PASS Summit Magic: The Turn

Watch closely...

I mentioned in my last post that the Turn is the point in the act where the magician executes his illusion, leaving his audience captivated and in wonderment. Sometimes the magician will even make something disappear in to thin air. Funnily enough, this past week I had a little bit of everything I just mentioned!

Monday was the day of pre-con sessions and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend Brian Knight’s (Blog | Twitter) session entitled ETL Bootcamp: End to End SSIS. What better way to kick off my BI career than to learn SSIS from the master himself (also doesn’t hurt that he’s my boss!). I, and everyone else in the audience, thought this was just going to be Brian presenting this session. He started off talking about doing the day’s demoes using the standard AdventureWorks databases when all of a sudden Patrick LeBlanc (Blog | Twitter) stood up in the back of the room and very boisterously did not agree with going that route. He asked the audience if they wanted to see something else, something not so boring, as he approached the stage…

Surprise! This was going to be a joint session starring Brian AND Patrick using data collected from the NFL instead! Both guys donned their respective team jerseys, Brian in Jaguars garb and Patrick in Saints. They claimed one half of the room for themselves and this session was going to be a football game and the audience were the team! As they progressed through their demoes they would ask the audience questions that were worth certain amount of points as in American football (i.e. 3 points for a field goal, 2 for a safety and 7 for a touchdown). The whole session was REALLY entertaining and chock full of SSIS awesomesauce (and for what it’s worth, my side won ;-P )

That night was the PASS first-timer’s session (that’s right folks, up until this year I was a Summit n00b) at which I got to meet some great folks such as business intelligence guru Stacia Misner (Blog | Twitter) and her lovely daughter Erika (Blog). Pretty cool fact I learned, they work together! The family that queries together stays together. I also got to finally meet Douglas McDowell (Blog | Twitter). It’s an odd feeling meeting someone face to face for the first time that you’ve been working/volunteering with over the course of a few years and feel like you already know each other through your interaction.

The next few days were a blur of ridiculously, awesome, inexplicable, can’t-put-into-words-but-I’ll-do-my-hardest-to-try chain of networking, learning and just plain having fun! I’ll use my last post in this series, the Prestige, to give a synopsis of everything but all I can say is that PASS Summit is worth every penny you can muster to get there!

So when I started this post series I did say this was going to be a magic –themed post series. What’s a magic trick without a disappearing act? Well unfortunately we’re at the part of the trick where an object disappears (aka “the Turn”). In this case what disappeared was my laptop as I had left it unattended briefly at a Starbucks in Seattle and “whoosh”, it was gone like Keyser Soze. After coming to grips with the fact that I’d never see my stuff again, I went on attending the conference hoping to make the best of the rest of the week. For what it’s worth, trying to live blog/tweet from an iPhone is an art form and apparently my ability to write messages at blazing speed on my phone took Michelle Ufford (Blog | Twitter) by surprise!

Demon Thumbs: Now available in iPhone 4

Anywho, so the laptop disappeared but fear not! After all, this is a magic show and strange and magical things will and do happen. In tomorrow’s post you’ll hear the exciting conclusion of how I actually managed to get it back! Stay tuned for the exciting finale, or Prestige if you will!

3 Replies to “PASS Summit Magic: The Turn”

  1. I bet you ARE fast on your iPhone, but so is Michelle! More than once at the conference I got out my laptop to send someone an SMS via gmail because I’m just too darn old, I mean slow, on my phone.

    It was good to meet you in person, even though we didn’t really get to talk much. Maybe next year (if not sooner), if both of us n00bs can make it back for Summit 2011!


    1. Ha yeah gotta love the speed one develops on those things! Great meeting you too and next year I really have to figure out better way to budget time for networking and such. This year being my first year I was overwhelmed with stuff to do and people to meet!

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