My Top 5 Sessions to Attend at PASS Data Community Summit

The free online PASS Data Community Summit is coming up fast, and it’s packed with over 250 sessions from more than 200 expert and rising star speakers. So which ones should you look out for, what topics sound the most interesting, and how should you plan to fill your schedule?

My Top 5 Sessions to Attend at PASS Data Community Summit top5-800x273

Just a note here. The sessions are organized in six tracks covering everything from analytics to data management to professional development. You’re probably like me and you’ll want to drop in and out of the tracks over the three days, to catch sessions on a range of different topics. Remember that once you’ve registered for the conference you can revisit any sessions on-demand later on, so you don’t have to miss anything if there’s a clash.

And before sharing my top session picks, it’s also worth mentioning that there are some key conference highlights to look out for. This year, three stand out in particular for me:

Curated Learning Pathways will give you the opportunity to develop real skills you can put to work immediately. Want to become an Azure Data Engineer, or ramp up your expertise in areas like query tuning or cloud migrations? This is your chance.

Panel discussions will bring together the experiences and perspectives of data professionals from across the community on topics that affect us all, like Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and Women in Technology. During these discussions, panelists will share their challenges and suggestions for how we can all support growth in the community.

The Keynotes each day will offer the very latest information about the Microsoft data platform, the future of the Summit itself and what we can expect in the years ahead, and how the cloud is having a big impact on all of our careers.

That said, it’s time to share my top picks for the PASS Data Community Summit 2021:

DevOps 101 for Data Folks

This is still a new topic new for many DBAs, but it’s also an important one as more and more organizations move to DevOps. This session will talk about the new practices, tools and buzzwords that are entering our lives, and then give a practical demonstration of database DevOps at work.

Secure This!

Security is a major consideration for organizations everywhere and this session will talk about database security, and in particular, the implications of insecure databases, and how you can secure your databases, whether they’re on-premises or in the cloud.

Keeping your Data Fresh in Power BI

This session from two Microsoft Power BI gurus, Patrick LeBlanc and Adam Sexton, should be on your must-see list if you want to know how to configure refreshing your data in Power BI, and how to identify bottlenecks and get the most out of it. Not that this session will only be presented once and won’t be available on-demand, so don’t miss it!

Fast Forward your Career by leveraging the Community

We all want to get ahead in our careers and this session will explore the different ways you can fast forward your progress, even without having to tackle the challenging task of public speaking. You’ll learn how getting involved in the data platform community provides lots of options to build and enhance your reputation.

Identifying Bias

Many of us have heard tales of bias in IT and how it affects everything from hiring to the software we build. This session will help you identify and mitigate bias, using scenarios to teach you steps to take to create a more merit-based workplace.

What are your top sessions?

I’ve picked out my own highlights and favorite sessions from the PASS Data Community Summit, but what will yours be? There are lots to choose from this year and, whatever your interest, whatever part you play in the data platform community, there will be something that can help advance your knowledge, your skills and level up your career.

And it’s all free, which is the best part of it.

Find out more and reserve your place at PASS Data Community Summit 2021.

Reference: Pinal Dave (

Redgate, SQLPASS
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