PASS – Part 2


 I have to say that this has not turned into the “series” that I projected so optimistically as I departed for the PASS summit. It may still be a series, who knows, but for now, as I sit in the airport waiting for my flight back home I figure I would get a few thoughts together on the sessions that I attended.

 I tried to hit a cross section of things I understand, and would like to do better, things I really need to learn, and a few things that I am not sure how they apply to my life (education for the sake of it). I think I hit that goal…


AD371S – Grant Fritchey (one of the smarter people you will run into) presented “Identifying and Fixing performance problems using execution plans.” This one fits into the area of things I know, and just wanted to get a smart persons perspective, and validate some of the things I do. An excellent sessions, filled with great discussion well done, and well worth the time!

BID275M – Pej Javaheri, Lynn Langit, Donald Farmer (actually had a stand in for Donald… unfortunately, don’t remember his name right now), and a few others… presented “Business Intelligence Power Hour” – (should be named the comedy hour) This was fun (and educational) Short witty presentations on the different tools in the BI space, what is new in Denali, and why BI can help solve problems like why people with higher taxes that drink more are happier. This fit a few of my criteria of things I know, and things I would like to know better… and besides it was fun!

DBA237 Aaron Nelson PACKED the room with over 380 people for “The Dirty Dozen: PowerShell scripts for the Busy DBA” This one is in the area of things I need to learn how to do, and Aaron presented some scripts, and REALLY made the whole thing easy to understand. I honestly think we scared him a bit, this was his first PASS presentation, and a (literally) standing room only crowd was a bit intimidating, but he hung in there, and did really well with it.

DBA391S Kevin Kline presented “End-to-End Troubleshooting for SQL server” Kevin is always good to listen to, and this was no exception. My head was rather full by this time, so I decided to go with another topic that I am comfortable with, and just validate some of my methods and assumptions about how things are.


DBA388S Grant Fritchey presented “DMV’s as a shortcut to Procedure tuning” Since Grant’s presentation on Tuesday was so good, I figured I would jump back into learning mode with the DMV’s. Something I need to do better, and Grant is just the guy to get you there.

 AD311 Rob Farley had an absolutely OUT OF CONTROL funny educational BLAST of a sessions “The Incredible Shrinking Execution Plan” I really did no know what I was in for with this one… but Rob had us rolling the whole time! He literally broke about every “rule” of presenting (including the never type in a presentation)… he started off with a blank SSMS window, no slides, and a comedy routine that was some of the funnier stuff of the conference. With all that said, by the end of the presentation, my head HURT with the amount of things I need to evaluate how I look at queries, views, and how the optimizer views joins in general.

BIA380M Matt Masson presented “What’s Coming Next in SSIS” This one fit simply because SSIS is a core part of what I do, and Denali is changing, fixing, enhancing etc a huge portion of how SSIS works. After this session, I was truly (really) upset that we are only on ctp-1, and it will be sometime next year before we can actually push what is a drastic change to production.

PD163 Christine Valdes presented (with some help from Brent and others) “SQL Image Wardrobe Governor: The Newest Feature in R2” This one fit in the… I can’t think anymore, Brent is funny, and why not do something for the sake of education. Fun interactive session talking about why you dress the way you do (or should).


Keynote address from David Dewitt. I have to say he is likely the smartest person that I have ever been in the same room with. I suddenly have more faith in the query optimizer than just about any technology we use on a daily basis. He really tried to talk to us in a way we could understand… and left us ALL in the dust so many times it was crazy. I wish we could have more presentations from folks like him, even if I don’t totally understand, something might just rub-off and stick in my pea-brain. Truly an impressive keynote, that I will be watching (a few times) on the DVD set.

BIA379S Marco Russo presented “Monitoring Cube Performance and Usage”

This starts getting into the area of things I need to learn. Analysis services, performance of cubes etc. A good presentation, a percentage of which I need to re-watch when I get the DVD’s. This session came right after the keynote address for David DeWitt, my mind was a bit liquified when we started this session.

BIA206 Stacia Misner presented “Real World Analysis Services Stored Procedures” This was jumping neck deep into things that I don’t understand enough to be able to use (at this level). This is one was mostly education for the sake of education. Great presentation, MDX, and stored procedures in analysis services, DEEP stuff.

DBA247 Ken Simmons presented “Enforcing Compliance with Policy-Based Management”

This one I went to for a few reasons. I use policy based management, and wanted to see Ken’s take. I needed something to make me feel like I actually know something (the keynote, followed by cube performance, followed by SSAS procedures… I needed something to boost me back up) and not the least of the reasons, is I really like Ken, and he was stressed about the session not having enough questions, so I came to support him (and only had to ask one question, there were PLENTY from the audience) and Ken handled the session like the pro that he is.

BID216 Andreas Wolter presented “Report Builder 3 What’s in it For You” At this point in the conference I have to say my tank was empty. Late nights (that might be another post… maybe), early mornings, and more information crammed into my head than I have had in a LONG time. So I figured I would wrap up the day with a session that I understand, pick up a few pointers (which I did), and think about how we might get some of the spacial data included in the work that we currently do.


I can honestly say this was a great (understatement of the week) conference. I learned a ton, learned that I still have a ton to learn, and met some of the nicest, smartest people you will ever meet. It was great to put faces to many of those that I talk with regularly, and meet some great new friends. Not to mention the fact that I now have a bunch of work to do to get the presentations ready that I have promised to a variety of folks, including my new friends in Australia. One heck of a week…


One Comment on “PASS – Part 2”

  1. scarydba November 12, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    Thanks so much for the comments. I hope everything was useful. Thanks for coming to my sessions. Let me know if you need anything.

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