SQL PASS Summit 2009 – Day 3

The day started off with the Quest Software breakfast presentation, to which I arrived late to find a standing-room-only crowd.  I left early to find a spot to sit – after yesterday’s interesting but much too long opening ceremony, I elected to catch up on blogging and attend the keynote virtually via Twitter.

I attended Andy Leonard’s session entitled “Applied SSIS Design Patterns” during the first breakout of the day.  I’ve corresponded with Andy several times over the past few months, and after our first face-to-face on Sunday evening, I was especially excited to see this presentation.  He did a great job of explaining how to develop an SSIS package structure to make logging and error handling much easier.  It was one of the highlights of the summit so far.

After lunch, I hit the BI Power Hour presentation, which was intended to give an exciting and fast-paced tour through some upcoming features of SQL Server and related BI components.  Although it was interesting material, it was so high-level and abstracted that it was difficult for me to buy into the excitement.  I did see a few nuggets that interest me, among them the map controls and other new additions to Report Builder 3.0.  I also dropped in on a high-level session describing the Kimball methodology for DW/BI processing.

Next up was the most interesting part of Wednesday.  The entire PASS board of directors attended a moderated Q&A session where PASS members were invited to ask questions in an open forum.  I’d like to say thanks to the board members for opening themselves up to this line of questioning, but frankly I was disappointed at the lack of turnout of the general membership.  There was a great deal of discussion and lots of complaints about the recent BoD election, and in light of the interest sparked by this discussion, I expected more representation.  I don’t subscribe to the theory that “if you don’t participate, you don’t get a say”, but if there really are so many things wrong with PASS, shouldn’t we have more people coming forward to offer up a better way of doing things?  However, despite the minimal representation of the membership, I was pleased with the open discussion that resulted.

Wednesday night was the Microsoft appreciation party at GameWorks across from the Sheraton.  There were a LOT of people who attended, thanks in no small part to the free drinks and unlimited game play.  I spent some time getting to know Blythe Morrow and Jason Strate and discussing all things PASS.  Afterward, we dropped into Vessel, a trendy and ridiculously expensive bar just a few blocks away, and ended the evening back at the tap house playing pool with Tim Ford, Patrick LeBlanc, Jessica Moss, and others.

Tomorrow is the last day of the Summit!  Though I’m looking forward to going home to see my new baby daughter, I’m going to miss being here.  It feels like the central of the SQL Server universe this week.

About the Author

Tim Mitchell
Tim Mitchell is a data architect and consultant who specializes in getting rid of data pain points. Need help with data warehousing, ETL, reporting, or training? If so, contact Tim for a no-obligation 30-minute chat.

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