Dev Nambi - You Can't Hide the Signal 2015-03-05T10:10:10-08:00 Dev Nambi Copyright (c) 2010-2013 Dev Nambi PASS Summit - Topics, Topics Everywhere 2015-03-05T00:00:00-08:00 <h3>Background</h3> <p>Technical conferences live and die by their community, and their content. A community conference like <a href="">PASS Summit</a> succeeds when it helps its presenters.</p> <p>Several weeks ago, PASS advertised a survey, asking the community what <a href="">topics and sessions</a> they would be interested in. The survey link was sent out with the <a href="">PASS Connector</a> to 122.5K subscribers, and there were 85 responses. That's <a href="">roughly typical</a> for large email surveys.</p> <h3>Survey results and analysis</h3> <p>The raw survey results are <a href="">available</a>. However, one limitation with survey responses is <a href="">sampling bias</a>: survey results don't reflect the audience they represent because some types of people respond more than others.</p> <p>For example, 10.4 % of PASS Summit 2014 attendees were consultants, and yet only 3.6% of the survey responses were. To compensate for this, I biased (weighted) the survey results to be representative of the distribution of Summit attendees. In this example, consultant responses would be weighted by 2.88 (10.4% / 3.6% = 2.88).</p> <p>The weighted survey responses are on <a href="">GitHub</a>.</p> <h3>Overview</h3> <p><strong>Session Content</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="Session Types" /></p> <p>On a scale of 1-4 (4 meaning ideal interest), the most popular session content is for new SQL Server features, demos, and script examples.</p> <p><strong>Session Format</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="Session Formats" /></p> <p><strong>Tracks</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="Tracks" /></p> <h3>Topics of Interest</h3> <p><strong>Azure</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="Azure Interest" /></p> <p><strong>Application Development</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="Application Development Interest" /></p> <p><strong>BI Information Delivery</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="BI Information Delivery Interest" /></p> <p><strong>BI Platform Architecture</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="BI Platform Architecture Interest" /></p> <p><strong>DBA</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="DBA Interest" /></p> <p><strong>Professional Development</strong></p> <p><img src="" alt="Professional Development Interest" /></p> <h3>Interpretation</h3> <p>Looking at the data, I find a few interesting narratives:</p> <ul> <li>PASS Summit is a mature conference, and many people are return attendees. As a result, many of the best practices, tips-and-tricks styles of sessions have been done before.</li> <li>There is strong interest in panel discussions and 'birds of a feather' style events. I am guessing that's because there's not enough time to hear from all of the interesting people at PASS.</li> <li>DBA topics haven't changed much since my SQL Server 2005 days: DMVs, performance tuning, monitoring, memory management, HA/DR.</li> <li>BI attendees are really interested in the latest stuff: PowerPivot, self-service BI, Azure BI, and Data Mining.</li> </ul> <p>There are many, many different lessons and conclusions you can draw from this data, so I'll let you speculate about the rest. Enjoy!</p> Say Anything! PASS Summit Feedback and Ratings 2014-12-17T00:00:00-08:00 <p>In my <a href="">last blog post</a>, I explored some of the patterns found when looking at attendance of PASS Summit 2014 sessions. Attendees also left feedback...</p> PASS Summit Attendance and Predictions 2014-12-17T00:00:00-08:00 <p>Technical conferences live and die by their community. An engaged audience and talented speakers will be very successful. The goal of conference organizers, then, is to identify and develop good speakers and good content, so their audience thrives.</p> Cheap Computing with AWS Spot Instances 2014-11-16T00:00:00-08:00 <p>You can run <a href="">Amazon Web Services</a>' <a href="">VMs</a> cheaply by bidding for computing capacity, using <a href="">Spot Instances</a>. The virtual machines (instances) you get are <em>identical</em> to <a href="">on-demand VMs</a>. The only difference is the pricing.</p> Let Me In! The Attendance Challenge 2014-09-30T00:00:00-07:00 <p>Many large technical conferences have a thorny problem: It’s hard for attendees to get into all the sessions they want to attend. The solution is to do a better job with session scheduling and room allocation, assigning the more popular sessions to bigger rooms.</p> T-SQL Tuesday - Assumptions, and Wisdom 2014-07-08T00:00:00-07:00 <p><img src="" style="float:right" /></p> T-SQL Tuesday - Assumptions 2014-07-01T00:00:00-07:00 <p><img src="" style="float:right" /></p> PASS Business Analytics 2014 2014-06-15T00:00:00-07:00 <p>A few weeks ago I had the privilege of attending of the <a href="">PASS Business Analytics conference</a> (PASS BAC) with 750 other data geeks in San Jose, CA.</p> Exercise Using Data 2014-04-18T00:00:00-07:00 <p>There are many choices when looking at nutrition, exercise and medicine. Most people in the US and Europe <a href="">suffer, pay, and die</a> from chronic '<a href="">lifestyle diseases</a>.'</p> The Road Through Strata - Thursday 2014-02-13T00:00:00-08:00 <p>This was my last day at the <a href="">Strata</a> conference.</p> The Road Through Strata - Wednesday 2014-02-12T00:00:00-08:00 <p>This was my second day at <a href="">Strata</a>.</p> The Road Through Strata - Day 1 2014-02-11T00:00:00-08:00 <p>This was my first day at Strata. Here's what I found.</p> The Road Through Strata - Preparations 2014-02-10T00:00:00-08:00 <p>This week I will be at the <a href="">Strata</a> conference. It's the place to be if you're a data scientist. I shall be there, blogging the whole time.</p> All About College 2013-12-10T00:00:00-08:00 <p>I was recently asked by my youth group to provide resources for high school students considering college. Here's what I came up with...</p> PageRank in SQL 2013-12-03T00:00:00-08:00 <p>One of the most profound ideas in the last 20 years is <a href="">PageRank</a>, the original algorithm of <a href="">Google's</a> search engine.</p> SQL Saturday 265 - Tips for Presenting 2013-11-05T00:00:00-08:00 <p>This previous Saturday was <a href="">SQL Saturday Oregon</a>. My favorite was a workshop Q&amp;A about how to give technical presentations, organized by <a href="">Jes Borland</a>. Present were a good mix of newcomers, experienced speakers, and <a href="">inexperienced speakers</a>. Here's what I took away from the session.</p> The Seattle Art Museum with Data 2013-11-05T00:00:00-08:00 <p><em><strong>How can data help the Seattle Art Museum?</strong></em></p> PASS Summit 2013 Keynote - Back to Basics 2013-10-22T00:00:00-07:00 <p><a href="">Dr. David DeWitt</a> recently presented a keynote (<a href=";v=aW3-0G-SEj0">video</a>, <a href="">slides</a>) for <a href="">PASS Summit 2013</a> on the new <a href="">Hekaton query engine</a>. I was impressed by how the new engine design is rooted in basic engineering principles.</p> The Principal-Agent Problem 2013-10-13T00:00:00-07:00 <p><img src="" style="float:left" /></p> SQL Saturday Redmond - Machine Learning for Mere Mortals 2013-04-10T00:00:00-07:00 <p><img src="" style="float:right" ></p>