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Louis Davidson

PASS/MVP Summits Reflections

Wow, it was great actually getting out to the summits this year. Sitting here in the SEATAC airport, waiting for it to be time to get in a flying tin can, I wanted to jot down a few reflections I had from the two weeks. Some of the things I noticed (that aren’t under some sort of NDA, at least) this year over my two weeks are:

  1. The Cloud is really taking hold – The first MVP Summit where they started pushing the cloud was really hard on most of our eyes (rolling your eyes isn’t bad once, but hundreds of times starts to hurt!) but it has really matured. With services like Azure Database,  Data Warehouse, Data Lake, Blob Storage, VM, Machine Learning and more, be prepared to hear more about Azure not just from me, but from other bloggers, tweeters, and don’t be surprised when your boss says: “I think we need to use Azure for _______.” It won’t be perfect for everyone and every need for a long time, but the use cases will be growing. One of my next blog posts will be on the effect that Azure will be having on the fifth edition of my database design book.
  2. In Memory OLTP is going to be really great in SQL Server 2016. Check out CTP 3.0 (or whatever is latest when you have finally gotten around to reading this) for more details. But with support for stuff that the classic SQL programmer is going to love (Foreign Keys, > 1 Uniqueness Constraint, Check Constraints, 2TB per database, better Compiled code surface area) and stuff that only a few people will truly need (Updatable Columnstore Indexes on In Memory tables), those features plus blistering speed will change the feature from niche to generally useful for a larger segment of users. There are still limitations and architectural things one must do to ensure success, but it is getting closer to a solution that anyone might logically employ.
  3. Microsoft’s BI tooling is exploding. PowerBI, Reporting Services, R running near the engine, and the aforementioned Azure tools and I am sure even more stuff that I didn’t pay attention to (my boss was at PASS this year to look at reporting stuff, I am still an engine man myself.) I did get to play around with several of the Azure tools, which were pretty impressivel/scary, I must admit.
  4. The PASS community is an interesting society. I am generally an introvert, and for my first few years I was oblivious to people, even when I was a speaker I would speak, then keep to myself.  As year’s have passed, I have become more clued in to what goes on, and have a ton of people I am acquainted with. There is a moniker, #sqlfamily that is used frequently to describe it, but I think family is to simple of a term to use for it all. Much like the word “love” has four classic meanings, plus a few others that we have added over the years (“I love cake!”). Another of my future blogs will discuss this super important topic (hmmm, where is that sarcasm font?
  5. The Surface 3 is a GREAT travel computer - Don’t try to run Visual Studio on it (I did, and it took thirty minutes to be half installed!) but it is super light, great battery life (I easily got a day of note taking and moderate VM/Azure DB use out of it. The kickstand made it perfect for me to use on my lap at times, and the tearaway keyboard made it work fine for me on the airplane for watching some football on the flight here. Even better was that I could charge it from a portable battery that kept me going for 2 days without hitting a plug…
  6. I am still out of shape – Every night, after a mere 10 or so hours of walking, attending, and talking, I was worn the heck out. I went to bed around 10 every night and got up at 7, having slept most of the night. Then I see on twitter people I am sitting near (or up on stage) have tweeted not that long ago that they were going to bed, having left the gathering I was at and headed to another. I am getting old, but so are many of the people I was hanging with at one part of the day. While it probably didn’t look like it, I was getting around a LOT better than I ever have at PASS. I had never walked past my hotel (the Homewood Suites on Pike) before, taking taxis everywhere. It took its toll and near the end, and especially this morning at the airport I was barely upright, but it is still progress.
  7. Redgate throws an excellent conference – SQL In The City is a lot of fun, and not too commercial at all (yes, the only vendor is RedGate, duh, but the sessions were not marketing and only sometimes were heavily using the tools. I will be back again next year if at all possible.
  8. SQL Conferences are fun – If you are reading this blog and do not share some connection on my family tree, then you would enjoy the PASS conference and/or a SQL Saturday. User group meetings are great, and I rarely miss ours in Nashville, but the variety of people you meet, and the selection of sessions makes it a wonderful, almost vacation-like atmosphere at times (in case the aforementioned boss is reading, I said ALMOST).
  9. @SQLJen and @mark_AzureCAT are awesome – They showed us a great time along with the many other people that work with them. The MVP Summit was awesome due to their work.

Well, I actually have been away from work so long that I am starting to miss it, so time to join our daily standup meeting that I have missed for the past two weeks. Next week back to reality as we start to upgrade our 2008 R2 SSIS packages to use the package deployment model… See you all next year or at some SQLSaturday!

Published Friday, November 6, 2015 1:14 PM by drsql

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