Annual #SQLFamily Reunion – PASS Summit 2013

A few people asked me, “Wait, you’ve just moved from US to Australia for a month and you’re flying back to US again?”. I generally grinned when I got asked this question. Sometimes you knew what you were doing, and no matter how many times people asked you to check your validity (or sanity), you were content with your decision and grinned.

Well, because I can not grin via blog, and I have a few hours before my return flight home to Australia, here is what I thought about my third PASS Summit..

Why PASS Summit 2013?

It is a big deal to me. I have just joined LobsterPot Solutions as a full time member, interestingly enough, PASS Summit is the one time in the year that we see each other, which happens to be in another country instead of our own! Yes, we are unique that way and we make a great team. This year, I was excited to see and to hang out with Rob Farley (b | t)  and Martin Cairney (t), as work mates, a team and #SQLFamily..

Secondly, I was selected to present on “From Impaired to Insightful Analysis with Geospatial Data“, a topic that I continued revising in the past year. Plus, I have also volunteered as a Virtual Chapter Mentor and a PASS DW/BI Virtual Chapter Leader role, so it was an honour to have an in person meetings with the other Virtual Chapter leaders and PASS coordinators; Denise McInerney (t) and Karla Landrum (t). It truly is about Connect, Share and Learn!

Last, but not least, PASS Summit is my ritual  reunion with a lot of friends from all over the world, and to meet with new friends too. I also felt honoured to have Mark Stacey (b | t)  sign a copy of my Visual Intelligence book (thank you to Christina Leo (b | t) for giving me a copy of the books). Most importantly and I could not begin to say how much I am proud of her, I planned my PASS Summit trip with Mickey Stuewe (b | t), my #SQLSister. Mickey has grown so much since I met her last year, as a SQL Professional, speaker, blogger and writer! Yup, my #SQLSister rocks!

VisualIntelligence signed

“To my twitter friend I finally met in person! Mark”

Visual Intelligence: Microsoft Tools and Techniques for Visualizing Data


What was your best moment?

Best moment was when I felt welcomed, which was all the time. From attending sessions, speaking at a session / interviews, talking to new friends, talking to old friends, being invited to official and unofficial PASS Summit after parties! I mean, wow! Sometimes by the end of the day, my cheeks would hurt from smiling and grinning all the time, but it felt great!

What was your sad moment?

On Friday at 5:15pm, after I attended Oliver Engels’s (t) and Julian Breunung’s brilliant and entertaining session on “R” vs “M”: Languages for Data Exploration. I soon realised that it was over for the year – no more PASS Summit 2013 session.

What was your funniest moment?

It’s hard to pick one, so I’m going to list 3:

Being at Quizbowl with Mickey and Mike Donnelly (b | t), losing points to -700 and brought it up as a team to 1100 which put us 2nd rank! Mickey and I really had a great time, losing and winning every single point with laughter.

Wearing the awesome propeller hats as Alumni Summit Buddies with Mickey, and coming up with “SQL-Dee” and “SQL-Dum” name for ourselves (as opposed to Tweeddle-Dee and Tweeddle-Dum). Photo courtesy of Mickey Stuewe.

Owly Images

Oh, did I mention I demo-bombed Kasper de Jonge (b | t) at BI Power Hour. Kasper is a polite Program Manager at Microsoft, who has helped me with a couple of Power Pivot bugs/questions this year, and I accidentally demo-bombed his presentation, commenting his accent. The 300+ attendees were laughing and entertained 🙂

Where to next?

I am very much looking forward to watching the session recordings. But in the mean time, I have checked out a few of the PASS TV episodes, and will continue watching them in the next couple of weeks.

I have learned that there are other good conferences all year round, around Europe/UK. I love travelling – I always have. So, where to next should hopefully include one of the conferences in Europe/UK as 54 weeks til another PASS Summit is way too long to wait.



Thank you for reading.

Until the next time we meet, hug and cheer as a #SQLFamily, stay safe and healthy.



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PASS Summit – looking back on my first time by Jonathan (@fatherjack)