By: Jason E. Bacani

As one of many Key2 Consulting members attending PASS Summit 2019, this year’s trip marks my fifth time going to the Emerald City for this wonderful learning and networking event. Suffice to say, I’m not a newcomer, but hopefully a newcomer attending Summit could benefit from this blog post.

Today, I want to highlight my plans for the conference including brief reasons and considerations. There is a lot to learn this year and, quite frankly, this schedule is not etched in stone. Networking and general buzz around the conference floor may steer me elsewhere, but as of October 24, here’s the plan!

First off, PSA: if you haven’t downloaded the GuideBook app on your smartphone, please do so. Through the following link, you can get directions on downloading and opening up the PASS Summit 2019 schedule on your phone, and plan out your conference schedule easily like I did.

Wednesday, November 06, Day One

PASS Summit 2019 Schedule Screenshot
10:45 AM – SQL Server and Azure Data: What to Use When, by Bob Ward, Anna Hoffman
Another PSA. Sessions in 6A-6E rooms are the LARGE sessions. That also means they’re popular and can handle the crowd. Additionally, we have speakers from Microsoft here, so you know you’re getting information from the source and from speakers who have inside information on the product. My particular project group is looking to leverage Azure very quickly, and I know I need to get up to speed as much as possible.

01:30 PM – Introducing SQL Server 2019 Big Data Clusters, by Ben Weissman
SQL Server with HDFS and Spark! Tell me more! Again, another upcoming need for 2020 projects on my plate.
03:15 PM – Head to Head: SSIS Versus Azure Data Factory, by Tim Mitchell
With cloud considerations over on-prem implementations, the need to use tools like Azure Data Factory (ADF) over SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) is higher than ever. You’ll find me here mid afternoon on Tuesday.
04:45 – Microsoft Data Engineering Unplugged, by Rie Irish, Asad Khan, Arun Ulagaratchagan, Bob Ward, Erin Stellato, Denny Cherry, Mike Flasko, Slava Oks
In the past, Summit hosted BI Power Hour with a bevy of speakers from Microsoft and other MVPs in the SQL Server Community. That session was one not to miss. This looks to be very similar, if not branded with a different name.

Thursday, November 07, Day Two

PASS Summit 2019 Key2 Schedule
10:45 PM – Fun with Azure Functions, by Tim Mitchell
Give me more Azure! I do hope it’s as fun as advertised!
01:30 PM – Code Like a Snake Charmer – Introduction to Python!, by Jamey Johnston
So this one will definitely stretch my skill set for sure. I’m a data guy and I don’t need to know how to code Python. Ahh, Jason, yes you do. Ok, so I’ll be here, and I will also attend the follow up on Friday. Wish me luck!
03:15 – Azure SQL Database – Lessons Learned from the Trenches, by Jose Manuel Jurado Diaz
Many of us are at Summit to learn how not to reinvent the wheel. We’re also here to learn from other’s mistakes.

Friday, November 08, Day Three


09:30 PM – Best Practices for Branching Database Code in Git, By Kendra Little
I’ve been working with Team Foundation Servers for source control most of career, but Git is the new standard. Another opportunity to learn, hopefully with the context around database projects over app dev code.
11:00 AM – Improving Database Code Quality with Unit Tests, by Elizabeth Noble
Ever been a victim of poor testing or no testing practices? Yes, I’ve been there. Thus, I’ll be here.
02:00 PM – Dynamic SQL: Writing Efficient Queries on the Fly, by Edward Pollack
I’ve done my share of implementing Dynamic SQL, but maybe I can gain some further insights here as we near the end of the conference.
03:30 PM – Code Like a Snake Charmer – Advanced Data Modeling in Python!, by Jamey Johnston
Finishing off Summit with the final installment of Python! I hope I survive!

Final Thoughts

Wow, that’s a lot, right? My advice to others attending PASS Summit 2019 is to be a sponge as much as possible. Odds are you’re there to learn. Learn as much as possible. And don’t forget to network too! And with that, if you see myself or any of the great folks from Key2 Consulting at the conference, please stop us and say hello. We’d love to meet you, and if there’s an opportunity to work and collaborate, let’s do it!
Thanks for reading. See you in the Emerald City!

– @JEBacaniSQLDude



Thanks for reading. We hope you found this blog post to be useful. Do let us know if you have any questions or topic ideas related to BI, analytics, the cloud, machine learning, SQL Server, (Star Wars), or anything else of the like that you’d like us to write about. Simply leave us a comment below, and we’ll see what we can do!

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Key2 Consulting is a data warehousing and business intelligence company located in Atlanta, Georgia. We create and deliver custom data warehouse solutions, business intelligence solutions, and custom applications.