Category Archives: Conference

PASS SQL Saturday #356 Slovenia Recapitulation

So the event is over. I think I can say for all three organizers, Mladen Prajdić, Matija Lah, and me, that we are tired now. However, we are extremely satisfied. It was a great event. First few numbers and comparison with SQL Saturday #274, the first SQL Saturday Slovenia event that took place last year.

SQL Saturday #274

SQL Saturday #356

People

135

220

Show rate

~87%

~95%

Proposed sessions

40

82

Selected sessions

15

24

Selected speakers

14

23

Countries

12

16

The numbers nearly doubled. We are especially proud of the show rate; with 95%, this is much better than average for a free event, and probably the highest so far for a SQL Saturday. We asked registered attendees to be fair and to unregister if they know they can’t attend the event in order to make room for those from the waiting list. An old Slovenian proverb says “A nice word finds a nice place”, and it works. 36 registered attendees unregistered. Therefore, we have to thank to both, the attendees of the event and those who unregistered.

Of course, as always, we also need to thank to all of the speakers, sponsors and volunteers. All volunteers were very helpful; however, I would like to especially point out Saša Mašič. Her work goes well beyond simple volunteering. I must mention also the FRI, the Faculty of Computer and Information Science, where the event was hosted for free. It is also worth mentioning that we are lucky to live in Ljubljana, such a beautiful city with extremely nice inhabitants who like to enjoy good food, hanging around and mingling, and long parties. Because of that we could be sure in advance that both speakers and attendees from other countries would enjoy spending time here also outside the event, that they would feel safe, and get help whenever they would need it.

From the organizational perspective, we tried to do our best, and we hope that everything was OK for speakers, sponsors, volunteers, and attendees. Thank you all!

Did You Know? My PASS Demo Scripts are Up (and other news)!

And so another PASS Summit passes into history. It was an awesome week, filled with old friends and new, and lots of superlative technical content! My Hekaton book was released just in time, and it was great seeing the excitement. Red Gate gave away all the copies they had, the bookstore sold all they had, and I gave away 20 in my sessions. There’s also a review of my book up already: http://www.i-programmer.info/bookreviews/21-database/7950-sql-server-internals-in-memory-oltp.html My PASS Demo scripts…(read more)

Give speakers feedback. It makes a difference.

I sometimes struggle with finding a catchy title for a blog post. It has to grab the attention, and clarify what the post is about. If you decided to spend time reading my words, I do not want you to finish ending “if I had known this was the content, I would have done something better with my time”. For this post, I think the title just sums up the entire post. If you are short on time, you can stop reading now. Seriously. Feedback from SQL Server Days Last week I received the feedback from my presentation…(read more)

Execution plans, laundry, and a giveaway

In just a week from now, SQL Saturday #337 will kick off in Portland, Oregon. And I will be there – the third time already for me to be speaking in Portland. For a European, Portland is not the most logical location. But the organization over there is a pretty smart bunch of people. They figure that being close to Seattle gives them a great opportunity – so whenever they get the chance, they will reserve a Saturday just before the PASS Summit in Seattle for their own event. And then they make sure…(read more)

Did You Know? My Hekaton Book is at the Publishers!

I am very excited to be able to report that my latest book is at the printers now, and should be ready in time for the PASS Summit! And since the last files were sent off to the publisher (Red Gate) last Friday, I could finally finish up the slides for my Pre-Conference Seminar, all about In-Memory OLTP. Check it out here: http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2014/Sessions/Details.aspx?sid=6152 Although there will be some copies of the book at the Red Gate booth, along with many of their other wonderful…(read more)

PASS SQL Saturday #356 Slovenia Pre-Conference Seminars

I am proud and glad I can announce two top pre-conference seminars at the PASS SQL Saturday #356 Slovenia conference. The speakers and the seminars titles are:

Both seminars will take place on Friday, December 12th, in the classrooms of our sponsor Kompas Xnet. The price for a seminar is € 149, with early bird price at € 119. Early bird price is valid until October 31st.

I am also using this opportunity to explain how and why we decided for these two seminars. The decision was made by the conference organizers, Matija Lah, Mladen Prajdič, and Dejan Sarka. There was a lot of discussion in different social networks about PASS Summit pre-conference seminars lately. If you have any objections for our seminars, please do not start big discussions in public; please tell them to the three of us directly.

First of all, unlike at the PASS Summit seminars, the speakers are not going to earn big money here, and therefore it is not really worth spending much time and energy on our decision. We think that any of the speakers who sent proposals for our SQL Saturday could present a top quality seminar. We would like to enable seminars for every speaker that wants to deliver one. However, in a small country, we will have already hard time to fill up the two seminar we have currently. Our intention is to reimburse at least part of the money the speakers spent on their own for travelling expenses and accommodation. In our opinion, it makes sense to do this for the speakers that spent the most for the travelling. Coming here from USA is expensive, and it also takes three days in both directions. That’s why we decided to organize the seminars for the first two speakers from USA.

Of course, this is not the last event. If everything goes well with SQL Saturday #356 and with the seminars, we will definitely try to organize more events in the future, and invite more speaker to deliver a seminar as well.

Thank you for understanding!

SQLBits XII

Back home from SQLBits XII, back to normal life. However, I am already missing the conference. I have spoken with quite a few other speakers, and our conclusion is, as my friend Niko Neugebauer said: this conference is simply second to none. Great content, and very interesting split into three days: seminars if you wish to get more personal touch and in-depth knowledge about specific topic the first day, a regular high-end conference the second day, and a free community conference the third day. This way, everybody can find something for her- or himself. In addition, I liked very much the way how the food was served – in many small dishes. This way you can taste many different dishes, and there were nearly no queues. And what to say about the Steampunk party? If you were not there, you should be sorry.

Therefore, thank you all organizers and volunteers for your work and your time, and for inviting me there. Thank you all attendees for making this conference possible, and especially thanks to those who visited my seminar and my session. I promise I will upload my material as soon as it would be possible. And finally, thank you all speakers for you contribution and for the many funny hours we spent together. I hope we all meet next year again.

Conferences – 2nd Semester 2014

I am finishing my plan for conferences in the 2nd half of 2014. I think I will speak in most of them. Here is my list.

1. SQLBits 2014, July 17th-19th: high time to register, pre-conf seminars start in two days. I have an interesting pre-con seminar there – Advanced Data Modeling Topics. In addition, I have a session as well.

2. Kulendayz 2014, September 5th – 7th: I guess I will speak there. However, the most important thing there is to cool down:-)

3. SQL Saturday #344 Tirana, October 4th: Never been in Albania, looking forward to visit Tirana.

4. SQL Saturday #311 Bulgaria, October 11th: Visiting Sofia after many years. Nice people, good rakija.

5. Sinergija 14, October 20th – 21st, Belgrade, Serbia: Best barbecue. Besides great sessions, of course.

6. PASS Summit 2014, November 4th – 7th, Seattle, WA, USA: Can’t miss the most important community conference in the world.

7. SQL Saturday Ljubljana, December 13th, Ljubljana, Slovenia: I am co-organizing this event. Date reserved, call for speakers is going out soon. Consider coming – most of the session will be in English. Maybe not the best parties, but definitely the longest. Ljubljana lives all night.

Hope we will meet at some of these events.

PASS Summit Abstract Feedback

Last week, Adam posted the feedback he received from PASS on the abstracts he had submitted for the PASS Summit 2014 . I was very happy he did – not only because the post itself was a good read, but also because I had not seen the PASS announcement on making the feedback available (I did see it in a PASS community mail a few days later, though). I can imagine that not everyone will want to see this feedback, but I do. I love harsh criticism, as long as it’s fair – that’s how I can learn and improve….(read more)

Learn #tabular and #dax at PASS Summit 2014

During the last months I’ve seen an increasing adoption of Analysis Services Tabular (and I’m writing a longer article about a particular area of adoption which was probably not expected – more on that in a few weeks). This year at PASS Summit 2014 there are plenty of opportunities to learn (or improve skills on) Analysis Services Tabular:

  • Mon, Nov 03, 2014: Data Modeling in SSAS Tabular – pre-conference seminar by Marco Russo (yes, myself)
    • This one-day seminar introduces the Tabular models using Visual Studio. The only prerequisite is a knowledge of SQL language. Previous experience in Analysis Services Multidimensional or other OLAP / Analytical tools is welcome but not required. If you already created projects in Tabular, you will understand how the Tabular engine works and how to create optimal data models. Compression efficiency is important, and this impact the way you model tables and relationships. DAX is not included in this day, because it is covered by Alberto in another seminar the following day.
  • Tue, Nov 04, 2014: From 0 to DAX – pre-conference seminar by Alberto Ferrari
    • Either you use Tabular or Power Pivot, even if you started your Tabular experience the day before, this seminar introduces you the DAX language syntax and the important concepts (filter context, evaluation context) you have to know. This knowledge makes you able writing the formula you need, without the “try and see” approach that could be very confusing in DAX. Have you had this experience, writing a DAX formula that didn’t result in what you expect? This is the right seminar for you.
  • General sessions (75 minutes):
    • Advanced Modeling with Analysis Services Tabular (Alberto Ferrari)
      • This session is about how to overcome “limitations” in Tabular data modeling by creating virtual relationships, balance at point in time without snapshots, dynamic currency conversions, measures of active events, surveys, and basket analysis.
    • DAX Patterns (Marco Russo)
      • I will explain some of the patterns available in DAX Patterns web site. Yes, you can read the articles and use the patterns, but this session has the goal of explaining how these pattern works, and not only how to use them.
    • Working with Time Functions in DAX (Michael Antonovich)
      • I don’t know Michael, but if you never used Time Intelligence functions in DAX, this is a topic that you have to study. When you fill ready, you can still discover how to rewrite Time Intelligence functions with Time Patterns!
    • Load Testing Analysis Services (Bob Duffy)
      • Bob wrote interesting articles about performance of Analysis Services, like this one about partitioning in Tabular, and I will certainly attend this session as an attendee (I hope it will not be overlapped with mine!)
  • Even if not strictly related to Tabular, I made a personal selection of sessions that a BI Developer engaged with Analysis Services Tabular and/or Multidimensional should see:

This is going to be a very interesting PASS Summit. I’ve seen a rich sessions portfolio also for ETL, DWH SSIS, SSRS, And, of course SQL Server! Please let me know if I missed some important session for the BI Developers target!

SIDE NOTE: BI Sessions at PASS Summit – I’ve seen comments about moving BI-related sessions to PASS BA Analytics, giving more sessions to SQL Server. I’m not sure it would be a good idea for PASS. Today, PASS BA Analytics is a conference that is not mature, I would like to see more advanced sessions for BI Developers, but the point is that PASS BA only attracts a few hundreds of attendees, whereas the PASS Summit attracts a 35-40% of the audience made by people working in Business Intelligence arena. Dropping all the BI sessions would mean probably cutting a large part of the conference budget. I’ve seen PASS growing well and the SQL Saturday initiative is incredible. I understand that nobody would take the risk of damaging the main source of revenues of the organization that makes all this possible. Thus, I see a future for PASS BA Analytics are the conference for emerging tools and technologies (sort of “build” conference for BI – it’s not that today, but it’s a direction I would like to see), whereas PASS Summit is the conference for established and released tools and products (sort of “TechEd” conference for BI & SQL DBA & DEV).