I only half listened to the key notes. The party’s the preceding night may have had something to do with it.
First session was with Kalen Delaney on Plan Guides. She didn’t really do plan guides though. Instead she talked about guiding plans. She is such a great presenter. I like her use of the language and precise definitions. Lubor Kollar (sp?) was in the room and made a point of standing up & addressing some of Kalen’s info. My best take away was that plan guides (she covered those too) do not reduce compile time and can in fact increase compile time. Second best was the use of plan guides as a mechanism for testing since you can apply the guide, enable & disable, without rewriting the proc. Sessions like this are a big part of making the conference worth while.
Next session was Tom LaRock’s on Ops Manager. He picked on me from the podium several times, but since we were collaborating a bit (I slacked off on that and feel bad about it), I guess it’s fair. I loved hearing him say he starts his day looking at Ops Manager. I’m trying to get our system DBA’s to do the same thing. Interesting enough, he doesn’t use it for gathering performance metrics. That’s one of our main uses. His scripts around verifying backups are worth downloading.
I went down to a Microsoft session on tips and tricks from within Microsoft. There were a bunch of different presenters covering different topics. The frist half was very ineresting. The last half slacked off a bit for me (I just don’t have a need for mirroring, so spending time learning about implimentation tricks just doesn’t help me). Extended events for monitoring sounded pretty good. I’m going to have to check up on it. There was another session covering that in detail. I’ll track down the recording. Centeral Management Server was pretty cool too.
I bailed early on that and went to see Andy Leonard’s Unit Testing. He’s a great presenter. He covered the topic very well. The information he presented was great. I especially liked how he showed how to deal with scripts that would generate an error if run, which prevented you from using them as a test (referential integrity checks was the example). Check that one out.
The last session I went to was Joe Webb’s. Unfortunately his machine died right before the session started. I left. He apparently got a few things back together & presented. I’ll go back and watch the video.
In between and around the sessions, and of course, afterwards, I got the chance to talk to a lot of great people. I really like the networking possibilities of this place. If you’re attending PASS and you’re not talking to everyone you possibly can, you’re losing a huge part of the value of the place. I’ve been talking to Brad McGeehee (nicest guy, and scary smart), Michael Coles, Gail Shaw (ask her to tell you her scary Itanium stories, they’re great), Kathi Kellenburger (the recipient of the PASS PASSion award this year, many kudos), Steve Jones, Andy Warren (new PASS Board member, congrats, I’ll post something seperate on that one), Brent Ozar, TJBelt, Tim Ford, Jamie Laflen (one of the developers of Data Dude, it was so great to get the chance to bounce my ideas for his tool off him), more… I mean all these fantastic people who know so much more than I do and are so smart, and talented and helpful. You have to take the opportunity that PASS presents to talk to these guys.
I originally typed Bob Ward instead of Joe Webb for the presenter who had the malfunction. I can only attribute the mistake to my own incompentence and being tired. Apologies. I updated the text.