Realizing I was lucky enough to attend PASS Summit 2011, I’ve decided a blog post is de rigueur. So, here goes.

Jeremiah Peschka’s session Rewrite Your T-SQL for Great Good ! kept me in stitches. His statement “We need standards like a Lego whale needs a bicycle” still cracks me up. I wanna use that line myself, only it probably won’t be as effective without the photo that Jeremiah used in his slides. I’m still scratching my head about his suggestion that code should be tested in Production, though. I wish he’d included a methodology for this. Of course, I may have misunderstood him completely…

Only Rob Farley’s session Joins, SARGability and the Evils of Residualiciousness rivaled Jeremiah’s in terms of entertainment value. And this had nothing to do with the fact that Rob was wearing a kilt. Rob is just a funny guy. I’m half-disappointed he didn’t pull out the guitar during his talk, though. We all could have broken out in song and it would have come as great relief after thinking so many deep thoughts.

Itzik Ben-Gan’s pre-con Advanced T-SQL for SQL Server 2008 and Denali was a must. Loved how he typed out his code during his demo so we could see how he thinks. I figure that’s the closest thing to getting inside that man’s brain. My brain can think like that, too. I’m sure of it. I just need to be patient. (I’m still waiting…)

I was long overdue for Ami Levin’s talk on physical join operators. His use of playing cards to demonstrate how the query engine performs joins was brilliant. I think now I’ll write better code.

It was a hoot to see Erik Veerman in the flesh at his session Anger Management: Overcoming SSIS Deployment and Configuration Challenges. He’s on the cover of the big, fat SSIS book that’s been sitting on my desk at work for the past year. He looks just as good in real life.

These are just a few of the highlights. All the speakers were good. But, most importantly, two good things came out of PASS…

I’ve started a Lunch ‘n Learn where I work so that I can share what I’ve learned at PASS with my colleagues. Although I’m not a big presenter, I’m excited about the new ‘tricks’ I’ve learned. I even want to share the esoteric stuff that went over my head, like workspace memory and resource semaphore queues, because if someone else “gets it” it’s a win-win. I’m hoping my enthusiasm for SQL Server is contagious. Maybe some of the team will even get to go next year.

The second good thing that came out of PASS is that I attended #passprayers for the first time. Shocking that I got up at 5:00 am to meet for prayers at 6:00. I’m not a morning person ! But I did. And I’m glad.

Many thanks to @Mike_Walsh for starting this group. Not a regular church-goer myself, (as I confessed at the gathering, I’m a bad Catholic!) I nonetheless found myself looking forward to meeting up each morning more and more. I really can’t explain how powerful it was to worship together, but I can say that I continue to be inspired by my fellow PASS attendees’ faith.

I learned a lot of things at PASS. But the most important thing I learned is that PASS stands for _PASS_ion, – for the technology we love…and for the One who makes it all possible.