My PASS Summit 2017 Experience


All the excitement and countdown for attending PASS Summit is finally over, and I must say I had a great time attending my first PASS Summit this year. Three cheers to everyone in #SQLFamily who directly/indirectly contributed towards the success of this event.

It was a 4 days marathon with events starting as early as 6.45 AM and lasting till midnight with few of the awesome after parties. The weather was crazy at Seattle during the last 2 days and it even snowed on the last day – which was nice to see, but it was damn cold out there walking down the downtown streets. I reached back home on Saturday – from snow at Seattle to being greeted by a 80 F at Birmingham!

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PASS Summit was a unique conference in so many ways. The best part – as a first timer or a normal attendee, you won’t get lost in the crowd and be left all alone. You have these nice ribbons which you get like First Timers, SQL Saturday Organizers, Local Group Leaders, Speaker and more – which will help others to immediately strike a conversation with you. There were multiple programs and events just targeting towards the first timers which makes it so much easier and feel at home – Buddy Program, First-Timer Orientation and Networking session, Birds of a Feather Luncheon, Community Zone and Sessions by PASS Committee etc.

Samir - PASS Badge

This was my 1st PASS Summit experience and I had a great time. I was quite excited to be presenting at PASS Summit and was glad that my talk on ‘Making Developers lives easier with SQL Server 2016‘ went well and was very interactive. It was a full house and there were lot of good questions which came in. This was very satisfying for me because I knew that folks were with me during the entire session. I got good feedback from many of the attendees. Few of them followed me in Twitter and also sent LinkedIn requests – a great way to keep in touch even after the Summit. I would request all who attended my session to please complete their session evaluations, and help me to improve and also help the event to get better content and quality talks next time.

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Getting back to work after a week of Summit is tough and there will be so many to-do items on your plate – but I wanted to make sure I dedicate 30 min time to write a quick blog post summing up my PASS Summit experience.
Also at PASS Summit, I made sure to click lot of pictures so that I can look back on those few years down the lane – that would be so awesome!

I loved the focused group discussions organized by the Community Team for SQL Saturday Organizers and Local Group Leaders. There were lot of good discussions and learnings from what other successful user groups do to manage their events better.

Day 1 and Day 2 Keynotes were really good – lot of good content and information – and not a surprise – great speakers!

The technical sessions by the Microsoft Tiger Team about the latest and greatest in SQL Server and Data Platform were awesome. I plan to download the presentation pdf and go through them in the upcoming days.

Loved the fact that PASS records all the sessions because even if you attend the Summit – it is literally impossible to pick and choose the sessions you want to attend, amidst all the networking and walking around talking with known faces and also making new friends. Not to forget the awesome line of sponsors, the booths in the Exhibit Halls and collecting all the swag 🙂

Building up your schedule I guess is the toughest thing to do in PASS Summit. So many top notch speakers, so many tracks and so many good topics to select from! I did build up my schedule before time, but made so many changes at run time and ended up attending a whole different set of sessions, than what I had initially planned for! This is actually a good problem to have – I love it when conferences have excellent content and attendees are in a dilemma to choose one among multiple good sessions 🙂
I got a flavor of few of the awesome speakers in the SQL Community and will probably try to take in some key learning and have it reflected in my future mode of presentation.

The Welcome Reception on Tuesday evening was grand – the Halloween themed party with lot of folks, cool music and good food.

Welcome Reception

I attended as many sessions as I could. But also made sure to visit all the sponsors and understand what services they provide. I have got all the required information back so that I could share it with my User Group during this month meeting. I also spent a good amount of time networking.

The Microsoft Tiger Team were providing live support/guidance on technical issues and I made sure to spend time with them discussing few issues which I have been working on. I saw a large number of attendees making great use of this platform to get their questions answered.

I also did not miss out the opportunity to be a ‘Volunteer‘ for this event and contribute from my side. During the Keynote on Day 2, I had the Open Seat Sign holder in the Keynote room making sure the attendees are all seated and help them out in case they had any questions. Hats off to all the Volunteers! 

I had so much fun during this – and look forward to contribute more in the coming year as a Volunteer during PASS events.

Big round of thanks to Andy Nakamura, who was my PASS Summit Buddy who provided all the required information, helped answer all my questions and also provided me the much needed support during my presentation by being there in the audience.

Meeting with Brent Ozar and Pinal Dave was awesome and getting an opportunity to get clicked on a single frame was an icing on the cake –

There were so many cool After Parties hosted by all the sponsors. I was not able to make it to majority of them, since I was completely drained out by the evening.

Awesome conference overall. Thanks to all the PASS Committee, Volunteers, Speakers, Organizers, Sponsors, SQL Family and Attendees for making this event a huge success. Keep rocking and hope to meet you again in upcoming conferences.

One thing I would like to change/suggest
I would love to see more sessions focused towards Developers in future PASS Summit. I met with lot of folks during the Summit and majority of them were developers and I think having more developer-centric tracks will be awesome. I was quite pleased to see some talks around .NET APIs, Dapper etc and hopefully in future we will have a better mix of sessions where the audience are ‘Developers’ and not primarily ‘DBAs’. Having better developers would solve half of the world’s problem, right?

2 thoughts on “My PASS Summit 2017 Experience

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