This is the fourth in a series of interviews with speakers leading up to the 2012 PASS Summit which will be held in Seattle from November 6th - 9th. This interview is with SQL Server MVP Adam Machanic, the creator of T-SQL Tuesday.
Tell us about yourself
I am a SQL Server developer residing in the Boston, MA area. I focus on large scale relational data warehouses, primarily in the financial services industry. Sometimes I also like to get away from the computer, and on the rare occasion on which that happens I like to spend my spare time cooking, baking bread, and messing about with cocktails.
Blog(s): http://sqlblog.com/blogs/adam_machanic (not the most active thing in the world, these days)
Tell us your favorite thing about your PASS session(s)
This year I'm doing a session on taking control of SQL Server intra-query parallelism. Today's servers have a lot more cores, a lot more memory, and much faster storage than we were seeing even just five years ago. SQL Server's query processor is quite capable of taking advantage of this hardware, but the optimizer hasn't received much of an upgrade in several years. This means that if you want your big queries to run as fast as they possibly can, you need to take control. I'm a take-charge kind of guy, so this session fits in perfectly with my sensibilities.
Tell us about your first time at PASS Summit
My first Summit was 2004 or 2005. It was great to meet a lot of people with whom I'd previously conversed online. On the plane home I tried to remember everyone I'd met and talked to, and ended up writing a blog post with all of the names. I think there were at least 150 of them; quite the networking experience!
What advice do you have for PASS Summit First Timers?
Communicate! If you're at lunch, sit down at a table with other people. Talk to them. If you're in a room and a session hasn't started, strike up a conversation with the person next to you. Don't sit in your hotel room all night checking your e-mail. You can get plenty of SQL Server content online; the thing you can get at PASS that you can't get elsewhere is interaction with your fellow SQL Server professionals.
What are your can't-miss PASS sessions?
I always enjoy Bob Ward's sessions, and this year I'm planning to be there early so I can snag a front row seat.
Besides sessions, what's on your must-do list at Summit?
Whenever I'm in Seattle I make a point of spending some quality time at the Pike Place Market. Other than that, networking, networking and a bit of partying.
How can attendees become involved in the SQL Server Community and continue their learning throughout the year?
Attend your local SQL Server user group(s), follow and engage with people on Twitter, and block out time in your schedule for catching up on blog posts. Never stop reading.