Pass Summit 2011 — A First Timer’s Experiences

It’s the Monday after PASS, and my level of exhaustion has finally dropped to a level where I’m coherent(somewhat) to put together a summary of my experiences. I had originally intended to do a day by day summary of PASS, but somehow just couldn’t seem to find the time, so this is it all wrapped up into one two giant entries.

I’ll save everyone from a moment by moment recollection of the events of the week and just highlight the best parts.


  • Went Standby on an earlier flight to get there. Made the standby list as the LAST passenger on the plane.
  • Checked in to Silver Cloud Hotel – Stadium.
  • Met @Jgardener04 checking into same hotel
  • Checked in for PASS — got my virgin, er First Timer badge
  • Met a slew of people in the entry hall, too many to mention, everyone was very welcoming.
  • Attended the Networking event at Lowell’s. This was probably the best meal I had all week, a Salmon Filet with a lemon butter sauce. DELISH!


  • Went for a Run – Got 3 miles in, mostly because I was “Dared” to.
  • No Precon for me this year – hoping for next year.
  • Explored Downtown Seattle – Checked out several parks, a few stores and generally walked A LOT.
  • Headed back to the convention center at lunch, found a few people to go get Lunch with – An MVP and two PASS Chapter Leaders.
  • Headed to the Newbie Welcome Reception. This was awesome, and a highlight of the conference, the speed networking event, plus the red carpet treatment were just fantastic.


  • First Day of Classes!
    • Bad Plan, Sit! with Gail Shaw.

      Enjoyed Gail’s session tremendously, and really learned a lot about some basic Query Plan generation issues, and why sometimes they’re great, and sometimes not. Variability is the bane of us all.

    • Reporting Services 201: From Basic to WOW! with Jes Schultz Borland

      First let me just say that Jes’ energy seems to be nearly limitless. Her ability to be enthusiastic is just awesome, and a sharp contrast to my normal “mellow” attitude. That being said, I came to this session to learn a bit more about Reporting Services. The image concept and how to apply it to lists was very cool. Some good stuff here that I hope to take away and use down the road. Currently I only have a few reports published, but need to get some more out there in the near future.

    • Lightning Talks with Multiple Speakers

      This Lightning talk was one I was a bit fascinated with going into the experience. A series of speakers all with only a few moments to speak on their subject — how would it work — would it be educational, or just rushed? Of the sessions that I went to, this one was (obviously) least deep in content, but provided some great entertainment, and some factoids of knowledge that are interesting to know. Had the moment of PASS that just made me feel awful for a speaker, as Andy Leonard’s slide deck was corrupted and 90% of the impact of his presentation was lost due to this corruption.

  • After the lightning talks, I bounced around for a bit, and ended up hanging out with some people over by Tully’s Coffee rather than attend a session. I know I should be better at remembering these things, but not sure who it was that I was hanging out with at this point

  • Dinner this evening was the QuizBowl event, which I enjoyed. Not a ton to say here, other than Rob Farley is one of the most entertaining individuals I’ve ever met.

I retired for the night shortly after hitting Quizbowl, it had been a long day, and wanted to get some sleep in, I was really feeling the East to West time change and just went back to crash.

Think I’ll end this here — I’ll finish up with Thursday and Friday tomorrow (lets see what I can remember).

Thanks for reading!


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