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Attend the PASS Summit from Home, 2011 edition

Hidy-ho there, neighbors! This is an update of last year’s Attend the PASS Summit from Home blog. I’ll be updating this over the next few days, so keep your eyes out…

You there, sitting in your cube and fuming at all the PASS Summit talk: you couldn’t talk your company into sending you to PASS this year, could you? Or, you got on the bandwagon too late. Whatever the reason, you’re stuck working next week, and you’re mad. We feel your pain, and we’re here to help.


The MidnightDBA Virtual PASS Summit*!

*Not actually endorsed by PASS

We want to make you as much a part of the Summit as you possibly can be – again! – so we’re going to do everything we can to bring the event to you. We have put together an schedule of PASS and PASS-related events and sessions that you can take part in through the week of October 10-14. Keep an eye on this page (and my blog!) throughout the Summit – I will add more events as they become available…including perhaps live speaker and attendee interviews!

Some of these items are live streamed, and some are recorded.

NOTE: All times listed are PACIFIC! (Not Eastern!)

ALSO NOTE: If you follow this schedule to the letter, you’ll get in several hours of training, 3 full keynotes, a luncheon, a Birds of a Feather session, several social events, 5 new pounds, approximately 30 miles of walking, a day of kilt-wearing, and a lot of exposure to groups, resources, vendors, attendees, authors, and speakers.  That’s really not bad for not paying a dime! And, it’ll teach you to get on the ball sooner next year, to get all this and more in person.


Simulate the irritation of traveling to the Summit by packing everything you’ll need this week into 2 suitcases, one of which may or may not be checkable. Before you get into your car, wait in an imaginary line just inside your front door for half an hour with shoes, belt, cell and laptop held in small boxes. Lose the “checked” piece of luggage in your trunk and do without it for the week. Arrive and settle in.


Go ahead and feel jealous of the people currently attending pre-cons – many of us at the Summit didn’t register for one, so we do, too. Prepare the Twitter client of your choice (I like TweetDeck), being sure to follow the #sqlpass hashtag. Follow @sqlpass and @MidnightDBA and tell us how totally #awesomesauce we are.

9:00am: Have yourself a local Photowalk just like the one in Seattle – walk around downtown YourTownsVille and take pictures of awesome stuff. Tweet about it, and post the pictures to impress your friends. And/or…

6:00pm – Get together after work with some local SQL cohorts who also couldn’t make it to PASS. 

Bedtime: Sleep the wrong way round on your bed, to make it seem as if you’re sleeping in an unfamiliar room. Make sure the bedclothes are tucked far, far underneath the mattress, for that “hotel bed” feel.


Morning: Grab coffee out, and eat yogurt, cantaloupe, and cold pastries for breakfast.

Day: To get that “I just drank from an intellecual firehose for 8 hours” feel of a precon, do nothing today except read something advanced by Joe Celko, Kalen Delaney, or Itzik Ben-Gan. For 8 hours. Then take some aspirin.

6:30pm Virtual – Virtually attend the welcome event (keep track with the #sqlpass hashtag!) and meet the virtual chapters on the PASS Virtual Chapters Page. Virtual-virtual-virtual! 


From here on out, you should walk around your building twice between every segment of every day, to get the experience of walking around the Seattle conference center between sessions. But you can do it while snacking on too much fruit, nuts, cookies, candy, and coffee-flavored tea (or tea-flavored coffee).

8:15am LIVE  – Watch the live streamed Wednesday Keynote with Ted Kumert. Live blog it. Watch the #sqlpass Twitter feed to see how well your client keeps up with streaming tweets.

Day  - Pick two to four sessions from the recorded 24HOP session on SQLPass.org (login required).  Spend the rest of the time you would be in sessions talking to your coworkers about how awesome/flawed SQL Server is.

Also be sure to take advantage of the heightened Twitter presence by asking all your most pressing SQL questions using the #sqlhelp hashtag. It’s your very own personal Ask the Experts session!

7:00pm Virtual - Order in something yummy and keep track of the highly vulgar, entertaining, and exclusive P.U.S.S. Inappropriate Sessions event via the hashtag #PUSS2011 on Twitter. Come up with your own Inappropriate session and blog/tweet/present it to your cat / local bar crowd. Remember to swear a lot, and assign someone the job of randomly shouting “THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID”. Give yourself something random as an award.

Bonus points for finding a karaoke bar afterward, and shutting it down.


Morning: Dress in your spiffiest kilt for #SQLKilt Thursday; throughout the day, treat anyone who is NOT wearing a kilt as silly and out of the loop. Grab coffee out, and eat yogurt, cantaloupe, and cold pastries for breakfast. Grumble about this to whoever is standing near.

8:15am LIVE  – Watch the live streamed Wednesday Keynote with Quentin Clark. Live blog it.

Sessions - Pick a few from the recorded 24HOP session on SQLPass.org.

11:30 am LIVE - Pick up lunch from the same buffet-style restaurant as yesterday, and watch the live streamed Women in Technology luncheon. See if it doesn’t surprise you, and blog about it. (Here is the recording of last year’s WIT luncheon.)

3-5:00pm Virtual - Tweet us questions while Sean is manning the Ask the Experts table as a Powershell guru. (I may have the time wrong on this, but hey, tweet us anyway.)

Evening: Go out to your local Gameworks with some friends. Challenge them to that dance game, and use your kilt to your best advantage.


Morning: Grab coffee out, and eat cantaloupe and cold pastries for breakfast (PASS is now out of yogurt). Grumble emphatically about this to whoever is standing near.

8:15am LIVE - Watch the live streamed Thursday Keynote…don’t miss David DeWitt! Live blog it. Bask in the pure awesome. (Edit: Here is the recording of the Thursday keynote. It. Was. Incredible.)

Sessions - Pick a few from the recorded 24HOP session on SQLPass.org.

11:30am Virtual - Pick up lunch from the SAME buffet-style restaurant as the last two days. Birds of a Feather time!  Tweet or email me your You-Tell-Em SQL Horror Stories.

11:00pm CST (9pm ET) LIVE - Watch and chat with the MidnightDBAs in our weekly DBAs at Midnight live webshow (at http://webshow.MidnightDBA.com )!

After the Summit

  • Buy – or better yet, get your company or user group to buy – the PASS Summit sessions and pre- and post-con DVDs.
  • Keep up with the people on Twitter) and blogs that you’ve become familiar with at PASS.
  • And be sure to rest and hydrate: the Summit takes a LOT out of you!

Happy virtual days,
Jen McCown

Currently there are "5 comments" on this Article:

  1. [...] best place to find out what is being streamed online to watch off-site is going to be Jen’s post here on “attending PASS Summit Virtually.” It’s pretty much where I was going to go, because I [...]

  2. [...] Jen McCown’s blog post here: “Attend the PASS Summit from Home”. I’ll be doing a lot of this. I’ll be watching the keynotes as they’re broadcast, [...]

  3. Jeremy Marx says:


    SELECT dbo.ConvertTimeZone(’08:15:00′, ‘ET’, ‘PT’) [SummitTime]


    (1 row(s) affected)

    Yeah, that’s what I thought. So, opening keynote is at five in the morning? Man, you guys start early!

  4. [...] If you’re not here, remember to follow along at home with my convenient guide.  [...]

Comment on this Article:

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Where are We?

November 3-7: PASS Summit, Seattle, WA

PASS Summit: Jen is presenting How to Interview a DBA: A Panel Debate on Thursday 11/6 1:30pm, room 401 (along with Adam Machanic, Sean McCown, Bob Pusateri, and Michelle Ufford).

PASS Summit: Sean is presenting Performance Tuning Your Backups on Wednesday 11/5 3:00pm, room 602-604.

December 11: Presenting "Powershell Cmdlets.." at Alaska SQL Server User Group

January 30: "Become an Enterprise DBA" precon at Austin SQL Saturday

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