My friend, Andy Levy, wrote a ‘blog article in which he provides survival tips for PASS Summit. I found it to be a pretty good read, and I wanted to make sure that I linked to it for my own (and your) reference!
Those of you who know me know how much I like to be involved with things — well, within reason, that is; there’s a fine line between volunteering and sticking your nose somewhere it doesn’t belong. That said, with PASS Summit only five weeks away (!!!), I’m discovering opportunities to volunteer at Summit (as if my presentation opportunity wasn’t enough)!
This morning, my monthly PASS Connector newsletter showed up in my inbox. Among other things, this month’s issue talked about a number of things regarding the upcoming Summit, including the Buddy Program (I’m still waiting to hear from my buddy, by the way) and the two games nights. My friend Matt is hosting the Thursday games night. I would absolutely love to attend his session, but the only thing stopping me is the fact that my own presentation is scheduled for 8 am the next morning. It would not reflect well on me if I overslept and missed my own session! So, I’ll likely go on Wednesday night instead. (Sorry, Matt!)
One thing mentioned in the newsletter was a volunteer opportunity for which I decided to sign up. One of the activities I’ve heard a lot about is the Birds Of A Feather luncheon. It’s a lunchtime networking opportunity where people are able to sit at tables with other people of mutual interests. When I saw that PASS offered an opportunity to volunteer as a moderator for these tables, I decided to sign up!
Volunteering can take you places. (I have some more thoughts about this; look for it in a future ‘blog article.) Such opportunities got me in as a PASS Summit speaker. And volunteering provides a service for whatever organization you choose to support. It’s a win-win for all.
As of today, here’s my updated list of upcoming speaking events.
I am confirmed to be speaking at the following events.
- October 5, 2019: SQL Saturday #912, New York City — I am doing not one, not two, but three presentations! Come check them out a week from this Saturday!
- November 8, 2019: PASS Summit, Seattle, WA — Come see me present at my very first PASS Summit! I leave for Seattle eight weeks from today!
I’ve applied to speak at Boston BI SQL Saturday on March 28, 2020; unfortunately, it appears that I will need to withdraw from this event, as I have a conflict with that date. 😦
There are a few SQL Saturday events listed as save-the-date but are not yet live. Once they become live, I intend to submit to them. They include the following events.
- February 29, 2020: Rochester, NY
- May 2, 2020: Philadelphia, PA
- June 13, 2020: Virginia Beach, VA (I’m admittedly on the fence about this one; Virginia Beach is a long way for me to travel!)
As I prepare to speak at my first PASS Summit, I continue to keep tabs on activities, programs, news, and announcements as they come up.
One such program to which I applied is the PASS Summit Buddy Program. The idea is that first-time attendees (like myself) are assigned a “buddy” whom you can contact so that you aren’t isolated and overwhelmed (well, I expect I will be, anyway) during your first PASS Summit experience. Last week, I received an email saying that I have been assigned a buddy. I emailed him last week to introduce myself and to break the ice. As of this article, I have yet to hear back from him. I’m not concerned; for all I know, he’s busy with stuff and hasn’t had a chance to acknowledge my email, if he’s even seen it. For what it’s worth, I have my own fish to fry as well. Nevertheless, I look forward to hearing back from him.
I went poking around the activities page and noticed that some new things were now on it. One new thing that wasn’t there the last time I visited was a breakfasts page — actually, sponsor sessions in which they serve breakfast. I might consider attending; from what I’ve been told, sponsor breakfasts are an opportunity to get an actual hot breakfast at Summit! I also noticed a new luncheon as well, something else that might also be worth checking out.
Of course, what’s a conference without attending sessions? I went through the list of sessions and marked off those that interest me (it includes a function to mark “favorite” sessions). Of course, I made sure that I marked off my own session. I think it’d behoove me to make sure that I attended my own session!
I decided to splurge on a polo shirt from the PASS Stuff page. I can always use more polo shirts.
I also came across another new link: next year’s PASS Summit! It will not be in Seattle next year; it will be in Houston, TX, November 10-13! I’ve only been to Houston once (for my friends’ wedding, many years ago), and as I remember, it was a fun city to visit! I also have several friends who live in and around Houston (to my Houston friends reading this, take note!). I might need to consider applying to speak at PASS Summit next year. We’ll see how it goes!
As I write this, it occurred to me that I leave for PASS Summit in only eight weeks from today! It’s getting closer, and I’m looking forward to the experience!
I haven’t written anything in a while about my PASS Summit prep. To be quite honest, I have nothing to report. I’ve been busy with several other things (among other things, I’ll make a trip to New York City before I head to Seattle), and I have plenty of things to keep me distracted (some of it in a good way).
For those of you new to my ‘blog (the rest of you can skip this paragraph), here’s a quick summary to get you caught up: this past July, I learned that I was chosen to speak at PASS Summit! If you’re a data professional, PASS Summit is a huge deal. If you’re familiar with SQL Saturday, I’ve heard it described as “the Super Bowl of SQL Saturdays” and “SQL Saturday on steroids.” Being selected to speak at PASS Summit is an enormous honor for me, as well as being a great boost for my career! (I should also mention that not only is this my first time being selected to speak at PASS Summit, this is also my first time attending, as well!)
I did get feedback about my presentation slides. I’m not sure whether or not I’m allowed to talk about that (it’s nothing bad), so for now, I’ll leave it at that. I also asked about luggage storage arrangements for the last day, after American Airlines pulled a fast one on me and changed my flight schedule. (Tip: I can store my luggage at PASS Summit. And from now on, I am avoiding American Airlines if at all possible.)
I’ve been poking around the Summit website for the latest updates. The only new thing that really caught my eye was a link to buy PASS merchandise. I can always use more polo shirts, so I will likely splurge on a shirt. (Heads up to my wife, a.k.a. she who controls my checkbook!)
I did speak to my mother this week, who asked me if I was planning on visiting my cousin (who lives in Seattle) during my trip. I said that, most likely, I wouldn’t have time. To be honest, it appears that there are a lot of activities going on around PASS Summit, and multiple friends who’ve attended in the past have told me to prepare to drink from a fire hose. So as much as I want to see people — I have several friends and family members who live in or near Seattle — I’m not sure if it’ll be in the cards for this trip. (And to those friends and family, if you’re reading this: if you do want to hook up, drop me a line; maybe we can work something out!)
So that’s about it for now. As I said, nothing really significant to report. Less than two months until I fly out to the West Coast! Looking forward to it!
Last week, the PASS Professional Development Virtual Group held a webinar about making the most of PASS Summit, led by two friends of mine, Paresh Motiwala and Grant Fritchey. Unfortunately, I missed the webinar when it aired, but they did record and post the webinar to YouTube. Paresh even gives me a shout-out during the presentation, at 6:30 in the recording! (Shameless plug: come check out my session!)
Although PASS Summit is a large conference based mainly (but not entirely) around data topics, it isn’t just about attending sessions. It’s also about networking, learning, and experience. During the hour-long webinar, Paresh and Grant provide tips on how to network, convincing your manager to let you attend (PASS even includes a letter that you can give your boss!), what to expect when you attend, whom you’ll meet, how to stretch your dollar (admittedly, PASS Summit is not cheap to attend), talking with vendors, and so on.
I’ll leave it to you check out the link and leave it to Paresh and Grant to compel you to attend PASS Summit. They do a great job with the webinar, and I encourage you to check it out. It is definitely worth the hour of your time. Watching the video makes me even more excited about attending! Maybe it might be enough to talk you into attending PASS Summit!
Hope to see you in Seattle in November!