PASS Summit 2010

Exactly two days from when I am writing this, I will be at the airport waiting to board a plane bound for Seattle. OK, I have to go to Detroit first, which doesn’t make sense, since I live in Madison, WI. My original ticket had me changing planes in Minneapolis, which to me is an almost no-brainer, given that it’s one of Delta’s biggest hubs (Delta bought out Northwest airlines a couple years ago, and Minneapolis was the home base for Northwest). A couple months ago Delta changed my itinerary, so now I have to spend an extra 2 1/2 hours in the air. Oh well. I also found out that the Downtown Airporter bus doesn’t run after 9:00 pm, which poses a bit of a problem for me since my flight gets in at 9:40 pm. I managed to secure a ride from DD Limousine and Towncar Service. After a long flight I’ll enjoy a bit of comfort as I am whisked to my hotel.

This will be my second trip to the PASS Summit. I spent most of last year’s conference wide-eyed, like a kid in a toy store, trying to drink it all in. This year I am going to try to be a little more focused. My company is going to implement a new data warehouse for our Actuarial department next year, so a lot of the sessions I plan to attend will be focused around that.

Monday I signed up for the Pre-conference Powershell class. I keep hearing it’s a great tool, but everytime I try to dabble with it it ends up confusing me because I don’t understand the commandlets. It’s a totally new language for me, so I’m hoping I can get a better understanding of it through the total immersion method.

Tuesday I’ll be learning about Data Warehouse best practices, and more Powershell scripts. I do want to take the T-SQL Brush up class as well, but it’s at the same time as the Powershell class. If I think I’ve gotten enough Powershell knowledge out of Monday’s all-day session, I may just go ahead and skip this one and move on to the T-SQL refresher course.

Our company is using Agile for the first time on a new web project I’m involved with. So, what better way to start the day Wednesday than to attend the Agile Database Development course. I’m also going to the Maintenance Plan Wizard course, and another Data Warehouse design course.

Thursday I’ll be attending the ETL class. I consider myself to be pretty good with SSIS, so I want to see what other tips and tricks I can learn as we roll out our new data warehouse. I’m still undecided on the afternoon courses. There are four that I want to take, and three of them are in the same time slot.

Friday morning it’s back home. Of course, going through Detroit again. Again – oh well.

I also want to network a bit more. Through Twitter I have found two other Wisconsinites who are going to Seatlle, and I’m hoping to meet them out there. I’d like to get to know more of the MVPs and hopefully start some sort of regular dialogue with them.

Seattle will be a lot of fun. Extremely busy, but fun. I’m looking forward to this trip, and I hope my company sees fit to be able to send me to this conference in the years ahead.


About Gill Rowley

I live in a Madison, WI suburb, working as Owner/President of White Knight Data Solutions. I like hunting, fishing, working out, my boat, my motorcycle, playing with my rescued bull terrier Lola, and gourmet cooking. Oh, yeah, and I play men's fastpitch softball, and chess. Let that sink in. :-)
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