The 2010 PASS Summit is almost here! Last year while following the Summit activity on Twitter, I promised myself that there was no way I would watch tweets of the event from afar in 2010.
A few weeks ago I started planning my schedule and making decisions on which sessions to attend, when the best advice popped up on Twitter. I don’t know who said it there first, but a few times since people have mentioned that you can buy the DVD and watch sessions later. Thomas LaRock (Blog|Twitter) also mentioned this in his recent PASS Summit blog post. Anyway, that removes a huge amount of the pressure from trying to pick the perfect line-up of sessions to attend.
As far as the sessions I plan to attend, I’m not going to list them out here because it’s a “fuzzy” list. Some time slots have 2 or 3 candidates, plus I’ll spend some of those time slots doing something other than attending sessions, so I’ll be making last-minute decisions on which to attend. But the sessions for me are falling into two groups:
- Optimization and Performance – next to developing new solutions and components, this takes up most of my non-managerial working time. We process huge volumes of data every day with surprisingly little horsepower at our disposal, and I don’t see any new ponies on the horizon. So any new tips and information I can pick up in this arena will be utilized immediately.
- Business Intelligence – I’ve been working in this area for some time. This isn’t too surprising since I have degrees not only in computer science, but also applied economics and finance, plus I was in a doctoral program for over two years where I completed graduate work in accounting, economics and quantitative methods. So my background is a great fit for this area, and I’ve been doing business intelligence related work in the investments industry for almost a decade. However, I haven’t worked very much with Microsoft’s stack of business intelligence components, and lately I’ve been trying to get up to speed on them.
Of course, the sessions aren’t the only reason for going to the Summit. The big thing drawing me in is the people who will be there. I’m looking forward to meeting new people, seeing folks I’ve met at other events, doing some networking, etc. I also want to learn more about increasing my involvement in the SQL Server community and volunteer opportunities for the next Summit in 2011. In the mean time, I’ll be volunteering in a small role at this year’s Summit as a moderator for Wednesday’s Lightning Talk session.
Regarding timing, late Monday afternoon I’ll arrive in time for the “First Timer Welcome & Orientation” at 6 p.m., followed by the Monday night festivities, which includes the Quizbowl and then the SQLServerCentral opening night party. In addition to the full three days of the Summit, I’ve also signed up for Davide Mauri’s “Creating a BI solution from A to Z” post-conference session on Friday.
Finally, David Stein (Blog|Twitter) recently wrote a blog post regarding paying to go to the PASS Summit. I’m also paying my own way, as I do with all events, training, books, MSDN subscription, etc. So I obviously agree with David’s perspective, but dollars really do add up… I’m not sure how many folks are prepared financially to cover such expenses themselves.