After big conferences, I like to share my session evaluations to talk about what worked and what didn’t. Let’s see how we did this year. Pre-Con: Performance Tuning in 21 Demos This was an all-day session that Erik Darling and I co-presented. When Erik and I designed this session, we were both at a point in our presentation-writing style where we were madly in love with demos. All week long when working with clients, we have to spend a lot of time in slides, explaining concepts that we see out in the wild all the time. (I give my talk on…Read
After big conferences, I like to share my session evaluations to talk about what worked and what didn’t. Let’s see how we did this year. PASS’s evaluation form this year had 6 questions with a 5-point ranking (I love that): PASS Summit 2017 evaluation form So how’d we do? Pre-Con: Expert Performance Tuning for SQL Server 2016 & 2017 This was an all-day session I co-presented with Erik Darling. 362 attendees, 152 surveys filled out – great completion rate, thanks attendees! Rate the value of the session content. 4.37 out of 5 How useful and relevant is the session content…Read
When Erik and I got a PASS Summit pre-con this year, I asked Alison and Leeza a question out of morbid curiosity: what was the pre-con attendance record? They reported that 7 pre-cons since 2012 have gone over 200 attendees, and the record was 269. I figured that would be really hard to beat, especially given that word on the street is that Summit attendance is down overall due to the Halloween scheduling. To make matters worse, I keep hearing “thought leaders” say that database work is dead, and the magic cloud is going to solve everything. Would there be…Read
Next month at the PASS Summit in Seattle, Erik Darling and I are teaching a one-day pre-conference class on performance tuning. We sold ~300 seats, which is awesome – but that comes with some challenges, one of which is handling Q&A. As classes get over 100 people, folks can be hesitant to raise their hands, and they rarely want to walk up to a microphone to address the entire room. I’ve tried using Twitter for this in the past, but it can be hard to get people to: “Does anyone have any questions?” Fit the question in 140 characters (less…Read
I’m honored to say that I’ll be presenting a session at the PASS Summit this year. The Summit is kinda like the Super Bowl of American SQL Server conferences: the competition to present is intense, and that makes you wanna bring your absolute best game. I try to bring something really different every year. I try to push myself into new presenting styles, bring some kind of new trick to show off. Past stunts have included: 2017 – Last Season’s Performance Tuning Techniques (24HOP) – Erik and I wore fashion costumes for the online delivery emphasizing how quickly your skills…Read
Comparing Conferences: AWS re:Invent, Google Cloud Next, Microsoft Ignite, PASS Summit, and SQL Intersection
I have this weird job where I get to pick which conferences I go to, so, I, uh, go to a lot of them. Here’s how a few of them stack up. Amazon Web Services re:Invent Audience: About 30,000 AWS users. Database session quantity: not a lot. (I didn’t go for the database sessions here – it’s more of a wide-ranging conference covering Lambda, EC2, S3, etc.) Presenters: AWS employees, with an occasional customer testimonial. Session material: Simply not worth the time. Every time Richie and I sat through a supposed “deep dive” or 300-400 level session, we ended by saying to each other, “We…Read
After conference attendee feedback comes in, I like to blog about it to talk about what worked and what didn’t. This year, I think things worked fantastically overall. Intro to Internals: How to Think Like the SQL Server Engine Abstract: When you pass in a query, how does SQL Server build the results? Time to role play: Brent will be an end user sending in queries, and you will play the part of the SQL Server engine. Using simple spreadsheets as your tables, you will learn how SQL Server builds execution plans, uses indexes, performs joins, and considers statistics. This…Read
I wanna build something awesome where: Speakers submit session abstracts publicly online Vendors can be speakers, too (anybody can submit a talk on anything – your own open source project, paid project, Microsoft can apply, hardware vendors, etc) Readers can leave comments on the abstracts to help the author clarify and improve them Everybody votes for the abstracts they’d like to see most Once a month, voting closes, and the top X speakers/abstracts for next month are picked (maybe 5, maybe 10, let’s play this by ear) Sessions are held online in an easy-to-watch platform, on a predictable day/time (like the first Tuesday of every month,…Read
Alex Yates wrote a very interesting post called 5 bold changes to support the scale problem of SQL Saturdays (and other data platform conferences.) The short story: Cut costs (and no free lunches) Attract new sponsors Attract new attendees Get more diversified attendees Attendees have a duty to talk to sponsors They’re a lot of great ideas, and I’m going to suggest one of my own. Sponsors need to deliver sponsor sessions that don’t suck. Today, sponsors buy attendee eyeball time by doing things like sponsoring sessions at lunch. SQLSaturday organizers usually set up the time slots so that no “real” sessions are given during lunch,…Read
More than one person has asked me, “Why are you running your own pre-conference event instead of doing a PASS Summit pre-con? Isn’t that a bad thing, like you’re taking away attendees from PASS?” I really, really want to do PASS pre-cons again, but for now, it all comes down to a few gotchas in the PASS speaker contract. At PASS, we’re not allowed to use our scripts. The speaker contract says: You recognize and agree that the purpose of your session(s) is to provide educational content and is not to be used as a sales or marketing platform. Personal contact information…Read
Hi. I’m Brent.
I live in California with my wife Erika. I'm on an epic life quest to have fun and make a difference.
I co-founded Brent Ozar Unlimited to help make your SQL Server go faster. I also maintain sp_Blitz® and the open source First Responder Kit repo.