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    Copyright © Nancy Hidy Wilson, 2010-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Nancy Hidy Wilson and nancyhidywilson.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

SQLSaturday #308 Houston – Speaker Selections #1

Although there are a couple of more days for speakers to submit their sessions for SQLSaturday #308 in Houston on May 10, we are excited to start announcing over the next several days who is confirmed to present so that both presenters and attendees can start making their plans.

We hope to have the final schedule determined by the end of next week around March 28.

So without further ado… the following Microsoft SQL Server MVPs are planning to present the session titles shown.

In alphabetical order:

  • Aaron Bertrand (twitter | website) – Top 5 Ways to Write Effective Triggers
  • Denny Cherry (twitter | website) – Storage For the DBA
  • Karen Lopez (twitter | website) – Windows Azure SQL Database Design: Concepts and Trade-offs

We are looking forward to hosting these speakers and announcing more speakers over the next few days.

Spread the news to your colleagues and register to attend this free training event now as space will be limited!

Speaker Submissions for SQLSaturday #308 Houston Still Open!

Speaker submissions for SQLSaturday #308 Houston on May 10th are still open, but you only have until next Friday, March 21, to apply!  As of 5:30pm CDT on March 14, we have 33 distinct speakers who have submitted, but we will be selecting 50-60 sessions!  Thus, there is still plenty of opportunity to submit with a high probability of having your session selected.  However, be sure to check out what others have already submitted (under Submitted Sessions) and come up with your niche topic!  So, write up that abstract this weekend and apply

SQLRally 2012 Dallas – Recap

PASS and NTSSUG (North Texas SQL Server User Group) hosted this year’s SQLRally. As the chapter leader for HASSUG (Houston Area SQL Server User Group), I was also part of the host team and volunteered on the program committee and served as a room monitor during the conference. Putting on a conference of this size with mostly volunteers (there is some paid staff from PASS HQ, but the majority of the work is by volunteers) is no small feat and the NTSSUG team did a great job of organizing.  

Sessions Attended

Based on the sessions offered at SQLRally, I set my focus on learning about SQL Server 2012 features, investigating areas outside my current area of expertise (enterprise deployments), and considering my future career development.

  • Bob Ward – What’s New for SQL Server 2012 Supportability
  • Craig Purnell – Upgrade Roadmap: Let’s Delve into SQL Server 2012
  • Kathi Kellenberger – SQL Server 2012 T-SQL
  • Denny Cherry – Using SQL Server 2012’s Always On
  • Suresh Kandoth – SQL Server 2012: Memory Manager Rebooted
  • Tim Mitchell – Introduction to Data Quality Services
  • Robert Davis – TempDB: Performance and Manageability
  • Erin Welker – So, You Want to Start a Career in BI
  • Andy Warren – Building Your Professional Development Plan

All of the sessions were top quality and I will definitely use what I learned in both my day-to-day work and overall career development.

Networking

SQLRally had lots of opportunities for networking, both informal and formal. The scheduled opportunities included:

  • Wednesday night’s “Meet the SQL Professionals”
  • Thursday night’s “SQLKaraoke”
  • Friday morning’s “SQLRally at Starbucks”

During lunch and between sessions provided ample opportunity for informal networking. And, I took time off during one session timeslot to continue networking and be available at the PASS Community Corner to promote local user groups (continuing the networking after attendees get home) and the virtual chapters. As several people have confessed (among them Andy Warren, Brian Moran, and Tim Mitchell), the networking aspect is actually probably the most important activity when attending a conference. This is how #SQLFamily is built.

Things Done Well

  • Guidebook – This mobile app is a great way to keep attendees up-to-date with speaker/session changes. Other than seeing that a printed agenda was in our attendee bag, I never looked at it and used Guidebook exclusively for checking where I needed to be next!
  • SQL Clinic – This was a “must-have” with the event in Dallas so near to the SQL CSS team’s home and didn’t disappoint with members of SQLCAT also in attendance.
  • Networking opportunities – already mentioned. Good job by the planners!
  • Bus – looping between convention center and SQLKaraoke site was a win!

Things to Improve

  • Guidebook (yes, it is on both the “done well” and the “to improve” list!)
    • Include room numbers along with the Session Title and Session Number in the main entry, if possible. You had to click the session to find the room number; simple once you knew to do this, but many people didn’t realize it.
    • Include all activities in the “schedule”:
      • Welcome Session 
      • Closing Session
      • WIT Luncheon
      • Include all “extracurricular” activities – from SQLKaraoke to Starbucks Networking.
  • Beverage choices during breaks – coffee or nothing – how about some water and sodas?
  • Ensure bottled water in the sessions rooms for each speaker.
  • Signage to A4 ballroom from the majority of session rooms could have been better. It was confusing to most attendees that one session room (A4) was far away from the majority of the session rooms and on a different floor level. 
  • Station volunteers at the top of the escalators and along the hallways, not just at the rooms to help attendees find their way. 
  • Where to find the speakers’ slide decks? I had several people ask me during the conference, but I had not personally looked for them yet and couldn’t answer. Now, I have looked and I can’t find them either!
  • Overall Event Evaluation form – I hear they will be done electronically after the event, but I would have liked to have it available to comment on as I experienced the conference real-time.

Event Format

Instead of 2 pre-con days, consider having only 1 pre-con day or splitting into a pre-con day and post-con day. Consider having the post-con session on Saturday. The success of SQLSaturday has already shown that many of us are willing to give up some of our personal time to improve our skills.  As part of the purpose of SQLRally (at least in my mind) is to provide a “taste” of Summit and at a lower price point, I don’t see many people justifying being out of the office 4 days (or 5 if Monday is a travel day); that would be practically the same as Summit (unless they are local).  By combining the SQLRally 2-day main event with a post-conference Saturday all-day seminar, maybe more people could convince their employers to pay for SQLRally and the post-con since in theory it isn’t all on “company time”.  Attendees can make the case that they and their employer have a joint investment in their training.

Personally, there was a pre-con on Tuesday that I probably could have justified, but not one on Wednesday which fit my development needs. Since I was coming from out-of-town, this just didn’t work for me logistically or financially. Consequently, I didn’t attend any pre-con. If I could have attended that all-day session on consecutive days with the main SQLRally days, then I would have done that – even if one of the days was a Saturday. However, I recognize that this format (especially using a Saturday) may not work for others and may not work with venue rental. I know PASS has tried the pre-con\post-con format in the past with Summit, but is back to two days of pre-cons for whatever reasons. I think the host team for the next SQLRally, however, should seriously reconsider this concept for maximum attendance.

Conclusion

Overall the event provided great technical content and networking opportunities to the SQL Server community. While many people who attended SQLRally have previously attended a PASS Summit, I talked to just as many people who have not attended a Summit, but now have it on their list of things to do! I think the event also did a good job of reinforcing the value of local user groups, and even encouraged some folks to consider starting a user group or hosting a SQLSaturday in their area.  This was only the second SQLRally event in the United States, so it will be interesting to see how this event evolves for 2013 filling the gap between Summit and SQLSaturdays.

SQLSaturday #107 – Event Evaluation

April 21, 2012, marked the 176th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, my nephew’s 14th birthday, and the 2nd “annual” SQLSaturday in Houston hosted by the Houston Area SQL Server User Group! If you follow us on Twitter, then you may have noticed that @HASSUG uses as its picture the San Jacinto Monument.

HASSUG PicSo, I could delve off into Texas history now and remind everyone that this epic 18-minute battle ultimately resulted in the United States acquiring present-day Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah, and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma. But, I’d better get back to SQLSaturday #107 and the topic at hand ….

Our actual attendance this year was about 250 – or 73% of those who registered for this FREE training event showed up. We had 60 sessions on the schedule provided by 15 Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs), several Idera ACEs, and some first-time presenters as well.  

Yes – 60 sessions is quite ambitious! But, because we were using a school facility (YES Prep Public School – North Central Campusplease go read about them!) with an average “comfortable” capacity of 25 students per classroom – we needed to run 10 sessions in each time slot to accommodate the number of attendees that we expected! Thanks to the large number of attendees who used the session builder tool, we were able to move the session with the highest anticipated attendance in each time slot to the Auditorium\Cafeteria. However, I’m acutely aware that in at least two time slots we still had sessions in the regular classrooms which were SRO!  Amazingly – I’ve not found a single complaint about this in the overall event evaluation forms – so THANK YOU for being so understanding of the limitations of the facility!  

I do want to apologize for the break-down in communication during one of the morning time slots. We did not have a volunteer stationed outside the room of the session which had been moved to the Auditorium and we did not have adequate signage about the move. Unfortunately, a room full of people sat waiting on the speaker who was actually in a larger room speaking to an unexpectedly small audience for quite a while before we got the anticipated audience redirected to the correct room for the session they wanted to hear. So, again, my sincerest apologies to both the speaker, Benjamin Nevarez (twitter | blog), and to the attendees who really wanted to hear his session, Inside the SQL Server Query Optimizer.

We had a couple of other “issues” that I want to mention in hopes that other event teams take note and don’t have the same oversights. One, provide lots and lots of coffee all day – enough said? Two, ensure any directional signs you plan to put out in the vicinity of the event site are in place well before the scheduled “start” time (and have them onsite ready to go the night before). Three, communicate schedule\room changes as “loudly” as you can – with BIG BOLD BRIGHT signage updates and volunteers stationed to help people adjust. Four, SpeedPASS is great – if the attendees remember to print it out and bring it with them; however, we should have had two laptops and printers for those who didn’t do this ahead of time instead of one. We also experienced a technical glitch such that only if the attendee knew their PASS ID and password to login, then they could print it as opposed to us using the SQLSaturday Admin site to print on-the-fly for them.  PASS has promised to get that issue fixed. Even so, I was amazed (I don’t know why!) at the number of people who did print their SpeedPASS and bring it with them. So, strongly encourage this in all of your communications with your attendees.              

Lots of things did go right thanks to the great team we had this year. On the Steering Team with me were: Jonathan Gardner (twitter | blog), Malik Al-Amin (twitter), and Lynn McKee (twitter).  Core Team members were: Eric Cruz, Ken Goins, Vicky Harp (twitter | blog), Will Howard (twitter | blog), and Amy Muehleman. At the risk of overlooking someone (please comment if I’ve left you out!) – the Friday night setup crew and bag stuffers included Leah Guzman, Martin Mason, Revathi Iswarya Nambi, Brandon Smith (twitter), and Kendal van Dyke (twitter | blog).  Saturday volunteers included Linda Harmes, Allen Kinsel (twitter | blog), Robert McLeroy, and Jenny Yang, plus a whole slew of Idera folks and the previously mentioned Friday night crew.    

But, at the end of the day, how did the attendees feel about the event? Last year, we tried online evals and as techie as we all are – the response was abysmal. So, this year – we killed a few trees in the name of collecting more feedback (data) in the form of an overall event evaluation form, plus speaker session evaluation forms. We asked attendees to rate their experience in the following categories on a scale of 1-5, where 5=great. We had 89 people turn in the event evaluation form and here are the averaged results:

We recognize from the ratings that the bar has been set pretty high. If you have any additional feedback for us to help us provide an even better experience next time – please comment here!

Additionally, we asked the attendees to list their favorite session and the best speaker they heard. The top vote-getters are:

  • Favorite Sessions:
    • T-SQL Brush-up: The Best Things You Forgot You Knew (Jen McCown)
    • Avoid Errors on Errors (Rick Morelan)
    • Eating the Elephant: SQL Server Table Partitioning (Mike Fal)
    • SQL Admin Best Practices with DMVs (William Assaf)
  • Best Speakers:
    • Kalen Delaney
    • Thomas LeBlanc
    • Jen McCown
    • Sean McCown

Thanks to all the speakers for giving so generously of your time to prepare and present, and in many cases travel significant distances. That high overall event score is due to the value of the content that you provided to the attendees making it worth their while to give up a beautiful Saturday to further their career development.  

And, finally THANK YOU to our sponsors! Platinum sponsor Idera provided not only funds at the highest level, but man-power to assist with the event as well. Idera was also the sponsor for the precon with Kalen Delaney (twitter | blog) on Friday. I can’t thank Amy Muehleman enough for all of her hard work coordinating the precon, speaker dinner, breakfast catering, and after party for us.  Red-Gate and HP were Gold-level sponsors and provided lots of great swag.  Silver sponsors were Confio, Texas Memory Systems, Joes2Pros (who also provided books and training DVDs as swag), Fusion-IO, Insource Technology, New Horizons, and PASS. Bronze sponsors were CozyRoc (who also provided pens & notepads for attendees) and SQLWatchmen (also the proud sponsor of the precon VGA cable). The publishers McGraw-Hill, Morgan Kaufman, and O’Reilly generously provided technical books for swag. Sponsors, your generosity to the SQL Server community enables us to provide SQLSaturday free of charge to attendees.  Thank you for partnering with us.

In wrapping up, I must share my favorite feedback on the day (which someone told me at lunch) – “Oracle has nothing like this!”  

Thank you SQL Server Community!

More Reflections on PASS Summit 2011

So, I did some more reflecting after my last post and I’ve come up with some more reasons why PASS Summit 2011, in particular, was so great.  Reason #4: Recognition of volunteers. I mentioned previously that volunteers are truly the life-blood of PASS. And if volunteering doesn’t totally suck the life out of you, then you may survive to be named the PASSion Award winner. This year’s recipient was Lori Edwards (twitter). Lori ran the Program Committee this year, so, yes, you have her to blame praise for the content at this year’s Summit. Next to being on the Board of Directors, running Program Committee is probably the most time-consuming task a volunteer could undertake. There were some 70 volunteers on Program Committee this year to review, select, schedule, and review again the hundreds of sessions submitted by hundreds of speakers in 6 different tracks this year. But someone is ultimately responsible for overseeing the coordination of all those volunteers and that was Lori. Thanks, Lori!

This year PASS also recognized additional “outstanding” volunteers: Jack Corbett (blog | twitter) and Tim Radney (blog | twitter).  Jack was recognized for his leadership and work with PASS SQLRally 2011 in Orlando, the PASS Nomination Committee, the 2010 PASS Program Committee, and leading SQLSaturday #49 and OPASS (Orlando PASS Chapter). Tim was recognized for his leadership as a Regional Mentor to PASS Chapters, for leading the Columbus, Georgia, SQL Server User Group to a 50% attendance increase, for organizing SQLSaturday #89 and for speaking at other SQLSaturday events.

Reason #5: Fresh blood First-timers! Beginning with the PASS Summit 2010 conference, “first timer” and “alumni” ribbons were handed out to attendees. If you’ve never been to a PASS Summit, then you’ve missed experiencing “ribbon envy”.  Attendees are provided ribbons to attach to their badges based on their various levels of involvement in the PASS community (that word again!). Board of Directors, Program Committee, MVP, Chapter Leader, Virtual Chapter Leader, etc. etc. etc. all designations get ribbons (each with its own color designation).  If you attend a pre-con then you get a different colored ribbon for each day of pre-cons; and it seemed to go on and on this year with some creative attendees and vendors devising their own ribbons (Dr. Data, etc.).

But, I digress, back to the first-timers. This year, PASS expanded the First-Timer experience and provided Big Brothers and Big Sisters (alumni) to help steer the First-Timers fully into the community of PASS Summit. First Timers were put in touch with their Big Brothers/Sisters ahead of Summit so that they could ask questions about what to expect. In addition to the traditional orientation session, the newcomers had a special networking session with Don Gabor (website) prior to the Welcome Reception. Then, they were introduced into the Welcome Reception with flashing lights, loud music, and dry ice…with apologies and kudos at the same time to Thomas LaRock (blog | twitter), they were SQLRockstars! And they kept coming and coming and coming until between 800-1000 “first timers” filled the reception area wall-to-wall along with “alumni” attendees! According to Tom’s recap blog there were glitches and he wants to continue to improve the first timer experience, but from where I stood it was truly awesome for this “old timer”.

I hope that even just a few of this year’s “first timers” caught the volunteer bug that I caught back when I was a “first timer” in 1999. PASS needs you and PASS wants you to volunteer to serve! Seriously, like any organization, PASS needs a continual infusion of fresh ideas. If you are interested in volunteering with PASS, go here to learn more.

Reflections on PASS Summit 2011

The annual PASS Summit was held in Seattle the week of Oct 10th. Originally, this event was called the PASS Community Summit. To rephrase a popular saying, “they can take Community out of the official event name, but they can’t take Community out of the event”. In other words, the state of the SQL Server community is so strong that to include the word “community” in the event title is somewhat redundant at this point.

This year’s Summit had another record attendance with approximately 3500 registrations for the 3-day conference and another 1500 registrants combined over two days of pre-conference sessions. Why? Reason #1, in my opinion, is that it is due to 13+ years of tremendous volunteer effort.  Many people may not realize that while PASS does have a “management company” to handle logistics, the majority of the work in providing PASS events is done by volunteers. Everything from Board of Directors to Program Committee to Quiz Bowl is done by volunteers. As volunteers get more involved, the deeper their roots are developed within the community; and the stronger the community grows.  When you volunteer your time to the community, you get so much back in return. (Although you may not get much rest!)

So, what else influences the success of the PASS Summit?  My second and third reasons (I can’t decide which is which) are the content (combination of sessions & speakers) and the support of the Microsoft SQL Server Product Group – from the CSS team members who sit in the SQL Clinic all day to the SQLCAT team members presenting case studies to SQL Server Dev team members presenting details of the portion of the product for which they are responsible.

The value derived from Summit is sometimes difficult to nail down immediately, as sometimes it may be months after the event when you realize that something you learned at Summit just enabled you to solve a pressing issue.  On the other hand, sometimes you learn something that you can immediately use. Along those lines, however, one of the most important aspects of Summit is the networking and making contacts and sharing of expertise, so that you develop colleagues within the community to turn to as resources.  Wow, there is that word again – community.

I’ve attended every PASS Summit US-based event since the very first one held in Chicago in 1999. The PASS organization has come a long way since then – incorporating local user groups as PASS chapters providing them with a brand, creating virtual chapters which provide online training, supporting SQLSaturday for local training, and starting SQL Rally and 24 Hours of PASS for additional training opportunities throughout the year. For all of those activities to be successful, it comes back to content. If the content wasn’t there and people were not finding value in the educational opportunities provided by PASS, then Summit would cease to exist not continue to set record attendance in a down economy.

It is something of a paradox that I’m totally worn out at the end of Summit week, but at the same time come back to work re-energized after spending so much time learning as much as I can about the current features and future features of the SQL Server product and database world in general. Thanks PASS (that means all you volunteers out there) for making this happen every year!

Oh, and as a final thought – I vote for Dr. David DeWitt to be the keynote speaker forever! I confess to skipping keynotes back in the early years, but wouldn’t dream of missing a DeWitt keynote! Who’s with me?

See you in Seattle at PASS Summit 2012!

SQLSaturday #97 – It’s a Wrap!

On Saturday, October 1, 2011, CACTUSS – The Capitol Area Central Texas Users of SQL Server – hosted their first SQLSaturday in Austin.  CACTUSS is led by my good friend and fellow PASS Chapter Leader, Wes Brown (twitter | blog). Saturday was a big day for Wes. In addition to pulling off a successful SQLSaturday event – Wes was finally named a SQL Server MVP by Microsoft on Saturday as well. In view of Wes’s many years of contribution to the SQL Server community many of us were shocked to realize that he had not previously received this well-deserved designation. So there was much to celebrate at the end of the day.

A big thank-you goes to the key volunteers on the SQLSaturday #97 team – AJ Mendo (twitter), Jim Murphy (twitter | blog), Richard Heim, Mike Byrd, and Amy Muehleman. Another big thanks goes to the sponsoring vendors and especially to Idera for providing not only Platinum level funding, but manpower too!

The SQLSaturday #97 team did a really good job of focusing on one of the original key tenets of SQLSaturday – providing opportunities to grow new, local speakers. Of the 5 sessions I attended, 3 were presented by “new” speakers – AJ Mendo, Rudy Rodarte (twitter | blog), and Jim Murphy (all from Austin). All three did a really good job and I hope they continue to get opportunities to share their passion for SQL Server with the community. There were other new speakers as well, plus some of the “usual suspects” and high profile speakers like Jennifer and Sean McCown (aka the Midnight DBAs), Thomas LaRock (aka SQLRockstar), Conor Cunningham (from the Microsoft SQL Server Dev team), and, of course, being in Austin – Joe Celko.  From what I heard, the overall program selection and speaker ratings were a hit with the 200+ attendees.

While I didn’t get everyone’s story, I did visit at length with another new speaker at the networking after event held at Iron Works BBQ. Steven Ormrod (twitter | blog) is an excellent example of what SQLSaturday is all about. With this conference, Steven completed the 2011 Texas SQLSaturday Trifecta. It started with his attending PASS Summit in November 2010 and learning about the SQLSaturday concept. He attended SQLSaturday #57 in Houston in January; followed that up in April by attending and volunteering for SQLSaturday #63 in Dallas; then he took the big plunge and submitted to speak at SQLSaturday #97 in his current hometown of Austin. While I did not witness his presentation, I did hear the praise he received from a couple of folks sitting with us as they rehashed his session.

So, it appears that the two main tenets of SQLSaturday (providing free training and growing local speakers) were definitely accomplished by the organizers of SQLSaturday #97.  Well done!

For those who are looking for session slides for my presentation “Managing SQL Server in the Enterprise with TLAs”, they are available on the SQLSaturday #97 Schedule session link here. Thanks to all who attended my session and for being an engaged audience with my topic. I enjoyed sharing my passion for SQL Server with you.

And, finally, before you start asking – yes, we will have a SQLSaturday in Houston in 2012 – hopefully, we’ll be announcing a date very soon.

 

SQL Saturday #97 – Sessions Announced

The free SQL Server training phenomenon known as SQLSaturday is coming to central Texas (Austin) on October 1, 2011.  This event is coordinated by CACTUSS – The Capitol Area Central Texas Users of SQL Server – and my good friend and fellow PASS Chapter Leader, Wes Brown (twitter | blog).

The final presentation selections were announced today. There will be 30 sessions covering Business Intelligence, DBA, Application Development, and a Bonus track for that hodge-podge of sessions which apparently did not fit neatly into the other tracks!   

And, (shameless plug here) – I will be presenting “Managing SQL Server in the Enterprise with TLAs”.  Kind of a goofy title, I know, but here is the pitch: Technologists are overwhelmed with TLAs (Three-Letter Acronyms) in their everyday life. This session will introduce several SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 features designed to make a DBA’s life easier. If you aren’t using CMS, PBM, EPM, MDW, UCP or DAC – come learn what they are and the potential benefits for managing your environment.

So, if you are in driving distance of Austin, check out the schedule and register to attend – you’ll be glad you did!

If you are on Twitter – you can follow this event using hashtag #sqlsat97.

I’m a SQLPeople™!

A few months ago Andy Leonard (twitter | blog) started a website called SQLPeople. He sent a list of 7 questions to a broad spectrum of folks in the global SQL Server community and has been posting their answers a person at a time every few days.

Today – April 15, 2011, I am the featured SQLPeople™ person!

The questions are a mix of serious and fun and provide interesting insights into the personalities in the global SQL Server community. So take a break and go read my answers and check out a few other people while you are there. Have fun!

24 Hours of PASS – Review

Two 12-hour days of FREE SQL Server Training sponsored by PASS and Dell were held last week on March 15-16, 2011.  The theme was “Celebrating Women in Technology” and all 24 speakers were women from the SQL Server global community. Kudos to Lynn Langit (twitter | blog) for suggesting the women of PASS were more than capable of tackling this endeavor and to Thomas LaRock (twitter | blog) and the rest of the PASS board for supporting this initiative.

Since I have recently organized a local SQLSaturday to which only 3 women (in addition to me) even submitted sessions to speak, I was very keen to see how this event would turn out.  And, I have to say from my perspective as a moderator for one session and as an attendee for at least 10 of the 24 sessions, it was a great success.  I knew it was a success in the community when late in the first day, I saw that a male attendee tweeted after listening to 11 sessions he just then realized all the speakers had been women!

Sure, some of the presenters for 24HOP have spoken at PASS before, but for quite a few it was their first time presenting to a global audience. And, to make it difficult – they couldn’t see the audience as this was a webcast event.

All of the sessions which I attended were very well done and were exactly what I expected based on the abstracts. Sure there were a few technical glitches here and there, but those would happen regardless of the gender of the presenter. Bottom line is that the content delivered was very, very good…. and did I mention it was FREE! 

I have to confess that every year when the PASS Summit speakers are announced, one of the first things I do is go count the number of women speakers selected.  Why? I suspect because back in 2000 when I was first selected as a speaker, it just jumped out at me that I was in a minority at PASS (especially among the speakers) although in the DBA team where I worked women were the majority at the time.  The number of women speakers has been increasing, but is it where it should be? I’m not saying a woman should be chosen over a man. I honestly think the main reason that women are under-represented is because, in general, they don’t submit to speak and don’t promote themselves.  The 24HOP featuring Women in Technology provided positive exposure for this segment of our community. I suspect the job of the program committees just got harder if these women (and more) will continue to pursue presentation opportunities as the total pool of very good speakers will increase; and just by having more women submit to speak, more will be chosen to speak.

If you missed 24HOP live, the presentations will be made available to PASS members in the next week or so at: http://www.sqlpass.org/24hours/Spring2011/. PASS membership is free – just sign up here.

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