Every September for the past 12 years, not only does summer slowly come to an end, but it is the time that final preparations for the SQLPASS Summit are being made by just a ton of people. I have always focused on speaker preparations myself for the most part, but there are hundreds of other folks furiously prepping to make the trip up to Seattle.. er.. I mean, Charlotte, NC (still seems weird after the long run in Seattle!) If you have never been to the Summit, I would highly recommend it. You will almost certainly end up with enough knowledge to make it worth your time and entrance fee. And even if you didn’t learn a single solitary thing, you will probably end up with more technical contacts than you can shake a stick at, (and probably more than a few new friends). I have made a lot of lasting relationships during my years of going to the PASS Summit, even before the days where social medial came into being; making the SQL community a year-round entity.
Concerning the venue, it is pretty cool that we are moving to a different area this year. It has been a while since we last went to a different city than Seattle, and I am both excited and frightened. Seattle has become quite comfortable, as I have been to the convention center at least 15 times for conferences, I know my way around, I always stay at the Homewood Suites up the hill, and like I blogged last year, it even has smells that remind me that I am at the Washington State Convention Center (I will actually miss stopping at the burrito place this year!) If we are lucky, this year we will make new memories of locations, and hopefully end up pining to go back to Charlotte for another conference some day. I know that I feel that way about Denver, despite the lack of oxygen my lungs so desire. I particularly enjoyed the year where it snowed there during the Summit! Of course, it will also make it that much nicer next year to go back to Seattle.
For my sessions, preparations are coming along nicely. I have turned in my Hierarchy presentation, and have already done the presentation at DevLink where it was reviewed decently, with some information that I think will really help to smooth out the demos, and to present the pros and cons of the implementation methods. I have been doing some fairly large hierarchy testing to show the benefits of the different implementation methods that are pretty interesting (at least to me). It is interesting to see how the five different hierarchy implementation patterns we will review work, particularly with very large sets of data.
But before that session, I have two others on my favorite subject, that being database design. First on October 14th, for SQL In The City, I will be doing a compact version of my Fundamentals of Database Design, which is an hour long version of a database design lecture that could easily take 3.5 hours, followed by another 3.5 hours of classwork trying out database design.
Note: SQL PASS has precon sessions going on on Monday that are filled with fantastic content from heavy hitters like Itzik Ben-Gan, Paul White, Stacia Misner, Brian Knight, Devin Knight, Curt Matthews, Shon Hauck, Paul Randal, and Glenn Berry. If you can swing one of them, I would. If you are there on Monday and cannot swing the additional fees or wanted one of the Tuesday sessions (that are not loaded with slouches either, I look forward to seeing you at SQL in The City.
On Tuesday, October 15, I will be teaching my How to Design a Relational Database precon session, in which I expand the material to cover design logic and theory in a good bit more detail, but then we as a class will work together to actually do some designs. Once or twice as a class unit, and then we will break up into teams and the class will work as teams to produce a design that we will come back together and discuss. No design will end up perfect with only an hour to build it, but few if any designs end up perfect with weeks to do the design either.
Once the precon has ended, Tim Ford and I will be once again reprising the Quiz Bowl, and this year we will be looking for talent amongst our (my and SQLPASS') twitter followers. Stay tuned if you feel like you might be the kind of nut person we are looking for. Moments after that I will sink into my bed and sleep as long as I possibly can before the hierarchy session.
Over the next few weeks I will blog an introduction to each session with a few tastes of what to expect. For now, I am going to continue to try to optimize my hierarchy code to see if I can improve load times… optimizing code is fun!