PASS 2011 Countdown – 1 Week To Go

Oh, dear! One more week until this year’s PASS Summit.  If you haven’t registered yet, you’re really cutting it close.  It’s really easy to do, click on the banner below and enter some information about you and your finances – invest in your career by just typing in a 16-digit code to a financial institution.


Of course, let’s have a video to go with this week’s post, can’t stop a good thing now, can we?

First Timers

One of the themes for this week’s post is First Timers.  At PASS, First Timers are those of us that are attending PASS for the first time – the name almost makes it obvious.  The aim is to make sure that people make the best out of the summit their first time.  Instead of doing what many of us do and wasting opportunities to connect throughout the week.

There are a lot of posts and web casts out there already to take a look at, so coming up with something new will be a bit challenging.  So instead, here are a few things you should take a look at:

  1. PASS First Timers Guide
  2. Don’t Be This Guy
  3. An Open Challenge to PASS Summit Attendees
  4. How to Attend a Technical Conference
  5. PASS Summit 2011 promises news, networking, instruction
  6. Seattle101: Things to See and Do in Seattle with Your New Friends


The other theme is presenters.  If you are presenting at the PASS Summit, this is it.  It’s the big show!  You got in and if you screw this up, your career is tanked.  Naw, just kidding.  Relax!  It is going to be all right.

As someone who has presented a few times in the past, and one time at the PASS Summit, I think I am in a position to offer a little advice.

  1. Accept your presentation for what it is. This week is the time to polish and mold your presentation.  There’s still a little time left.  Next week, don’t let a presentation you see in the morning tempt you to “improve” what you have.  Go with what you brought.
  2. Practice the demos – go through them and know them.  Don’t think because you wrote them and they worked one that it means they will work again.  Things can and do change and it’s good to know what can happen.  Make sure your presentation is repeatable.
  3. Increase your screen fonts for code AND results.  Your presentation will be broadcast on a giant screen in a giant room – this is a time for tiny font.  Do the guy in the back a favor and go big
  4. Have a backup plan.  If the demo doesn’t work, have an alternative.  Don’t sweat it and move on.  If the presentation is almost all demos – get some screen shots as a backup.  Sometimes things take longer to execute in front of 200 people than they do in front of a mirror.  Know what you would do when you fail
  5. Don’t be afraid to fail.  There is nothing in your presentation that can be more embarrassing than the videos I include on these posts.
  6. Don’t worry.  It’s going to be fine.  They don’t see the sweat and they think you smell wonderful


Hopefully, some of this has been helpful to people.  First timers – you are in for a great week.  Presenters – it will be great for all of you as well.  Let’s all meet at Bush Gardens on Wednesday to celebrate the first full day with some SQLKaraoke.