Planning my PASS Summit 2018 schedule

Summit is just around the corner and its time to start thinking about some of the sessions you will be attending. In the past, I have winged-it but this often resulted in me missing session that I really wanted to attend or attending too many of the same type of session. As I will also be attending  SQL Saturday Portland and some of the speakers will also be speaking I also have the opportunity to see some of the sessions there. Below are some of the sessions that I plan to attend this year.

Day One

Day 1 Keynote

PASS Summit always begins with a keynote, in addition to providing a good roadmap of the features to come over the last few years, we regularly get to hear the first announcements of new and upcoming features in SQL Server. With SQL Server 2019 on the horizon maybe there will be more exciting news (Holding thumbs).

Data types do matter – Angela Henry

I am very excited about this talk as it will be the first PASS Summit presentation for my friend Angela Henry. Not only is Sumit a great time to learn but also to support #SQLFamily and I look forward to seeing her do her thing.

I’ve been working with SQL Server for a long time now and kind of just assume that I know the basics, it will be great to get a bit of a refresher and hopefully fill in some of the missing gaps that I have.

My Power BI Report is Slow: What Should I Do? – Marco Russo

Performance tuning in DAX is something that I have been doing more recently of so have some experience with the topic but who can turn down the opportunity to learn from the master. What I’m most looking to take away from this talk is the Approach that Marco takes to identifying the biggest bottlenecks and patterns that he uses to address them.

Storytelling for Machine Learning and Advanced Analytics – Jen Underwood

Jen has worked for Microsoft and many other industry leaders. She has a fantastic grasp not only on the Microsofts BI tools but industry trends in general, I look forward to her thoughts on this.

Speaker Idol: Round One

As I am taking part in this competition this year it is only right to spy on support my fellow contestants. I look forward to watching although I’m not sure if watching the others present will make me more or less nervous.

Day Two

Day 2 will be a little different for me, taking part in this year’s Speaker Idol competition and speaking during the last session of day 2 I will not be attending any afternoon sessions as I will need to prepare for my talk.

Inside Columnstore Indexes – Bob Ward & Ryan Stonecipher

This will be my 4th PASS Summit and I have never been to a Bob Ward session, they are legendary for melting your brain. Unlike some of his other talks, columnstores are something that I am familiar with and share some common implementation patterns that underpin vertipaq which is the engine behind Power BI. Hopefully, I will be able to keep up.

Test Driven Development in SQL Server (How to Deploy Code Safer) – Hamish Watson

Devops is something that I am trying to understand more while integrating it more into my daily activities. On top of that, I understand the speaker like to hand out candy so who could say no to that.

Speaker Idol: Round Two

I will be presenting during this session so if you don’t find me here that means that I have messed up somewhere.

Day Three

Day three I’ll be a bit of a mixed bag, If I make it through the first round then I will again be skipping sessions to ensure that I have enough time to prepare.

Using Azure Databricks to Develop Scalable Data Solutions – Ginger Grant

I got to meet Ginger earlier this year and enjoyed talking to her. She will be presenting on a topic that will play a greater role in the data platform ecosystem in years to come so need to pay attention to more and I look forward to learning.

Building Enterprise-Grade BI Models with Microsoft Power BI – Christian Wade

For a long time, I have been an analysis services fan and most of my work revolves around it in some way, it looks like Microsoft plan to make Power BI the centre of the analytics experience so understanding this may be very important

Deep Dive in DAX Evaluation Context – Alberto Ferrari

Although I understand DAX context evaluation reasonably well this is a must attend talk for me, just like Marco Russo’s session, this is a must-attend talk for me.

Speaker Idol: Final Round

This will e the final session of the summit, I hope to be speaking during this session as well but even if I don’t make it through I will make sure I will be the crowd supporting the other contestants.