SQL Server Blog

PASS Call for Speakers (…and my answer to that call)

I was in a company offsite meeting yesterday so I missed the fanfare on twitter and the blogosphere about the opening of the call for speakers.

Brent Ozar blogged about it, Thomas LaRock blogged about it… Countless others on my blogroll also blogged about it. The bottom line is go to the PASS speaker resources site for more information on what you need to do to present.

I submitted a session to PASS for the first time. Not sure if it will be accepted but if not it’s a topic I have been hinting around about on this blog and hope to present a smaller version to local user groups.. Here is the abstract I submitted for the professional development track:


Iceberg, Dead Ahead!

What does a plane crash have to do with technical skills? You might be surprised…

There are many lessons to be learned from disasters and our response to them. Most accidents are caused not by a single factor, but by a series of seemingly-small missteps. It’s the same in our offices: carelessness or complacency can lead to a resume-altering disaster. Even if a freak accident occurs, training and preparation can make a difference in the outcome.

In this session we’ll dig deep into some real-life disasters and see what lessons we can take back to our day jobs. We’ll explore corollaries between the news stories and those heart-pumping times when our cubes are filled with VPs and CIOs.

Fasten your seatbelts as Mike Walsh takes us on a journey through the headlines in search of a healthy respect for the unexpected.


I hope to dissect a handful of disasters that fall into different categories, walk through what happened in the real world incidents (one of my favorite shows when we still had cable was seconds from disaster, combine that with the background of having been a volunteer firefighter/emt and now working at an insurance company: I enjoy studying disasters.) From there we will look at the correlation to our careers (and perhaps even our personal lives).

I will probably have it be mostly a presentation style but will also do some audience discussions where we can talk about lessons and “action items” to take back to our companies when we head home from the Summit.

(P.S. Full Disclosure: This year I am helping SQL PASS on the program Committee, working on abstract selection. I have recused myself from voting on my own abstract)

Mike Walsh
Article by Mike Walsh
Mike loves mentoring clients on the right Systems or High Availability architectures because he enjoys those lightbulb moments and loves watching the right design and setup come together for a client. He started Straight Path in 2010 when he decided that after over a decade working with SQL Server in various roles, it was time to try and take his experience, passion, and knowledge to help clients of all shapes and sizes. Mike is a husband, father to four great children, and a Christian. He’s a volunteer Firefighter and EMT in his small town in New Hampshire, and when he isn’t playing with his family, solving SQL Server issues, or talking shop, it seems like he has plenty to do with his family running a small farm in NH raising Beef Cattle, Chickens, Pigs, Sheep, Goats, Honeybees and who knows what other animals have been added!

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3 thoughts on “PASS Call for Speakers (…and my answer to that call)”

  1. Thanks, Brent!

    I am happy either way. There are positives for being selected (this is a fun topic for me) and positives for not being selected (I can sit in a large audience instead of face one 😉 )


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