Another fun filled day at PASS started with a session from Kalen Delaney. The room was packed and she was discussing query plans. I had heard a good bit of the content before but it was still interesting to finally see her present live. Very much like Itzik, her asides can be as informative as the content in her slides or demos.
The second session was a lot of fun as Paul Nielson and Louis Davidson had everyone join in their personal debate over what exactly is “proper design”. It was a 300 level session so nothing really earth-shattering came from it but it was really interesting to see the wide range of opinions across the room. There were even defenders of the dreaded “Muck” table, or the single table housing all look-up data (the horror!). I tend to fall on Louis’ side of most issues, but Paul made some strong arguments as well. At the end of the session Paul demoed a project called NORDIC which is an object-oriented database design. I’ll need to give this more attention before commenting but it certainly left me with questions swirling in my head.
The third session I attended was the most fun for me personally. Erik Kang, Program Manager from the product team, discussed intellisense and the debugger in 2008. We talked for a while after the session and I have a much better understanding of where he was coming from back in our early conversations about down-level support for intellisense. I think there are other pieces of the product that will be much better for the attention devoted to them than the time for implementing down-level support. I missed two opportunities to meet his team this week which really bummed me out. Just too many pieces of my schedule have been in play to make it happen.
The last session was a question and answer time with three general managers of the SQL team. They basically let attendees line up and fire questions at them for over an hour and a half. Now that’s brave. Some really interesting questions (some polite others not so much) were asked ranging from dedication to new product features (we hardly knew you Notification Services) to future support for jdbc driver. The coolest part to me was when a question was trending towards too technical a direction the GMs were able to point into the crowd and say “oh, here’s XXX he/she is the program manager for the area you’re discussing, they would be more than happy to talk more about it…”. Another benefit of having the event so near Redmond.
All in all, a tremendous day of SQL geekiness. I have to give some props again to Magenic for okaying this adventure out to the northwest. It’s been a great time.