Join us for the PASS SIGs Quiz Bowl at the 2008 Community Summit

Hello everyone

With the PASS 2008 Community Summit quickly approaching, we would like to remind everyone to join the SIGs at the Welcome Reception on Tuesday night at 6pm for the Annual Quiz Bowl! We will be having some amazing prizes donated by our sponsors that include the following:

  • a 22" LCD display from NEC Corporation of America
  • a SQL admin toolset from Idera
  • $100 HSN giftcard from GoldenGate
  • 2 Cooler bags with speakers and an MP3 port from Global Knowledge
  • 6 SQL Server books from Solid Quality Mentors
  • $50 for Edgewood Solution products and $50 for MSSQLTips.com
  • a 120GB Zune Player from PASS!

What is the Quizbowl you ask? It's a Jeopardy-style game where we test your SQL Server knowledge and compete with your peers in the PASS Community.

See you all in Seattle!

 

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Summit Celebration Event: The Details Are In!

It's with great excitement that the PASS team, along with Microsoft, have been planning the a celebration event in appreciation of PASS members, partners, and the SQL Server community-at-large at PASS Community Summit 2008 on Thursday, November 20.

Officially branded as our SQL Server Heroes Unite event, we're transforming a section of the convention center in Seattle into a Rock Party Hall where you can show off your Guitar Hero and Rock Band skills, and maybe even end up in the final SQL Server Hero showdown! Microsoft’s very own Flock of SQLs band will play classic rock sets to keep the party going and lucky members of the crowd can join the band on stage for a truly interactive jam session. You also have an opportunity to tap into your ‘inner rocker’ as you visit the tattoo parlor stations and take your picture with a Harley Davidson. 

Rounding out the celebration, try your hand at our casino tables where there will be no shortage of action and prizes to be won.

It's our way of saying thanks for being such an important part of the SQL Server community.

 

  • When: Thursday, November 20, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Where: Hall 6ABC, Washington State Convention and Trade Center
  • Who: The SQL Server Heroes Unite Event is free to registered full-conference attendees

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DBA SIG is looking for volunteers!

Hello everyone

We here at PASS want to make sure that everyone in the SQL Server community has the opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get involved. The DBA SIG is looking for volunteers to do a variety of tasks. This is a great introduction to volunteering with PASS. The opportunities are as follows:

Short-term commitments

   1. Write an article on a DBA-related topic for our web site

   2. Give a live meeting presentation

Long-term commitments

   1. Recruit presenters and content generators

   2. Manage content review and posting to the web site

   3. General web-site maintenance (Dot-Net-Nuke)

   4. Facilitate live meeting event logistics

Please contact Sharon Dooley at DBAvolunteer@sqlpass.org if you’re interested in any of these volunteer opportunities.

Thanks and happy volunteering!

Blythe Morrow

Community Coordinator - PASS HQ

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The Board of Directors: A Great Volunteer Opportunity with PASS

Hi Folks

With the advent of the new and improved PASS website, those of us who work in the Community department here at PASS HQ have noticed a huge increase in the amount of people who want to volunteer. This is just fantastic! I would like to let the entire PASS community know about the Call for Nominations for the PASS Board of Directors that closes on the 24th of October. If you want to get involved with the SQL Server community, network professionally, and have a lot of fun, think about taking a leadership role in PASS.

The Board of Directors is responsible for setting the day-to-day activities of the organization, as well as setting the course for the organization on short- and long-term decisions. There is a large time commitment, but you will be rewarded with travel and networking opportunities.

We have posted all the information you will need at http://www.sqlpass.org/CallforNominations.aspx or you can email me at blythe.morrow@sqlpass.org with any specific questions.

Happy volunteering!

Blythe Morrow
PASS Community Programs Coordinator

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When will users upgrade to SQL Server 2008?

I'm endlessly asked about when I think users will make the upgrade to SQL Server 2008. In conjunction with PASS, I've recently written an article for Database Trends and Applications that answers that. You can read it here: http://www.dbta.com/e-edition/Sept08/3-contributed_article_low.html

I hope you find it useful.

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The value of good education during tough economic times

As companies look at the events of the past 3 weeks on Wall Street and in Washington, they have to be reasonably concerned about the future, but more importantly about how to ride out the current economic challenges. Innovation and a strong vision are the key factors to survival in these tough times. South West Airline is a company that has over the past few years done better that most of its competitors in customer satisfaction and growth mainly due to a culture of innovation and good foresight.
 
It got me thinking about how most companies, in touch economic times, cut back on probably the most vital need in IT - and that is quality training / education. I say that this is vital because technology changes rapidly, both software and hardware and more and more organizations rely on IT to provide them the competitive business edge, one that is even more critical in tough economic times. Good training is one where you learn the skills far beyond the basics. You learn not just the different ways to implement a technology, but you learn the best way to implement it. You are able to draw from the experiences of people who have spent years finding the best way to implement a technology and also learnt of ways not to do it. The risk of not learning these best practices and techniques is that developers often learn by trial and error over long periods of time. This impacts IT productivity and can also often lead to solutions that fail to meet business needs. To give an example, SQL Server Integration Services is a relatively new technology that has been widely adopted by a large number of organizations. Most organizations that have implemented it have used it in the most basic form. This means that there is no good framework that has been implemented to centrally manage and monitor these packages and the underlying configurations. As a result, when something fails, it often takes up a good percent of someone's time to troubleshoot and manage. A good framework can mitigate that. Unfortunately, a good ETL framework is something that takes significant amount of experience and knowledge to design and implement correctly. Wouldn't it be great if you could go to a session where you learnt about how to implement that framework? Done right, you would end up freeing up support resources and simplify development of packages - all leading to lower IT cost. Also, equally important in this era of compliance, companies cannot afford to have lax processes and security that can compromise their systems and data. For consulting organizations, the upside to a well educated team that can understand and implement best practices is that it leads to better customer satisfaction and a competitive edge with new customers.
 
This is where a conference like the upcoming PASS Summit can play a vital role in providing that competitive edge. This is a once a year opportunity to learn from over 100 expert speakers who have an average of 8 - 10 years of experience in SQL Server product. The price you pay for this education is very small when compared to the price of hiring and managing additional resources to build and support IT. The other advantage of the PASS summit is the networking. Begin able to network with peers in the industry means that you have someone to reach out to outside your organization to ask questions rather than spending countless hours trying to figure out the answer. At PASS, you also have the opportunity to discuss specific problems with top industry experts and get solutions. I am sure that a number of you have had to call into your premier support to identify and fix some problems. At PASS, the same team (CSS Team) will be onsite not only teaching how to troubleshoot, but will also for the first time, host a CSS First Aid area where you can bring in your specific problems and get them solved at no extra cost!
 
When you consider the cost of the summit, the travel and expenses and the lost opportunity costs, I truly believe that it would pale in comparison to the value and the longer-term savings that your organization would derive from the summit. Also, the learning and education does not stop when the convention center lights turn off. Most of the regular conference sessions are recorded and made available to attendees - that's access to over 150 hours of deep technical training. So, attendees can revisit sessions they attended, or look at the sessions that they could not attend. Don't miss the opportunity to participate in this unique conference and gain a competitive edge.

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