved USD 40 each round trip due to the Light Train.
Well, I really wanted to attend most of the sessions but there was great dilemma of which ones to choose. There were many, many sessions to be attended and at any given time there was more than one good session being presented. I had decided to attend sessions in area performance tuning and I attended quite a few sessions this year, compared to what I was able to do last year. Here are few names of the speakers whose sessions I attended (please note, following great speakers are not listed in any order. I loved them and I enjoyed their sessions):
I had great fun attending their sessions. The sessions were meaningful and enlightening. It is hard to rate any session but I have found that the insights learned in Conor Cunningham’s sessions are the highlight of the PASS Summit.
I always like the sessions where the speaker is much closer to the audience and has real world experience. I think speakers who have worked in the real world deliver the best content and most useful information.
Indeed there were few sessions I did not like it and I am not going to name them here. However, there were strong reasons I did not like their sessions, and here is why:
For example, I attended a session of one very well known speaker who is a specialist for one particular area. I was bit late for the session and was surprised to see that in a room that could hold 350 people there were only 30 attendees. After sitting there for 15 minutes, I realized why lots of people left. Very soon I found I preferred to stare out the window instead of listening to that particular speaker.
Many times people ask me what I really like about PASS. I always say the experience of meeting SQL legends and spending time with them one on one and LEARNING!
Here is the quick list of the people I met during this event and spent more than 30 minutes with each of them talking about various subjects:
Every evening there were various parties. I did attend almost all of them. Every party had different theme but the goal of all the parties the same – networking. Here are the few parties where I had lots of fun:
They were all great networking opportunities and lots of fun. I really had great time meeting people at the various parties. There were few people everywhere – well, I will say I am among them – who hopped parties.
During the event there were few meetings marked “NDA.” Someone asked me “why are these things NDA?” My response was simple: because they are not sure themselves. NDA stands for Not Decided Agenda.
I admit, I was like child in Gameworks and was playing to win soft toys. I was doing it for my daughter. I must thank all of the people who gave me their cards to try my luck. I won 4 soft-toys for my daughter and it was fun. Also, thanks to Angel who did a final toy swap with me to get the desired toy for my daughter. I also collected ducks from Idera, as my daughter really loves them.
Each of the exhibitors was giving away something and I got so much stuff that my luggage got quite a bit bigger when I returned.
Idera had SQLDoctor (a real magician and fun guy) to promote their new tool SQLDoctor. I really had a great time participating in the magic myself. At one point, the magician made my watch disappear. I have seen better magic before, but this time it caught me unexpectedly and I was taken by surprise. I won many ducks again.
I heard the following common questions:
There were so many other questions, I will have to write another blog post about it.
Again, Best Summit Ever!
Reference: Pinal Dave (http://blog.sqlauthority.com)