SQL PASS Summit 2011 – A First Timers View – Day 2

SQL PASS Summit 2011 – A First Timers View – Day 2

This post is part 2 of at least a 4 post article on my First Timer view of the SQL PASS Summit as I experienced it personally. If you missed the first post, click here.

Day 2

So day 2 began with a fairly early rise. I was staying about 10 blocks from the Washington State Convention Center (again, at the Marriott Spring Hill Suites), so I would need to walk or catch the shuttle at the top of each hour. I missed the 7AM shuttle by about 5 minutes trying to get ready, so I opted for a hot breakfast at the hotel (which we’ll find later was a good choice). After a hot breakfast, I trekked it up to the convention center and checked Guidebook (a fantastic additional scheduling and conference organizational tool that PASS decided to use again this year I hear) for any changes to schedules or sessions I was interested in, and then headed into the main conference room for the first Keynote and opening of the 2011 SQL PASS Summit.

So although there was a lot of Tweeting and blogging going on during the keynote by Ted Kummert (Senior Vice President, Business Platform Division Microsoft Corp), I’ll highlight some things I thought were important, but below are my takeaways:

* SQL Server “Denali” is now officially named SQL Sever 2012 and will be released to RTM the first half of 2012
* Microsoft has recognized Big Data, and its associated technologies, are very real things and are releasing a provider/connector for Hadoop
* SQL Server Deep Dives 2 is being premiered at the Summit and you can get it signed by many of the 54 co-authors here at the Summit

To see the entire keynote for yourself, click this link.

Now, if you’re still with me, the keynote was cool as a first timer because I’d never seen this much of a production put on for a technology conference. 4000 attendees, making this the biggest Summit yet, in attendance and chomping at the bit to get the latest information and ready to get onto a full day of sessions and networking. The anxiety and excitement was almost palpable. As the keynote closed, everyone was again welcomed to the Summit and we all headed our separate, but collective ways, to our intended sessions.

If I hadn’t already mentioned it, there were 170 sessions over 3 days. With only five 45 minute to 1 hr 15 minute sessions (and some even spanned two sessions because of their depth), you do the math. There just aren’t enough hours in the day (or even a solid week for that matter) to see it all. Guess that’s what the DVD’s are for.

So I attended sessions on Day 2. All good. Some great. Lunch was a chapter luncheon, so I sat at a table specifically designated for the Wichita, Omaha, and Lincoln SQL Server User Groups. Unbelievably I was the only one there from the Wichita area. Got to meet some cool people though, and hope we’ll stay connected and share often. Later in the day I got to spend some time in the Exhibition Hall looking at the different vendor’s offerings and signing up for all the giveaways to be done the next day. It was fun. There were also SQL Server Expert Pods located all over the 6th floor to cover a range of topics. Always manned by MVPs or Microsoft Experts, these are great places to spend the session hours, especially if you have a question you need answered and you’re going to buy the DVDs anyway.

After the regular conference day is thru, there are plenty of after-hours events and parties to get invites to if you spent your time well with the vendor’s. Make an effort to be sure you have options for the evenings, and don’t just head back to your hotel. Again, I don’t drink, but hanging out with your SQL comrades is fun even when you’re sober.

Day 2 in the books. Tired, but really having a good time. Met some cool people. Chatted with MVPs, experts, and SQL Server Community celebrities. #SQLWinning

Check back tomorrow for Day 3 (2nd conference day) details.

-Patrick

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