pass2015_countdownWe’re a little over a month away from the start of PASS Summit 2015 on October 27th, it’s time for planning to begin.   PASS Summit is an annual conference (usually held in Seattle, WA) of over 5,000 data professionals focusing on all things SQL Server.  Unlike many conferences, this is very much a “for the people, by the people” type of conference where practical knowledge is the focus.

As with any large conference, there is a lot of planning to be done to get the most out of attending.  In additional to all the usual travel and accommodation logistics, there is whether or not to attend any pre-conference sessions, which of the over 200 sessions to plan to attend over the 3 days of the event, and which after hours events to attend.

Pre-Conference Sessions

The list of pre-conference sessions has been out for a good time now.  Pre-Conference sessions are additional cost all-day events offered on Monday and Tuesday just prior to the conference officially kicking off.  Typically I don’t attend Pre-Conference sessions at Summit due to the potential overload of knowledge already from the intense Weds-Fri session schedule, but there’s a first time for anything.  I’m still on the fence, but I’m considering possibly attending “Optimize ‘All Data’ with a Modern Data Warehouse Solution” by Bradley Ball and Josh Luedman.  I’ll have to keep pondering this one.

 

Conference Sessions

While the list of which sessions would be available has been out for a few months now, the schedule of which sessions would be happening when was finally released this week.  This is important as the way the universe tends to work, the sessions you want to attend the most tend to conflict with each other.  There are a lot of great sounding sessions this year, though I’m sad to see that the “BI Power Hour of Power” didn’t make the schedule this year.  The full session schedule grid is available here and the schedule builder is available here.

pass2015_grid

 

 

After Hours Events

The after hours events for PASS Summit are almost reason enough to attend.  Some of these which are yearly traditions have already begun to post their invitations.  Others, which are newer are smaller will post in the coming weeks.  As some can be space limited, it’s good to get registered early.  A few notable ones which I’m planning on attending:

 

There will definitely be more events posted once the events page at sqlpass.org goes up.  It’s pretty safe to expect the usual official events (The Tuesday Welcome Reception, the Wednesday Vendor Reception, and the Thursday Community Party at the EMP Museum).  Additionally, the Wednesday night Pragmatic Works SQL Karaoke is a safe bet.  Last year, there were a couple of new events — a Geocaching dinner and a Game Night.  Hopefully those will pop back up again this year as I’d like to attend.