Thank You!

Azure, PASS
I am humbled and honored (and more than a little horrified) to be on this list of the Best of PASS Summit 2013. I mean look at those names. Every single one is a person I look up to and respect and learn from constantly. How I made a list like this... well, thanks. I appreciate the support and kindness that was shown at the PASS Summit when you filled out your evals. Oh, and while I realize intellectually and SQL skill-wise he totally kicks my behind... Neener, neener Conor. You're in the DBA track and I'm the only one in the top 10 in the Cloud track. By the gods, I'm going to pay for that, but it'll be worth it.
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PASS Summit 2013: Women In Technology Luncheon

PASS
This year I was invited to attend the Women In Technology luncheon as a blogger. So I'll be live-blogging it through it in the same way as I did the keynote. The WIT lunches are a fascinating, and let's face it, unique PASS-style event, that have been taking place for years at the PASS Summit. It's about growth and empowerment for women within technology. But, it's not some crazy man-bashing event. It's just another, special, way to network (that thing that PASS does so well). Panelists are Cindy Gross, Gail Shaw, Kevin Kline, Rob Farley and Erin Stellato. Mickey Steuwe is acting as moderator. The theme is Beyond Stereotypes: Equality, Gender Neutrality, and Valuing Diversity is the theme. The first question: "Do you have to make an effort to fit…
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PASS Summit 2013 Day 2 Key Note

PASS
KILT DAY! Today we have to eat our vegetables and then get lots and lots of sweet desert. Or. Today we hear about PASS Finances as a part of the official annual meeting and then we get to hear Dr. David Dewitt speak (completely and utterly getting our nerd on and squeeing like teenage girls at a Bieber concert). I will be live-blogging this event, so watch this space. 8:20: Douglas McDowell kicks off the key note today.  the vast majority of the money that runs PASS comes from the Summit. That's right, by attending the Summit you're also supporting the organization. The Business Analytics Conference, which kicked off this year also provides quite a bit more money to the organization. 8:25: PASS has changed its budgeting process. At this…
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PASS Summit 2013 Day 1 Keynote

PASS
I am liveblogging the keynote from the bloggers table at the PASS Summit again this year. Just keep scrolling. Watching the introduction video as people trickle in. All the other bloggers are setting up. I get in early. I didn't rearrange the seats this year. I see others doing it now. 8:11: Watching the videos of all the attendees registering and meeting people at the start of the event and last night's welcome reception is awesome and fun. 8:21: The lights go down and the videos of what everyone is looking forward to at the Summit. In keeping with our location, right next to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, we've got a bit of a race theme going on. We're seeing current PASS President, Bill Graziano having a dream about…
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Make the PASS Summit Work For Your Employer

PASS
It was pointed out to me that since PASS is such a huge networking event, any employer would be crazy to send a good employee to the event. They'll just come back and hand in their two weeks notice. You know, that's entirely possible. But, let's not confuse networking with job hunting. Funny enough, while I did get my latest job while at the PASS Summit, it wasn't through the personal network that I had built up over the years of going to, and speaking at, the Summit. I use that network as an extensive knowledge base. If I have a question about Availability Groups, I have at least three different people I can reach out to. If I get stuck on some internals question, I have other individuals I…
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Azure Changes, While I’m Working

Azure
My laptop is out for repair. I'm working currently on a Surface Pro instead. It's spurred me to do something I've been meaning to do anyway. I've started setting up a full demo & testing VM on Azure. I already had the VM up and running (it takes 5 minutes for crying out loud), but I hadn't bothered setting up Red Gate software on it and getting it fully prepped to support my work, demos, or whatever else I might need. But, I finally did. It's working out surprisingly well. I just have to remember to shut the silly thing down when I'm done with it or it does start to bite into my MSDN credit. Anyway... I was working on the VM for a big chunk of the day…
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You should NOT attend the PASS Summit

PASS
If you asked me, prior to today, if I would type or say those words, I would have laughed right at you. But then, I saw this question on Ask SQL Server Central. It's from a college student, not yet twenty-one, who was considering paying his (assuming it's a guy since their handle is 'Eagle Scout') own way to the Summit and wondered if it would be worth it. It pains me to say that I suggested that he not do it. Don't get me wrong. I think the PASS Summit is probably the single greatest resource you have to advance your career. Where else can you go to get that broad a choice in training? Where else can you go to get that many of the leaders of our industry, specializing…
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Getting Started With SQL Server 2014 the Easy Way

Azure, PASS, SQL Server 2014
You know you want to at least take a look at the new Client Technology Preview (CTP) of SQL Server 2014. I don't blame you either. I want to spend hours swimming through it too. But, you're thinking to yourself, "Heck, I'd have to download the silly thing, provision a new VM, walk through the install... Nah. Too much work." I don't blame you. I found myself on the road the day the software was released, so I was going to attempt to do all that work on a hotel wireless system. In short, I was going to have to wait, no options. Or were there? Actually, there is a much easier option. Azure Virtual Machines. And no, it's not that I can simply get a Windows Azure VM ready to go…
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PASS Summit 2013 is Looking Cloudy

Azure, PASS
No, this isn't some complaint about PASS or the Summit. This is an announcement that not only will I be speaking at the PASS Summit, but I'm speaking about Azure... a lot. First up, I'm going to be doing an all-day pre-conference seminar specifically aimed at getting you into Azure. No, I don't want you to drop your on-premise databases and infrastructure. Are you nuts? No, wait, you think I am. OK, fair point. But what I actually want you to realize is that some pieces of your work are better done in the cloud. There are all kinds of terribly fun and cool things you can get done there, as an addition to your existing infrastructure. There are way, way too many things that are better done locally to ever think you'd move…
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