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The PASS Data Community Sessions I Am Most Excited For

In this blog, Louis shares some of the sessions that he is most looking forward to during (and after) the PASS Data Community Summit!

Note: Edited to add more sessions… So many

The PASS Data Community Summit is coming up in less than three weeks, so it is time to start finalizing your schedule. My schedule this year is fixed, as I will be working behind the scenes helping to manage one of the live online tracks. But that doesn’t stop me from checking the sessions I will be making sure I watch after the show is over if I don’t see them live.

Note: The sessions mentioned are based on things that Louis Davidson (me!) is interested in and doesn’t say anything about sessions I am not mentioning. While I now edit the Simple-Talk website, I will continue to be a data architect/programmer at heart. Hence my preferred sessions are going to be heavily T-SQL programming centric when I am choosing for me.

While I am Producing

Just looking at the list of sessions I am pretty sure I will be involved with, there are some sessions that I want to see either way. For example:

Note: you will need to register/login to follow these links. If you haven’t registered, time is running out! Go to PASS Data Community Summit and register.

In-Memory OLTP Design Principles by Tosten Strauss. I have been fascinated by the memory-optimized objects in SQL Server for many years, though I haven’t used the feature even in a demo manner for a while. I have built quite a bit of sample code with it, but always love to hear more.

SQL Server Table Partitioning – DOs and DON’Ts by Margarita Naumova. Partitioning is not something I have ever done in a production setting, and it is really one of the features in SQL Server that I have never even written very much demo code on. As such it is a topic I always wanted to know more about for that day when I need to implement it (or tech edit a blog about it!).

SSIS Custom Pipeline Component: A Step-by-Step Guide by Arne Bartels. I have spent a lot of time over the past 15 years building SSIS Packages, and I will probably continue to build them to more data around in my personal projects as well.

While I may not professionally build SSIS packages now (and maybe not ever), sometimes it is fun to go to a session and learn all the things you could have done better.


Does this mean I won’t enjoy An Introduction to S3 Data Lake for SQL Server 2022 by Chris Adkin, Getting started with Power BI Deployment Pipelines by Akshata Revankar., Better Data Governance with Purview by Kelly Broekstra, or any of the other sessions I will be in? If you think that, you may have skipped the introduction to this blog. Clearly the answer is “no”. In fact, since I will just be where I am told, I have only barely looked at the schedule after it posted. The sessions may have had a time change since last I looked.

The three highlighted sessions are ones I would have in my list to stream after the conference anyhow!

Saving for Later

I have scanned the schedule a few times and have quite a few more sessions that would be not-miss, front row attenders if I was in Seattle. Of course, the reality is that even if I was there in-person, I still probably would have missed a few. Sometimes it is because there are two sessions that overlap each other (the committee tries to not let that happen for sessions that suit a certain persona (like database programmer), but there are only so many slots to hold sessions. The far more common reason I tend to miss sessions is that I know at least 100-300 people that will be at the Summit… that’s a lot of catching up to do (especially since I haven’t been to a conference in almost three years)!

There are plenty of sessions I will do my best to watch after the week is over. It is always a bit difficult to find the time to go back and watch every session you want to, but there are a few sessions that I expect really need to be attended.

First and foremost, any session by Itzik Ben-Gan is going on my list, and I love the topic of the Beware Nondeterministic T-SQL Code section too. Honestly, I might know everything he is going to say in this presentation, but Itzik digs deep enough that there are usually an Aha Moment or twenty..

Really though, even sessions where you think you are an expert there is almost always the possibility of learning something new. Just last night, I reviewed a potential writer’s article on a subject I know quite well, but I still learned a few things! On the other hand, in Itzik’s case, it is possible that I might end up having no idea what he is talking about until I watch it a few times, so watching the recording won’t be all bad.

How to Maintain the Same Level of utilities in Cloud Deployments by Denny Cherry

As we all move to the cloud, even those of us who just write about SQL Server for the most part, this question is big in our minds. “How do I use the skills I have in the new world?” Plus, Denny is an entertaining speaker no matter what!

A Query Tuner’s Practical Guide to Statistics by Andy Yun.

Statistics are kind of a mystery to most people, even somewhat me at times. For the most part, we ignore them and let the engine do its thing. But sometimes… well a query is slow. Looking at the query plan, you see guesses about how many rows need to be processed and the actual number of rows processed is orders of magnitude greater. The common blame? Statistics.

Take knowledge that is useful and add to that the fact that Andy is a great speaker, and this one seems like a lock.

And so on

I could go on. I looked at the schedule quite a few times as part of the committee to choose sessions (I helped validate the sessions and schedules before starting here at Redgate) and there are so many great sessions no one could see them all, or even sit down and pick just a few to highlight. I didn’t even mention Paul Randal’s Performance Mythbusters session, Glenn Berry’s Index Tuning 101, Intelligent Data through Data Intelligence by Chris Unwin, SQL Titbits for the Inexperienced by Erland Sommarskog, Fixing and Finding T-SQL Anti-Patterns With ScriptDOM by Mala Mahadevan…any of the keynotes, precons, or so many others.

All this and these are just a handful (maybe two handfuls) of sessions that fit what I like best/ There are like 300 sessions plus to choose from all over the variety of topics the data platform provides.

See you soon!