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SQL Server and Other Topics

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I got my start with SQL Server in 1997 with SQL Server 6.5 at BellSouth Cellular. From that point on I've had the opportunity to work on Versions 6.0 to 2014. I specialize in Performance Tuning, High Availability and SQL Development. Contact me through this site or through my Twitter handle @SQLDiver


Sessions

It is always a challenge to attend half of the sessions I set out to attend. I walked in double and triple booked for many of the key time periods. Knowing this I pre-purchased the recordings. 

Favorite Sessions

Dealing with Multipurpose Procs and PSP the RIGHT Way! by Kimberly Tripp 

Kimberly's sessions are always interesting and I always leave with something. This session was no different. She went into detail about strategies she recommends for the dreaded "all purpose" , one for all procedures and how to "defeat" the parameter sniffing issues encountered with these types of procedures. 

She demonstrated the OPTION(RECOMPILE), dynamic SQL and a very interesting pattern for getting the best performance. If you missed it, watch her blog, no doubt she'll cover it completely.

Having Paul Randal in the front row was an added benefit, adding the fun occasional banter between them. 

BI Power Hour

The BI Power Hour is always over the top hilarious. Matt Masson, Matthew Roche and others profess to present a worthless uninformative session about BI (lies) and always show the ease and functionality of the Power BI tools through humorous demonstrations. You have to be early to the room in order to get a seat, as the line forms outside the door and around the corner. The BI Power Hour is a must see!

Lightning Talks

6 speakers, each has ten minutes to present a topic. I got to witness the Lightning Talks 103 session with Randy Knight, Julie Smith, Stuart Ainsworth, Rick Heiges, Argenis Fernandez and Kevin Boles. I'm lucky enough to call 4 of the six friends, so it was extra fun for me. 

The audience was fully engaged, the presenters were hilarious and took every opportunity to tease each other just to keep the ball rolling. If you ever have the opportunity to see any of these 6 present, do it. 

Query Tuning Mastery: Manhandling Parallelism

All I can say about this one is wow. Adam showed some very interesting ways to "trick" the optimizer to improve the performance of a query through parallelism. This one appeared on PASStv, and is a must see. It truly warps reality! I can't wait to play with his demos to try to fully understand what he is doing. 

 

Keynotes

Dr. Rimma Nehme - It is quite unfair to be put into the position of stepping into the shoes of Dr. David DeWitt. Everyone wondered how it could be possible for anyone to come in and keep the audience mesmerized as Dr. DeWitt always did. The session started out a little rough with the clicker not working, but she tap danced past it once she got it working.

Fact is, Rimma did it by winning over the audience with an excellent presentation filled with humor. She presented Cloud services using a Pizza as a Service example. 

For a great breakdown of the talk see Erin Stellato's blog here.

Networking

Monday - Steve Jones and Andy Warren's Networking event. Buffalo Wild Wings let down Steve and Andy by totally turning their back on the community by turning everyone away?! Weird, strange..great... we found a new place, The Yard House, huge place, opened their arms to over 100 people. Great food and a great time. I met quite a few new people at the event and hung with some old friends. Overall a success...can't wait until next year.

Tuesday - The Welcome Reception is a great place to meet people, and this year was no less...then SQL Karaoke with Denny Cherry and SIOS. Always the top networking event at PASS, Denny chose a great venue, Cow Girls, for SQL Karaoke. The bartenders were awesome, waitresses hustled and always there when you needed them.  It was definitely a who's who of SQL Server. More MVPs per square inch than the MVP Summit (small bar, lots of people). I met at least 10 new people and spent more time with friends I get to rarely see. Big Score! 

Wednesday - Too many events not enough time, the Exhibitor Reception for munchies, meeting sponsors and more networking ...then on to Pragmatic Works Karaoke. Too much fun watching drunk people singing. Great time...

Thursday - Kilt Thursday was the first time I wore a kilt. Wearing a kilt is showing support for Women in Technology. Kilts of PASS Summit 2014

SQL Wine with some close friends and some new friends. Gareth brought out his secret stash of Biltong, and we sampled the wines each person brought to sample. Next year will be bigger and better.

The evening went on until the morning, I missed the PASS Appreciation Event completely, winding up the morning walking back to the hotel with a group of friends at 4AM in the morning after a hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. Best Summit ever!

Atlanta Kilts

 


 

Friday - After the sessions, exhaustion has set in. By buddies, Rob Volk and Jason Carter were in heated competition with 2 other speakers in the Speaker Idol contest. All of the speakers were awesome, Rob and Jason placed 2nd and 3rd respectively (and respectably). I felt they should have been 1st and second. Planned to meet the gang at the Tap House, but the wife and I hit the Yard House for dinner, then crashed. 

Saturday - After meeting Rob Volk for breakfast at Lowell's, and seeing other #SQLFamily members JRJ and Adam Jorgenson, it was time to say goodbye and enjoy our weekend. Karen, my wife, and I did a Lake Union and Lake Washington tour. Too cool, we saw Bill Gate's house and the Sleepless in Seattle floating home. 

Sunday - Breakfast at Lowell's again and a nice walk around the Pike Place Market. On our flight back to Atlanta I sat behind Stuart Ainsworth and his wife. Great trip home and great to be home. 

PASS Summit is an event that should never be missed by a data professional.