Another 24 Hours Of PASS

Just like last year, PASS will organize another 24 hours of PASS virtual conference.  If you’re not familiar with this, it’s 24 hours of free SQL Server-related training.  Each session takes one hour, making 24 sessions in total.

24 Hours of PASS: Celebrating SQL Server 2008 R2

I think the most difficult part of attending this event is combining it with your job/family.  Last year I was lucky: I happened to have a day off and at home we didn’t have anything big planned, so I was able to pick up a few sessions.  This year I’m not having any holidays in that period so I’ll need to filter quite well.  Or be lucky with the timing.  Which doesn’t seem to be the case: it’s a Wednesday and Wednesday means I go swimming with our oldest daughter in the evening.

So, hopefully the videos are available for download afterwards, then I’ll have something to watch on the train commuting to work.

The event will take place on May 19th, 2010, starting at 12:00 GMT (UTC).

Obviously, the focus will be on the newly released R2.  So what are you waiting for?  Go register before it’s sold out, it’s free!

What sessions am I interested in?

Session 05 (BI) – Start time 16:00 GMT
Implementing MDM Using SQL Server 2008 R2 Master Data Services
Presenter: Rushabh Mehta

Session 06 (DBA) – Start time 17:00 GMT
What’s Really Happening on Your Server? 15 Powerful SQL Server Dynamic Management Objects
Presenter:  Adam Machanic

Session 10 (DBA) – Start time 21:00 GMT
Using Data Compression with SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2
Presenter: Maciej Pilecki

Session 11 (BI) – Start time 22:00 GMT
Easier than Ever Report Authoring in SSRS 2008 R2
Presenter: Jessica M. Moss

Session 12 (Dev) – Start time 23:00 GMT
High Performance Functions
Presenter: Simon Sabin

Session 15 (BI) – Start time 02:00 GMT
Producing Dashboards with PerformancePoint Services
Presenter: Peter Myers

Session 16 (BI) – Start time 03:00 GMT
Reporting Services Enhancements in SQL Server 2008
Presenter: Greg Low

Session 24 (DBA) – Start time: 11:00 GMT
BLITZ! 60 Minute Server Takeovers
Presenter: Brent Ozar

72 Hours Of PASS

Or better, that’s what the European PASS Conference stands for.  I went there last week and had a great time!  I met some friends over there, was able to put a face to some names which I already knew through the almighty internet, and had a chat with people I never met before.  Really good experience.

And that’s not all of course, I saw some really interesting sessions as well!  Let’s see, what sessions made me take out my notebook? (No, not to surf, the old paper version!)

There was of course the pre-conference by Donald Farmer.  He’s worth seeing just for his Scottish accent alone.  And on top of that, he’s one of the better speakers that I’ve ever seen.  And he’s “the BI guy from Microsoft” :-)   Initially I was planning to see the sessions by Adam Saxton but after seeing some memory dump analysis I decided that I would probably never do that myself anyway…  I think once you’re on that level, it’s time that you apply for a job at Microsoft.

So, what other sessions did I take notes at?  Chris Webb and his session about DAX.  Until now I haven’t had the time to play with PowerPivot, but I think time has come to get it installed.  He gave some quite interesting tips, such as the one on the Time table that shouldn’t end in the middle of the year.

Later on I saw Markus Raatz about the hidden BI treasures on CodePlex.  Yes Markus, if it were up to me you’ll be doing the sequel next year!

I also made some notes during another Chris Webb session, about warming SSAS cache.  A tip that I noted down: do not use subqueries in your MDX (such as the ones generated by the query designer in Reporting Services) because the global cache will not be used.

I saw several more speakers but won’t go into detail on those sessions.  Except for this last one: the session on PowerPivot (and everything that’s related to it) by Kasper de Jonge.  It was one of the last sessions on Friday, and we finally saw some interesting (read: not repeated for the n-th time) demos using PowerPivot.  Well done Kasper!  You were one of the lesser-experienced speakers (mind: I’m referring to speaking experience here, not technical!) and you were far better than some other speaker with years of experience (I won’t mention his name here but those who saw the presentation must know who I’m talking about).

That’s it for now people, have fun!

Valentino.

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