Hello! Less than a month to go before the #SQLPASS North American Summit for 2010 begins! Wow! This year will mark my third PASS conference. The first was in 2006 and I was a quiet, shy wall flower who hung out with a few folks that I knew (Like Andy Kelly, though he’ll deny it if you ask him 😉 ) The second was last year, 2009. What a difference. I had been blogging, been on twitter and had established contacts with a lot of folks in the SQL Community. I volunteered last year on the program committee and helped out with this new thing called the MVP Birds of a Feather lunch. I blogged about it a bit but here is the final topic list from last year. Jason Strate is also helping with the BoF and Ask The Experts table this year. He has been agonizing over the schedule for the Ask The Experts tables and I bet we’ll see a similar post from him soon.

What is a Birds of a Feather Lunch?

In a nutshell, it is a table with other folks who are interested in the same topic as you. Facilitated by an MVP, or Microsoft SQL CAT member, you’ll eat lunch with a handful of other attendees who share an interest. The MVP at the table will talk about the topic for a little bit then facilitate conversation. Share business cards, get to know other folks hanging out at the Summit with you. Basically a chance to network, talk shop (let’s be honest it’s a good starting point as we have many aspects in common) and see what comes of it. At the worst, you’ll have a fun lunch and maybe learn something new. At the best, you’ll definitely learn something new, have a fun lunch and have a group of people to hit thoughts off on that topic you wanted to know more about. I blogged more about what this looks like last year.

When is This Birds of a Feather Lunch?

It is on the Tuesday of the Summit (Nov 9) at the regular lunch time. It will be in the regular lunch hall but in a special area with 50 or so tables marked off for this event. The tables will be numbered and there will be signage/handouts with a list of the topics and table numbers.

A Few Points First

We learned some lessons last year – I’ll talk about them in a future post later this week or early next week, most likely. I welcome any feedback you have on making this year better as we now move away from the “contacting all the MVPs and organizing them” phase into the “how do we actually make this work” phase. Before I share the topics this year I wanted to mention a few things:

1.) Haven’t signed up yet? Why not? This is a GREAT learning opportunity. You will interact with MVPs, Microsoft Product Team members, SQL CAT team members and regular old geeks like your blogger here. I am flying there from Boston (Direct) for $299. You can share a room to cut costs, you can get by with the free breakfast, free lunch and a cheap dinner (or even free at some vendor events, receptions, etc.). Between the sessions and the networking and access to people who can answer your questions, you’ll see a great ROI.

2.) This isn’t my idea. I’m not the only one working on it! The PASS HQ (Kate, Allison, Nancy and others) do a TON of work to pull this Summit off. They are the ones organizing the calls, getting stuff printed, keeping borderline ADD volunteers (like me) somewhat on task and making things run. There are other volunteers and Board members working all of these items into schedules. Jason Strate has been on every planning call for this event and the Ask The Experts event. Someone somewhere in the PASS organization thought of this idea some time. Not sure if it was at HQ, on the BoD or what but it wasn’t me. I helped organize the MVP and SQL CAT contacts last year, I helped setup the tables, answer questions and run around at the lunch. I’m doing the same this year. That’s it. A bunch of e-mails, spreadsheet updates, organizational stuff 20 minutes before the lunch and hopefully applying lessons from last year. You can give me credit for sending out some e-mails but don’t give me credit for thinking of this and “setting this up” like some already have.

3.) The topics below may change. A.) Once we hear back from the SQL CAT team, we may be adding some tables, B.) There may be some MVPs that were missed in initial contacts who need volunteer options and they may be added. (More on blind copy spam in the lessons learned post 🙂

4.) Did I forget you? Did you sign up for a topic? Did I forget it, send me a note and I’ll fix that ASAP.

Finally – I give you the MVPs and Topics as of today, 2010-10-11

Allan Hirt SQL Server Manageability Tips for the DBA
Ami Levin Performance Management Tools
Andy Leonard SSIS Frameworks (or design patterns or getting started)
Andy Warren Statistics
Arnie Rowland Community – TechNet Wiki
Brad Schulz Interpretting Query Plans
Bruce Loehle-Conger SSRS Lessons Learned
Chris Webb Performance Tuning SSAS
Christian Bolton Hyper-V with SQL Server
Christopher Shaw Professional Development for the Data Professional
Darren Gosbell SSAS Triple A – Administration, Automation and APIs
Davide Mauri SQL Server & NoSQL Alternatives
Dean Vitner Write-Ahead Logging & The Transaction Log
Denny Cherry SQL Service Broker
Eduardo Castro HA In Virtualized Environments
Edwin Sarmiento Why you need to distinguish yourself from the rest
Erland Sommarskog Practical T-SQL Programming
Geoff Hiten Advanced SQL Clustering
Gianluca Hotz Oracle to SQL Server DBA
Glenn Berry Database Mirroring
Grant Fritchey T-SQL Tuning & Optimization
Greg Galloway What’s the Coolest Business Problem You’ve Solved with a Cube?
Jason Strate Querying The Procedure Cache
Jeff Moden Black Arts T-SQL (Like the Tally Table)
Jessica Moss Fixing Bad Data Using SSIS
Jesus Gil Geo-Spatial Data on SSRS (en espanol)
Jonathan Kehayias VMWare With SQL Server
Justing Langford SQL Server Consolidation
Kevin Boles Performance Tuning
Kevin Kline Help for the involuntary DBA
Louis Davidson Database Design
Michael Coles SQL Encryption (pending ATE schedule question)
Michael Steineke High Performance DBs on Shared Storage
Patrick LeBlanc CDC
Paul Turley BI Tool & Visualization Choices
Peter Ward SQL Server Migration and Upgrade Planning
Plamen Ratchev Implementing Hierarchies in SQL
Rafael Salas PowerPivot: Where/How Are You Using It?
Rob Farley Tables don’t exist, so join me at my index
Scott Klein Data Development in SQL Azure
Sean McCown PowerShell For the SQL Server DBA
Ted Krueger Cheapest DR/HA Options on SQL Server
Tim Chapman SQL Security Best Practices
Tim Mitchell Care and Feeding of your SSIS Infrastructure
Tim Ford DMVs
Todd McDermid Data Warehouse ETL with SSIS
Tomislav Piasevoli The Past, Present and Future of Microsoft BI
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