Category Archives: PASS

The Professional Association for SQL Server –

PASS keeps things fresh with BACon: It ain’t yer grand-pappy’s PASS conference

Times, they are a-changin’


We were warned of this back when SQL Server 7.0 launched.  We were told that the technology was so great that we wouldn’t need DBAs anymore; the database was self-tuning.  I know, we all chuckled at this and moved on, but not without at bit of damage control as we explained to our bosses that the Marketing people were once again posturing.SQL7Box

Times were a changing with Windows Azure being released in 2010 and SQL Server Data Services (as it was then coined) we were counting the days to move our systems to The Cloud.  Okay, maybe we aren’t quite there yet – Strangely not all of my clients have a Windows Azure account, but for a large number of companies, relieving themselves of on premise data centers truly is a compelling idea.

datat anywhere

Times are changing, again with talk of Big Data, Visual Analytics, and Sentiment Analysis becoming common buzz words in all sorts of places.  Of course, we don’t throw up our hands and start fresh.  We need to take pause, listen, absorb and discuss.  What better place than at a conference?  Among the people that we’ve come to know and respect over the years either by attending other conferences, or reading their books, blogs or other trade publications.  We can learn from one another how we can help educate and direct our own teams as we navigate our way around some of these new concepts.Cloud, Big Data,Enterprise Data

Some of us could leverage some of these new and emerging technologies to solve business challenges we have today.  Sometimes we have processes in house that have already collected and archived or warehoused this information; we just need a way of letting it tell a story.  Tools like PowerPivot and PoverView can help us discover treasures, and build a visualization which can help the business gain a deeper understanding, and potentially make better decisions based on new found ideas.  Let’s embrace the opportunity to help our companies reach new levels of understanding through business insight.  Other times we have hit a wall and we need new solutions.  Perhaps, we have multiple petabytes of sensor data, and we need to look at a big data solution.  How will we know where to turn? This is where the PASS Business Analytics Conference can help.

copy-PASS_BAC_Im-Attending_Twibbon.pngPASS has, for a number of years has, put on a conference for the Data Professional, with a focus on the Database Administrator and the Database Developer.  Over the years as Business Intelligence has gained a greater focus for the Data Professional, PASS has added tracks to meet this growing demand.  The areas outside the traditional relational database engine continue to gain focus.  “Beyond Relational” is what this area has been called, but I think the levy broke.  Too much new innovation is coming from areas outside of the relational engine.  It gets hard for one conference to serve the needs of one audience.  The PASS Business Analytics conference is not the silver bullet – it is a conference targeted at the Decision Makers, Technology Architect / Implementers, Business SMEs (Subject Matter Experts), and Data Wranglers.  

 If you are wondering wether Big Data can help answer new questions for your business, or need to unlock insight from the data that is trapped in you data silos, or you are struggling to find solutions to answer today’s business questions, perhaps, you need to join me in Chicago from April 10th – 12th.  As always, if you see me, don’t be shy – introduce yourself, I don’t byte.  

 use the code BAC725MVP for $200 OFF the PASS BA Conference



Scott Stauffer


Vancouver to host its 3rd SQLSaturday!

SQLSaturday #198 - Vancouver, BC

On February 16th, Metro Vancouver will play host to its 3rd annual SQLSaturday.  This will be the 198th SQLSaturday held on the planet.  It will take place on the Burnaby Campus of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

Sometimes, Timing is Everything

This will be the second time that Metro Vancouver has the honors of holding a SQLSaturday the weekend before annual gathering of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs).  Why is this of any consequence you say.  The MVP Summit 2013 takes place in Bellevue, Washington, a mere 3 hours drive south of Vancouver.  This offers a unique opportunity for SQL Server MVPs to kill two birds with one stone and experience a small taste of Canada while enroute to the International gathering of Microsoft Community brand ambassadors.  This offers the Vancouver IT Community the opportunity to connect with and attend world class presentations delivered by knowledgeable SQL Server MVPs while they are in town.

Bringing Together IT Communities

This year we are also sending out invitations to members of the .NET and SharePoint communities to present on data related topics specific to their technologies.  Augmenting, the event with IT Professional with complimentary, yet unique skill-sets only further enriches the event by offering more perspectives and more opportunities for the communities to learn and grow together.

Get Social with Twitter – Use the hash tag #SQLSat198

Twitter is fairly ubiquitous in the SQL Server Community.  Many SQL Tweeps use the social media platform to keep in touch throughout the year, 140 characters at a time.  Sure some use Facebook  but my unscientific conclusion would be that a large majority of social media engagement amount SQL Server Professionals happens with Twitter.  Join the flock, and fly in formation.

Lightning Talks – a great way to get your feet wet?

Okay… perhaps, Lightning and wet feet don’t really a good mix.  For that matter rain Vancouver and wet feet, again, perhaps we need to talk with Marketing…

Lightning talks are an opportunity for the first time speaker to boost his confidence and deliver a 10 minutes presentation in a safe environment, to a friendly audience.  This could be your stepping stone to delivering a full length presentation at next year’s SQLSaturday?  Lightning Talks are also an opportunity for experienced speakers to present a session injected with humour or triviality that perhaps wouldn’t be feasible for a full length conference session.