PASS Summit 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013
by jsalvo

Adam and I attended PASS Summit for the first time this year in Charlotte, NC. We had a great time and enjoyed meeting new people. The following are a few highlights from our trip:

The Journey to Charlotte

Adam has his private pilots license and his instrument rating, so he flew us from Madison,WI to Charlotte, NC to attend PASS Summit. Adam is a member of a local flying club called Capitol City Flyers, so we were able to rent a plane to fly. We flew in a Diamond DA-40, a 4-seat aircraft. This was the second longest trip we’ve taken, our longest trip was to South Dakota two years prior.

The flight to Charlotte went smoothly since the weather was favorable. We even had some opportunities to fly in the clouds which is always a treat. Our flight path is shown below (KMSN KRFD KOVO KCLT) and took roughly 6 hours:


Here’s a view from the plane:


The flight back was more challenging due to weather systems and icing. We ended up taking a more indirect route through Tennessee to avoid the inclement weather. Since we were flying late afternoon into evening, we saw a beautiful sunset


and city lights


That pretty much wraps up our long-distance flying for the year. Looking forward to spring so we can plan another excursion!

PASS Summit Highlights

  • WIT Luncheon: The Women in Technology lunch consisted of a panel discussion. The topic of the session was ‘Beyond Stereotypes: Equality, Gender Neutrality, and Valuing Team Diversity’. The panel included Erin Stellato, Rob Farley, Cindy Gross, Kevin Klein and Gail Shaw. The discussion was very insightful with lots of good questions and answers. You can view the recording here.
  • Dr. DeWitt’s Keynote: On day 2, I attended Dr. DeWitt’s keynote presentation. I was fortunate to see him present at the Wisconsin SQL Server Business Intelligence group a few months back and always enjoy his presentations. He’s presented at PASS Summit several times in the past, the topic of his presentation this year was Hekaton. Seeing Dr. DeWitt present brings back fond memories of my time spent at the University of Wisconsin – Madison as a computer science student. He was my professor for the databases class I took as an undergraduate…yes, I was very lucky! The slides from his keynote are available here. Erin Stellato also has detailed notes from his keynote presentation on her blog.
  • Sessions: Saw many good sessions, mostly BI related. I especially enjoyed learning more about the PowerQuery Formula Language, Data Mining in SSAS and Big Data. A few of my favorite sessions are listed below:
    • Enriching Big Data for Analysis (BIA-404-M) by Lara Rubbelke and Adam Jorgensen
    • SQL Server Integration Services Roadmap (BIA-309-M) by Matt Masson and Wee Hyong Tok
    • Data Mining in SSAS (BIA-211-S) by Brian Knight
    • Deep Dive into the Power Query Formula Language (BIA-401-M) by Faisal Mohamood, Theresa Palmer-Boroski and Clemens Szyperski

NASCAR Hall of Fame

The Community Appreciation Party took place at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Thursday evening. Although I am not very familiar with NASCAR, I enjoyed seeing the historic cars and watching other IT pros try out the hands-on exhibits that included changing tires and racing in simulators.



Overall, my first PASS Summit was a great experience and I appreciated having the opportunity to attend!


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