I haven’t traditionally written recap posts for the PASS Summit, but this year was just phenomenal, and I think that down the road I would regret it if I didn’t take a few minutes to summarize the highlights.

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Perry and I arrive at the PASS Summit

In no particular order…

#SQLRun

On Wednesday morning about 70-some people congregated in downtown Charlotte for the now-traditional #SQLRun.  Organized by Jes Borland (whom I really don’t have enough wonderful adjectives to describe), it was a 3.4 mile run with fellow SQL runners in the complete dark.   It was the perfect way to start Day 1 of the Summit.  A run, when it includes friends, is never bad.  I met a couple new people that I saw throughout the week, proving again that common interests outside SQL Server help facilitate those relationships within PASS.  Whatever your passion, I encourage you to find people with the same non-SQL interests at conferences and SQLSaturdays.  You just never know who you’ll meet.

My Sessions

My first session was Wednesday morning after the keynote, and it was Making the Leap from Profiler to Extended Events.

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Perry checking out the crowd before my XE session

This was one of my favorite topics to cover this year, and based on feedback throughout the week, it hit home with many people.  Over 300 attendees made it to the session (the picture above was taken 15 minutes before I started), and I had great questions throughout and finished right on time.  In case you missed it, I’ll be giving a shorter version of the same session this Wednesday at noon EDT for the DBA Virtual Chapter (sign up here) and again next week at SQLIntersection.  Scripts can be downloaded from the PASS site, or from the SQLskills site under the Conference Demos heading.

My second session was Friday morning at 8 AM, How to Avoid Living at Work: Lessons from Working from Home.  Despite the early hour, we had a good number of attendees and a great discussion.  As I mentioned in a post back in August, I’m still adjusting, but it’s going well icon smile PASS Summit 2013: Final Recap

The WIT Panel

I had the honor of sitting on the WIT Panel on Thursday, and even though I probably said less than the other panelists, I had the opportunity to address a couple great questions (including one from an audience member).

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2013 WIT Panel (L to R: Gail Shaw, Kevin Kline, Cindy Gross, Rob Farley, me, and moderator Mickey Stuewe)

You can view the recording here, and since Thursday I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on what else I could have said, particularly when I answered the question from the audience member.  I want to include it here, for reference, and if you watch the video it starts at 59:11:

I had an interesting experience.  I was walking around the Expo yesterday and after having a short conversation with someone, someone said to me, well, you are a woman working in technology, you are a foreigner, you are a former collegiate athlete, and you are young.  You have all this working against you, how are going to make it in this industry?

My reply to her was that I would have said, “How am I NOT going to make it?”  Because here’s the thing: YOU decide what you can and cannot do, what you will and will not do.  You are in complete control of your destiny.  People will doubt you.  People will tell you that you aren’t good enough, don’t know enough, that you’re not “something enough”.  Don’t listen to them.  Know who you are…and if you don’t know, figure it out.  I firmly believe that once you fully accept the person that you are, and you like that person, that nothing will stop you.  Have confidence in yourself and then go forth and conquer.  And to the guy that said that?  There’s one part of me that wants to kick his @$$.  The other part of me feels sorry for him.  He has no idea what he’s up against.

The SQLskills Team

A conference bonus is that I get to see the SQLskills team.  It’s not often we’re all together because we’re scattered throughout the US.  I had time with every member of the team, including a couple dinners which really provide time to catch up in a relaxed setting.  I also moderated Kimberly’s session, Skewed Data, Poor Cardinality Estimates, and Plans Gone Bad, on Thursday, which was a lot of fun.  If you have any interest in statistics, go watch her session on PASS TV.

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Me and Kimberly – notice how tall I am?! (photo credit @AmazingScotch)

SQL Sentry

I cannot say enough good things about SQL Sentry.  They sponsored many events at the Summit including (and if I miss one please let me know):

  • Quizbowl at the Welcome Reception
  • Karaoke on Tuesday night
  • #SQLRun on Wednesday morning (they marked the path and provided t-shirts to those who registered early)
  • WIT Panel Luncheon (including a cool USB hub for swag)
  • The SQL Sentry shuttle on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights that provided transportation for Summit attendees around Charlotte

In addition to being a community leader, SQL Sentry is simply a remarkable company.  I have met many members of their team, and it’s a close-knit group that values their customers, and just puts out great products.  I have been a fan of the company and its team since I joined the community, and they raised the bar even further this year.  Well done.

Dr. DeWitt’s Keynote

On Thursday morning Dr. DeWitt returned to the PASS Summit…I actually have no idea how many times he’s given a talk at the PASS Summit, but I know that for each of the past four years that I have been there, he’s been there.  This year his topic was Hekaton and of course it did not disappoint.

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Perry listening to Dr. DeWitt talk about Hekaton while I type rapidly

I live-blogged his session and was able to capture a fair bit of his content.  Dr. DeWitt explains complex database topics in a way that many understand – he’s not just a smart guy, he’s a great teacher.  Thank you Dr. DeWitt for your session, and thank you PASS for bringing him back again.  Can we do it again next year?

My Peeps

I cannot list everyone here.  You would all just end up looking for your name icon smile PASS Summit 2013: Final Recap But seriously, there are so many factors that contribute to a successful Summit for me, and one of them is most certainly seeing friends and meeting new people.  Whether we had a 5 minute chat, discussed a technical problem and how to solve it, or enjoyed a beer at some point: thank you for being part of the SQL community, and for being part of my world.  I feel so fortunate that I have a group of individuals, within my professional field, I call true friends.

Ok, ok…I have to give a special shout out to Johan Bijnens who brought me chocolate all the way from Belgium, and Aaron Bertrand who brought me Kinder Eggs from Canada.  Thank you both for feeding my addiction icon smile PASS Summit 2013: Final Recap

I’m already thinking about next year’s Summit, but I hope to see you all before then.  Have a great week, and good luck catching up on email!

p.s. One of my favorite pictures from the week, courtesy of Jimmy May.  And if you’re wondering why the heck this Perry the Platypus stuffed animal shows up in all these pictures…well, I take him with me on trips and then take pictures to send back to my kids.  They think it’s hilarious.  Ok…I do too.

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Perry and me before my XE session