PASS Summit 2008 Monday Recap (#sqlpass)


Great SSIS Boot Camp by Brian Knight

Brian’s a fantastic presenter – really funny, really engaging, and can answer questions on his feet.  The one-day presentation was a great way to get started, and I ordered his Professional SSIS 2008 book to answer my questions as I start digging into SSIS.

One indicator of a good presentation style: people follow along and ask questions, and the presenter’s answer is, “I’m glad you asked.  We’re talking about that next.”  That happened again and again in Brian’s presentation.

DBAs asked a ton of questions around SQL Server 2008’s Change Data Capture as the engine implemented it, but they didn’t relate to SSIS.  There seemed to be some basic disbelief about its reliability given that it’s implemented as a SQL Server Agent job: people wanted to know if the job would stop, what would happen if it stopped, what would happen if the log rolled over, etc.  There’s some concern around what happens with schema changes as well: evidently you have to disable CDC, make your schema changes, and then reestablish CDC.

Geeks Roam Seattle with Cameras

A few DBAs did a photo walk: roaming the city looking for interesting subjects to photograph.  Tim Ford’s pictures of Seattle are up on Flickr, and we’ll probably see some more sets emerge over the coming days.  It’s really hard to do photo postprocessing in the midst of a bunch of parties, so I certainly understand why he’s the only one who’s put it together so far.  (Frankly, I don’t quite understand how HE even did it.)

Drinks & Dinner with the Quest Software Customer Advisory Board

As I write this, I’ve spent the last four hours catching up with Quest employees and customers.  Quest is huuuge, spread out all over the world, and it’s so much fun to get a handful of people together in a bar to talk shop.  We had some hilarious stories about customers, vendors, and war stories.  My Twitter stream has been silent for the last few hours, and now you know why.  Wish I could have “OH” tweeted this stuff, but I like my job.  (A lot.)

Douglas McDowell and I had a great discussion about the mechanics of the StackOverflow reputation system.  Online reputations and credibility are going to be a big part of what makes any online community successful: people react differently (and with more maturity) when they know their online reputation sticks with them and is measured in clear, easy-to-define statistics.  I’m all about the Whuffie Factor.

I talked at length with both Douglas and Tom LaRock (SQLBatman) about the PASS Board elections.  I can’t emphasize enough that you should talk to them personally before you cast your vote.  Just walk right up to them and say, “I hear you’re running for PASS.  Why are you doing it, and why should I cast a vote?”  Historically, PASS election turnout has been pretty low, and it’s a shame.  PASS voting isn’t even like political elections in that it doesn’t even require leaving your house – it only involves a few mouse clicks.  Go get clickin’, and tell your friends.

Tomorrow: Quest CAB, a few parties

The Questies are doing an all-day series of meetings at the Hotel 1000, and the evening holds a few choices:

Bookmark Rob Boek’s PASS 2008 event calendar to stay up to date on your party options.  If you know a Solid Quality Mentors person, you might ping them to see what they’re up to tomorrow night too, but you didn’t hear that from me….

Update – Monday Recap from Jeremiah Peschka

Jeremiah, also known as @peschkaj on Twitter, posted his PASS Summit Monday Recap.

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