PASS Summit 2015, Day 3

Day 3 of PASS Summit 2015 started early and ended late.  Today’s summary will be more autobiographical than factual, even though some very interesting factual information came out, like how SQL Server 2016 CTP 3 will be released this week and Availability Groups will be introduced into SQL Server 2016 Standard Edition to replace mirroring.

I had to slip out of the keynote early, but one thing I picked up was the emphasis on SQL Server Reporting Services, R, mobile analytics, and basically a re-emphasis on data presentation and analysis.  I’m looking forward to this, even though my day job revolves around transactional processing and some warehouse SQL.

I spent the morning volunteering, directing traffic and explaining that there are two separate buildings with rooms being used.  This meant I got to wear a snazzy polyester vest.  I get to volunteer tomorrow as well, but I expect there to be fewer things to do now that most people know where they’re going.

After that, there was lunch.  Lunch is a great time to sit down with people you’ve never met and just chat.  I sat down with a group of ladies ranging from young to older working in different industries, doing everything from database administration to business intelligence to all-of-the-above-and-more types.  This is the number one reason to go to PASS Summit:  meeting people in the industry.  There’s no way I would ever have met any of these people outside of Summit, and there’s a chance that I may connect with them again at some point.

After lunch, I finally got to my first session, learning a bit about Azure DocumentDB.  Sadly, they still haven’t fixed the biggest problem I have with the service:  I can’t turn it off without deleting everything.  That means that I have to pay for a month of DocumentDB even if I only want to spend an hour or two learning about it.

From there, I finished up my tour of the vendor area.  The vendor area at PASS Summit is normally pretty big, and this is no exception.  I grabbed a pretty nice selection of swag and ended up hauling it back to my hotel room.  After a quick nap, it was off to a session on report design with SSRS and R.

At 6, there was the vendor event, another chance to say hello to vendors and walk around talking to people.  I wasn’t a big fan of the food options, so I ended up going to Chipotle—I am, after all, a man of simple tastes and few requirements.  This evening, I went to the SolidQ event and met some interesting people.  I also had the chance to sit down with Bill Graziano, the immediate past president of PASS.  It was great picking his brain along with a couple of people who could ask good questions—that meant I got to listen, ask the occasional question, chime in just enough, and do some more listening.

Tomorrow’s another busy day.  I volunteer again tomorrow, and after that shift is up, I’ll be representing North Carolina in the Community Zone.  After that, I might actually get to go to a session or two, but we’ll see…

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