A Recap of PASS Summit 2016

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. It’s time for the annual PASS Summit. Just like every year, I had the pleasure of attending Summit – as a data professional, as a speaker and as a volunteer. As always, it was a pleasure. You’ll be surprised to hear that this time the summit took place in Seattle. And they even picked a unique venue – Washington Convention Center. (I’m kidding, of course. It’s the same location every year).

I arrived to Seattle on Saturday, October 22. The conference itself started with the welcome reception on Tuesday, and then the main conference took place between Wednesday and Friday. Here is my summary of this week…

Saturday, October 22

I arrived at noon after a long flight from Bangkok with a connection in Tokyo. I delivered a course to a customer in Bangkok in the previous week, and spent some great time with my family in Ko Samui before that. The time difference between Seattle and Bangkok is 10 hours, and between Seattle and Israel it’s also 10 hours, but to the other direction. So I was jet-lagged from every angle. Nevertheless, I decided to spend the day somehow and go to sleep only in the evening. So I rented a car at the airport and went to do some shopping, so that I can get rid of that part of the trip.

I had a short connection in Tokyo, but enough time to do this:

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Sunday, October 23

I managed to sleep around 5 hours, and woke up at 2am. So I had enough time for a long run in the streets of Seattle, and then a long breakfast at some diner outside of the city. After that, I wanted to see some nature, and there is a lot of that in Washington. A dear friend who lives in Seattle recommended the Rattlesnake Mountain Trail. I was there with the first sunlight, and I climbed the mountain up to the first viewpoint and back. It’s a beautiful trail in the woods, approximately 4 miles. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a camera, and my phone was dead. So no photos from that trip.

I also met some old friends that day, and it was fun. I had a great day!

Monday, October 24

Monday was a working day. I managed to wake up only at 04:30 in the morning (yay). I spent most of the day in my hotel room, preparing for my sessions (I had two of them this year, more details later) and doing other work. Not much to say about that day, except maybe for the great steak I had at Miller’s Guild.

Tuesday, October 25

As the leader of the Israeli PASS chapter, I attended the chapter leaders meeting that day. It was great to meet fellow chapter leaders from all over the world. Like every year, we discussed ways to improve our chapters’ experience, e.g. how to get more speakers, how to get more sponsors, how to increase members’ engagement, etc. I went out from the meeting with some new ideas, which I am going to try soon.

The welcome reception marked the beginning of the conference. As usual, it was a great opportunity to meet the entire SQL family, eat some food and drink some beer. From there I went to the volunteers’ party for some more networking, food and drinks. I returned to the hotel late at night, and managed to sleep a few hours before the first day of the conference.

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Wednesday, October 26

The day started with the first keynote, which was delivered by Microsoft Corporate Vice President, Data Group – Joseph Sirosh. Joseph talked about the intelligence revolution. He explained how the cloud, data and intelligence are combined together in order to provide modern business solutions. He also discussed the three intelligence layers: the intelligent DB, the intelligent lake and deep intelligence.