Second Chances: PASS Community Choice Sessions

Recently I found out that my PASS presentation submission ‘Policy-Based Management’ has a second chance to be accepted for the conference (which I’m really grateful for!) but I need your help! Please take a minute to head over to the Community Choice Sessions page and cast your vote (up to 5 selections). As long as I’m pandering for votes, please cast a check for some of my fellow co-workers as well!

In keeping with my annoying use of LOLcats pictures…

Thank you!

PASS Summit: Day 3 Keynote Live

Well, it’s the final day of PASS Summit and the week’s final keynote! Today’s keynote will be delivered by Dr. David Dewitt! His speaking is the result of a user survey sent out by PASS earlier this year.

From Summit site:

You voted, and the results are in: Dr. David DeWitt will be speaking on Query Optimization 101 during the most anticipated keynote of PASS Summit 2010!

“In two short years, giving a keynote at the PASS Summit has become a highlight of my year,” noted Dr. DeWitt, Technical Fellow with Microsoft’s Jim Gray Systems Lab. “This year, I am excited to have the opportunity to talk about SQL query optimization, why it is hard to always produce good plans, and new technologies that offer the promise of better plans in future releases of SQL Server.”

Query optimization is the process of compiling a SQL query into an executable plan that is as efficient as possible. While the basic fundamentals for cost-based query optimization were first described in a seminal paper by Pat Selinger of IBM Research in 1979, optimizing complex queries continues to be very challenging 30 years later. In this talk, David DeWitt will describe the fundamentals of query optimization, why it remains a very hard problem today, and present several recent research results that promise to improve the quality of plans produced in the years to come.

David J. DeWitt is a Technical Fellow in the Microsoft Data and Storage Platform Division. DeWitt’s role is creating and leading the Microsoft Jim Gray Systems Lab, a new advanced development center in Madison, WI, for Microsoft, in association with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Computer Sciences Department. DeWitt came to Microsoft from the Computer Sciences Department at the University of Wisconsin, which he joined in September 1976 after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He served as department chair from July 1999 to July 2004 and held the title of John P. Morgridge Professor of Computer Sciences when he retired from the University of Wisconsin.

Click Here for live blog!

PASS Summit: Day 2 Keynote Live

It’s Day 2 of the PASS Summit and here we are again live blogging the event.

From the Summit site:

Today Tom Casey will discuss and showcase some of the exciting new and upcoming innovations in Business Intelligence and advances to the data platform, including the expansion into the cloud. Tom will also discuss Microsoft’s progress in the cloud, and the powerful role that SQL Azure and cloud computing will play in enabling the information platform.

Click Here for live blog!

PASS Summit: Day 1 Keynote Live

It’s the first day of the PASS Summit 2010 and I”ll be live blogging the first keynote here. Click on the link below to follow along!

From the Summit site:

Ted Kummert will open Day 1 of PASS Summit 2010 by highlighting continued innovation across Microsoft’s business and information platform. Kummert will explore Microsoft’s key technical investments that help solve the toughest issues for various roles across an organization, from IT Professionals to developers. Kummert will explore Mission Critical applications, getting the most out of your datacenter, and the accessibility of Business Intelligence in an effort to deliver on Microsoft’s vision of enabling data platform customers to be more efficient through integrated tools. Some exciting product announcements will also be shared exclusively with PASS attendees so you won’t want to miss out!

On a side note: I REALLY hope we hear announcement for SQL Server 11 😀

Click Here for live blog!

PASS Summit 2010 Magic: The Pledge

Are You Watching?

I write this as I’m on my way to Seattle for the annual PASS Summit in Seattle, Washington. This is very exciting for me as this is my very first Summit experience and I’ve been looking forward to this for a few years now. So why am I so excited about this event? Well first off this is the largest SQL Server-focused conference in the world! Basically this is the Super Bowl (or for my international friends, the World Cup) of conferences for SQL Server professionals! Being the geek I am, I am going to write a few articles this week that will follow the format of a magic trick: the Presentation, the Turn, and the Prestige. Why this format? Well first off, I’m a fan of the movie the Prestige. Secondly, this event is much like a magic trick in itself.

For those who may not have seen The Prestige, or are familiar with magic tricks in general, there are three major steps to a magic trick. The first is referred to as the Pledge. In this step the magician sets up the audience by telling them they will witness something amazing and setup the situation accordingly. The second step is referred to as the Turn. Here is where the magician’s trick is applied be it making something disappear, or something equally amazing to happen. The audience is held captive as they don’t know how the trick , escape, or illusion will play out. Finally there is the Prestige. This is the final step where the magician finally completes the trick and the audience is left in awe as they witness the seemingly impossible occur right before their eyes. The final result of this process is the audience is left enchanted, thrilled and wanting more. One thing I’ve noticed about the SQL community, and specifically this conference, is it seems to have the same affect hence my choosing this format to share this year’s conference experience.

The last few years for various reasons I haven’t been able to make the cross-country trek for this event . Instead of experiencing the conference first-hand I’ve read accounts on blogs as well as followed along “live” while folks from all over the world Tweeted their experiences from the conference. Not only was there amazing content being presented from top-notch speakers but you could actually follow along and see relationships form as people connected and shared those experiences. Even from a distance I could see how amazing of an experience this was and I wanted to take part. Last year I took part in the conference, virtually, by volunteering my services to the then-community organizer for PASS, Blythe Morrow (Twitter). I had contributed to helping out the organization by putting together a portion of the PowerPoint presentation used by then-President Wayne Snyder in his keynote speech! What made that even cooler was when folks tweeted to me that Wayne had actually acknowledged me by name on-stage for my contribution! In that respect it was very cool feeling connected like I was there even when I wasn’t. It was then that I resolved “even if I have to rob a bank, I’m going to Summit next year!”. Luckily I didn’t have to resort to that and I’m headed there now (the conference, not the bank). I share this last story so as to let you know if you can’t physically make it to the Summit you can still be very much connected and part of the magic. If you’re looking to take part in the magic yourself PASS is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help out! If you’re interested feel free to contact the Community Organizer, Nancy Nasso (Email | Twitter) and let her know!

So, my friends, I give you the Presentation. This week is set to be an amazing one. In the next few days the top SQL Server talent from all over the world will converge upon Seattle once again for this amazing experience. The week kicks off with pre-conference sessions given by top industry folks such as Brian Knight (Blog | Twitter), Itzik Ben-Gan (Blog), Kimberly L. Tripp (Blog | Twitter), and more! In addition to those events there will be extra-curricular events going on such as the Photowalk tour or SQLServerCentral’s Casino Night party. From there the conference kicks off with a keynote from Ted Kummert from Microsoft who promises to have some big and exciting news for attendees. Oh, did I mention that all keynotes this week will be streamed live? They will be, so you can witness the magic first-hand with us! Then the next three days are filled with amazing sessions, events, and networking opportunities. This three days portion will be the Turn, as so much will happen and I don’t know how all this magic will happen just yet. Finally, there is the Prestige. Once everything is sais and done, myself and every other attendee will surely be transformed and spellbound by the magic we experienced. In addition to these posts I’ll also be live-blogging the keynotes just so I can share my thoughts on everything that happens so keep an eye out for those posts as well. Ladies and gentlemen, sit back and enjoy the show as we present to you PASS Summit 2010! Enjoy the show!

Pirates of PASS: Curse of the Elections Process

Pirate Code: They're more like guidelines really...

The last few weeks we’ve watched the drama unfold in regards to the PASS BOD elections. We’ve seen people attack criticize the NomCom, the board, PASS itself, the process and the decision of feeding of Gremlins after midnight. Thankfully the fireworks have died down and we can take a look at everything that has happened and make strides to move forward in a positive (and more importantly) constructive manner. Given that, I’ve been asked by my good friend Kevin Kline (Blog | Twitter) to respond to the following:

Many in the community seem to think that the PASS election process is badly broken. Do you think that PASS needs to implement fundamental and far-reaching changes to its election process, or does it only need some fine tuning? Please explain your thoughts?

Continue reading “Pirates of PASS: Curse of the Elections Process”

PASS Elections Portal

I think the shirt says it all

If you’ve been under a rock the last few weeks you may not know that PASS is currently undergoing their board elections process. I’m not going to rehash the entire saga here but this is just a quick post to let everyone know about a great resource PASS has put together for the elections: The elections portal.

Last year the general community voiced their concerns about transparency in the elections process and this year the folks at PASS HQ have poured a lot of hard work in helping make those wishes a reality. The election portal is your one-stop-shop for all things elections-related including:

  • Candidate profiles and interviews
  • FAQ on how the process works
  • Documentation used by the BOD and NomComm during the process
  • Official scores and votes
  • And last but not least…A FORUM!

Why do I stress that last one? Well in the last few weeks there has been quite a stir in the community over the choices made for the final slate of candidates. In the wake of that decision many have taken to their blogs and stated their thoughts. You can actually see a running list of all those blog posts at elections site as well! I highly encourage you to sign in to the forum and ask your questions. Be active. This year has shown us not only the flaws in the process, but more importantly how PASSIONATE we all are about this community.

Changing of the Guard

A few weeks ago Andy Leonard (Blog | Twitter) announced that he was stepping down from his position as PASS Regional Mentor. It is with great humbleness and excitement that I can officially say I’ll be taking on the role of PASS Regional Mentor for the Greater Southeast region.

I’d like to say a huge thank you to Andy for giving me this great opportunity and I hope to make the best of it. Thank you for all the hard work you’ve put in to the position, you’ve set a high bar! Until now the RM position has been mainly used as a resource for chapter leaders to help them in whatever way is needed. In the coming weeks you should start hearing more about new ideas and directions the RM program is hoping to take. Recently I was in Orlando with Jessica Moss (Blog | Twitter) and we got to speak a bit about the program and shared some ideas on how we can improve the program and make it more beneficial for chapter leaders and the community at large.

In addition to myself there are a few more new RM’s that have been named. Please welcome the following new RM’s as well:

Patrick LeBlanc (Blog | Twitter) – U.S. South Central Region

Matthew Rigling (Blog | Twitter) – U.S. Heartland Region

Melissa Demsak (Blog | Twitter) – U.S. Northeast

Adam Jorgensen (Blog | Twitter) – U.S. Great Southeast Region

Professional Development Event:Taking Control of Your Career

This is just a reminder that this month’s Professional Development virtual chapter meeting we have MVP, PASS Board member, and all-around badass Jeremiah Peschka (Blog | Twitter) presenting on Taking Control of Your Career. Here is the abstract of the presentation:

Raises, promotions, and job offers don’t happen by accident; you need a plan. Through careful planning you can create and reach impressive goals. But what’s the point of reaching your goals if nobody notices? “If you build it, they will come” doesn’t apply when you’re building your career.

In this session Jeremiah Peschka will show you:

  • How to set achievable goals
  • The importance of planning your career
  • Methods for recording and communicating your accomplishments

When: June 16th, 2010

Where: LiveMeeting Link

Time: 1:00 PM EST – 2:00 PM EST (UTC-4)   [Use this online time converter tool to find time in your area]

If you’re interested in presenting at a future meeting for the PASS Professional Development virtual chapter please feel free to email me and let me know!

PASS Professional Development VC Reboot!

This is just a quick post to let everyone know that this week marks the return of the PASS Professional Development Virtual Chapter! I’ve had the honor of becoming the new VC leader and I’ve got a great group of folks helping me out! Here is your Professional Development Virtual Chapter committee:

Jason Massie (Blog | Twitter)

Kathi Kellenberger (Twitter)

Mark Caldwell (Blog | Twitter)

Big ups to them as they’ve been absolutely awesome in helping get this chapter back up and running and we’re starting back up with quite a bang!

Continue reading “PASS Professional Development VC Reboot!”