Monday, May 2, 2011

PASS SQLRally is Next Week!

It’s hard to believe, but after months of planning and hard work, PASS SQLRally is next week!  I admit that, as one of the planners, I may be biased, but I think we’ve put together an exciting event.

Here’s a quick overview of the week:


Early arrivers can kick things off with an informal get-together at Johnnies Hideaway from 5-7pm.  So we have an idea of the room that’ll be needed please RSVP here.  Or, if you are little more ambitions you can start off your week by heading north to Lake Mary for the regular May OPASS meeting.  It’s about an hour drive through Orlando, but I think it’ll be worth it.  Visit the OPASS web site for details and an RSVP link.


Our pre-con day with 4 great pre-cons from Grant Fritchey (Blog|Twitter), Kevin Kline (Blog|Twitter), Plamen Rachtev (Blog|Twitter), & Patrick LeBlanc (Blog|Twitter) (and his Pragmatic Works co-workers).  You can get the details on each session here.  There is still limited space in each seminar, a great deal at only $199!

While we don’t have the budget for a full welcome reception like at the Summit, we have setup a couple of meeting opportunities, You can start the evening on the patio at Buffalo Wild Wings (RSVP) and then make your way to Pirate’s Cove for some min-golf (RSVP).


In addition to a great day of sessions we have special WIT Luncheon sponsored by SQLSentry planned with Karen Lopez (Blog|Twitter), Adam Jorgensen (Blog|Twitter), and Melinda White, Mentoring Women in Technology: How to FInd or Become a Better Mentor.  Seating is limited so you must RSVP to on a first come, first served basis.

Thursday evening we are also offering SQLRally OverDrive panels from 5:45-7:00pm sponsored by OPASS and MagicPASS. 

Birds of a Feather discussions organized by Jorge Segarra (Blog|Twitter)

Sit down with a group of people who are interested in the same SQL Server and BI topics as you are. Interested in SSIS? Gather with your peers to discuss the problems you’ve encountered and solved. Each table will be moderated by an expert in that area.

Conducting an Interview moderated by Kevin Kline (Blog|Twitter)

Conducting an interview can be intimidating and confusing.  What makes a good interview?  How do you differentiate candidates?  This workshop style session will consist of 3 short interviews.  After the interviews are complete the attendees will discuss how the interviews were conducted.  Your moderator, Quest SQL Server Expert Kevin Kline, will demonstrate three different, but common interview strategies used in the marketplace with volunteers from the audience.  We’ll ask questions about the interview strategies, like did the interviewer ask the most appropriate questions?  Did the interviewer conduct a good interview?  With the information the interviewer gathered, which candidate would you hire and why?  Let’s kick back, watch the show, critique the performances, and have a fun discussion!

Speed Networking conducted by Kendal Van Dyke (Blog|Twitter)

Do you have trouble meeting people? Need help starting a conversation? Based on the speed-dating model, you’ll spend a few minutes with several different people with a set of pre-defined questions to ask and answer. Take the time to exchange business cards as well. When moderator Kendal Van Dyke says, “Go!” be ready to make some new contacts.

Finally after the OverDrive sessions we are scheduling some time hanging out at Old Town, which has rides, restaurants, bars and more!  RSVP for this so we can help plan transportation.


We finish up with another set of great sessions and the sponsor raffle in the afternoon coffee break.  Be sure to drop your pre-printed raffle tickets in the appropriate sponsor raffle box and then be there to find out if you’ve won.  Here are the prizes:


Dell Mini
Confio   Bose Quiet Comfort 15 Headphones
Entrinsik   iPad 2
Enterprise Software Solutions Western Digital TV Live Plus HD Media Player
Idera      $200 Amazon Gift Card
Melissa Data  iPod Touch 8g
Red Gate Software   SQL DBA Bundle License & SQL Developer Bundle License
SQL Sentry  Power Suite-Performance Monitoring and Optimising Solution
Quest Software    $100 Amazon Gift Card

Thanks again to the sponsors.  Without them the event would be much more expensive and not as fun!

What I am looking forward to?

I can’t wait to meet many of the PASS HQ folks who have helped put this event together.  I’m also looking forward to getting some time in Kevin Kline’s, Leadership and Team Management Skills for the Database Professional, Professional Development pre-con.  All the pre-con’s look great, but I think leadership is where my career is headed.  I haven’t maxed out my technical skills by any means, but I know many people better equipped technically than I am.   

I’m pumped for the OverDrive panels on Thursday night.  Those have been my baby, if they aren’t any good that’s on me, if the rock that’s due to Jorge, Kevin, and Kendal for the job they do in holding them together.

I’m really pleased with the way the event has come together, from the seed in Andy Warren’s (Blog|Twitter) mind, to the proposal we (Andy, Kendal, and I) submitted to PASS and then the execution by the entire team (too many to mention).  If you’ve ever been involved in planning an event you know how great it feels to see all the pieces come together, even when you don’t necessarily think they will.

There are still seats left for the event, so register today!


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