The memory is still fresh from attending the 2019 PASS Summit just a few weeks ago, so here we share our three experiences with you. While we mostly came for the three days of knowledge, sharing and networking opportunities, we also came for the camaraderie and celebration of SQL Solutions Group. Our main office is in Las Vegas, NV, but the consultants are geographically distributed in the continental U.S., making it hard to interact face to face on a daily basis. The 2019 PASS Summit provided us the perfect reason for us to get together, so we can talk through ways to improve, work on strategy and goals, and just eat a lunch together. Below, you will find experiences from some of our SSG consultants at PASS Summit.
Randy Knight, Founder & Principal Consultant:
This year was my tenth PASS Summit, and as always it was a blast. For various reasons, such as client needs and speaking at other conferences, I have missed Summit in 2017 and 2018. So it was great to come “home” again. The SQL Server community truly is #sqlfamily and it was great to reconnect with many I hadn’t seen in quite some time.
One thing that was a new experience to me was being a local, having moved to the Seattle area just a few months prior to the conference. I chose to commute, which in hindsight was a mistake. It’s just not the same experience as staying local. I didn’t do as many after parties or dinners/outings with friends as I typically have. Next year we’re in Houston so I won’t have a choice, but when in Seattle in the future I think I will stay in the conference hotel.
As always, the networking and re-connecting with old friends is much more important to me than the content, but that was great too. SQL Server 2019 is a great product and I look forward to using some of the new features.
See you all next year in Houston!
Steve Rezhener, Senior Consultant:
My experience from 2019 PASS Summit is generally positive. First and foremost, this PASS Summit event allowed me to meet with my teammates, as we had Monday and Tuesday together before the event. From the event perspective, I was surprised to see so many sponsors, especially sponsors from outside of IT.
From the content perspective, I could finally see a Microsoft vision on SQL Server transitioning from a just database engine to a Data Platform in SQL Server 2019. I also liked the progress made in Azure SQL Managed Instance that looks now (after release 1.5+ years ago) like a much powerful contender for SQL Server workloads to a competing AWS RDS platform.
I’m also thrilled to see new and upcoming rock star speakers such as Anna Hoffman (from Microsoft) that make Microsoft Data Platform presentations entertaining and exciting.
Jared Kirkpatrick, Consultant:
My experience from PASS 2019 is just as amazing and inspiring as all my other visits to PASS. To be around all the top engineers and SQL developers gathered in one place always sets an inspirational tone and a blessing to the craft that actually pays me to solve problems or, in my case, puzzles.
The event did not have as many vendors or attendees as I have seen in the past, but in my opinion there were more first-timers at this event since my first PASS event in 1999 in San Francisco. I was also pleased to hear that next year PASS would be hosted in the great state of Texas, so I will be looking on getting registered for that early.
I am happy about the new progress track that was made in regards to the increase in complexity for a certain topic through the week, but I was disappointed in seeing fewer SQL development sessions, as most were dedicated toward Azure. Another great thing about PASS is all the after parties and networking with vendors and the world’s best DBAs, all in one place for meet and greets usually hosted by the many great vendors that support PASS.
Of course the best thing about PASS is not the sessions, vendors, or even the after parties (which are all great reasons to come). No, the best part is seeing my good friends that I never get to see except once a year at a magical place reserved for such reunions, which makes PASS the best for keeping up with old friends like Andy Warren whom I have not seen since moving from Florida, and Scott Klein whom I have not seen since he took a job back at Microsoft.
Whatever moves you, there is plenty to see and do at PASS Summit, so thank you for the opportunity to be a part of PASS this year, SSG!