Dan Evans' Blog

SQL PASS Summit 2014 – Day 2

A well received Keynote this morning given by Dr Rimma Nehme. There was a sentiment that this one was better especially because of the distinct lack of marketing waffle. Despite being tied to her laptop due to a broken clicker she delivered a well-rounded talk on Azure and received a standing ovation.

I finished the rest of the morning by attending Adam Machanic’s session on Query Tuning which focused exclusively on parallelism, with many ways of tricking the query optimizer into forcing parallel executions. I have no idea how he manages to come up with some of these - Excellent talk is all I can say.

In the afternoon, I went to Tim Mitchell’s Bullet-resistant SSIS Packages talk. This was enjoyable and featured some great tips regarding package restartability and event handlers. There were plenty of questions which meant that it felt cut short at the end. It was a nice refresher in a way but I did not learn anything new, unfortunately.

Third talk was a bit of a mistake on my part. NOTE: always read the description for the talk and don’t try and judge it just by the title! Levels aren’t always a great indicator either. ‘Power Query: Business Users and ETL Developers Hug Day’ did not have hugs. Neither did I feel, that it was a level 300 talk. It was 200 at a push and was more of an introduction to Power Query with a few nice examples. While they were good I didn’t gain anything from this but that’s mostly my fault.

Lastly was an introduction into Azure Machine Learning. I found this to be very interesting as I’ve not encountered the technology before. Raymond Laghaeian provided an introduction into what Machine Learning is – an iterative process of feature engineering - following it up with a demo of supervised machine learning. I will definitely be having a play with this when I get home. If you are at all interested in Machine Learning you should really give it a try. It’s free and the only requirement to get started is to have a Microsoft account! Check it out here.

Anyway, onto the community Appreciation Party!