PASS Summit 2019 – Getting the most out of it

The session line up for PASS Summit 2019 was announced today...there are so many good sessions to go to..managing time and what we do with our limited time there is an important skill..to some extent. I’d say it is partly skill, and partly luck to get the most out of it. We can control the skill part, so let’s see how.

1 If I am sponsored by my job, I’d consider the top sessions that I can go to that would add value to what I do at work. So let us say Powershell is one of them – I would shortlist all the sessions on powershell and decide which ones would add most value to what am doing, and attend those. One of the key things i’ve learned here is that a beginner level session on something I know does not necessarily disqualify it. It may certainly not be the best place for me to learn – but some beginner sessions are very creatively done, and can often offer new insights into something I already know. It also depends on the speaker who is presenting – I know certain speakers whose sessions I will attend, no matter what, which brings me to the next point.

2 Check the schedule for my favorite speakers and what they are presenting on. There are too many this year but I try to go to as many as I possibly can.

3 If I have skills I need to or like to learn personally – I try to attend all those sessions too. I have an ongoing list of those and keep up as much as I can.

Two of the challenges I face every year are as below:

1 Session I want to go to cancelled, room is full, or is not as good as I expected – in all of these cases I go to the next one I planned to. (Always have a backup plan). It does not hurt at all though to just stand in hallway and talk to someone I’ve not seen in a long time. Or visit the exhibit hall, or the community zone. All of these activities are part of the summit.

2 I feel too tired to walk to the session I want to go to – this is not at all uncommon while doing back-to-back sessions and the next session is at the other end of the conference center. Even if I manage the sprint, chances that the session will have room for me may be doubtful, unless it is one of the larger rooms. It is for reasons like this that we have summit recordings – this time they seem to cost extra (they are usually free for summit attendees). I would still invest in them to listen to all the talks I missed.

Last few tips are to attend keynotes, visit vendor area and do after hour parties. Also don’t forget to have your business cards on, you can self order if your company doesn’t. It is inexpensive and very worth it. Networking is a very important part of the summit – probably more important than going to sessions. Get rest as appropriate for you – there is no point having a very detailed list of classes to attend if you feel drowsy or fall asleep in them. Stay out for partying but watch for not overdoing it and killing the purpose why you’re there. Wear good walking shoes, and drink plenty of water. Hope this was helpful, and have fun!!

One thought on “PASS Summit 2019 – Getting the most out of it

  1. Reblogged this on Welcome to Ray Kim's 'blog and commented:
    I came across this article, and I liked it enough to reblog it. For one thing, I’m reblogging it for my own reference as I prepare for PASS Summit. Secondly, I think it’s great advice for anyone looking to attend not only PASS Summit, but SQL Saturday as well.

    Thanks, Malathi, for the article!


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