Interview with PASS Summit 2012 Speaker - Denny Cherry

This year I decided to assist PASS Summit attendees and also people who are still contemplating whether to attend by getting Summit thoughts from various 2012 speakers. This interview is with SQL Server MVP Denny Cherry.

Tell us about yourself

I am an independent consultant with over a decade of experience working with various platforms, including SQL Server, Hyper-V, vSphere, and Enterprise Storage solutions. My areas of technical expertise include system architecture, performance tuning, replication, and troubleshooting. In addition to being a Microsoft MVP, I currently hold several Microsoft certifications related to SQL Server for versions 2000-2008, including the Microsoft Certified Master. I am also a VMware vExpert and have written several books and dozens of technical articles on SQL Server management and how SQL Server integrates with other technologies.


Twitter: @mrdenny

Tell us your favorite thing about your PASS session(s)

My favorite thing about my PASS sessions is the same thing about every session that I give.  The fact that people are willing to come and sit in a room for an hour (or a day at my pre-con) and listen to what I’ve got to say.  I love sharing the knowledge that I’ve picked up over the years and the fact that the session attendees trust me enough to teach them still inspires me.

Tell us about your first time at PASS Summit

My first time at the PASS summit was the year we were in Denver 4 or 5 summits ago now.  I was there on a budget and a had a GREAT time at the sessions and the after events just talking to people and making new friends, many of those friends are people that are still friends to this day.

What advice do you have for PASS Summit First Timers?

Rule #1 at the PASS summit: never eat alone, for any meal.  There are going to be over 4000 people at the summit that all work with the exact same product that you do for a living.  You don’t have to go out drinking and get trashed all night every night, but go out and try and meet some people.  There are lots of places that you can go to meet people, both inside and outside of the convention center.  The easiest place to find people later in the evening is usually a bar/restaurant called the Tap House.  It’s in 6th between Pike and Pine above a 3 minute walk from the convention center.  I know that it’s hard for a lot of people, but just walk up to a group of nerdy looking people (it’ll probably be mostly guys) and just introduce yourself.  Another place to look for people is the lobby bar of the Sheraton hotel.  For lots more ideas check out my webcast that I’m doing for first timers.  The webcast will be October 17th at 1pm Pacific and will be recorded so that you can view it after the fact.

What are your can't-miss PASS sessions?

Besides my sessions, anything by Bob Ward is a great session that you won’t want to miss.  It’ll be a very in-depth session, but the technical knowledge that Bob and his team have is amazing.

Besides sessions, what's on your must-do list at Summit?

Outside of the sessions my only must-do is to socialize with friends that I don’t get to see all that often.  With SQL Saturdays all over the world it’s a lot easier to see some people, but there are still lots of friends that I only get to see at the PASS summit.

How can attendees become involved in the SQL Server Community and continue their learning throughout the year?

The SQL PASS website ( is a great place for free education.  There are the local user groups and chapters as well as the virtual chapters all of which provide free sessions usually monthly.


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