Sessions for new DBAs at PASS

I was recently asked if I thought the PASS Summit was appropriate for new database administrators.  My answer was a resounding YES!  But I wanted to add some specific reasons.  If I was a new DBA here are the 12 sessions I’d try to attend at PASS:

Proactive DBA: Manage SQL Server Better
Ross LoForte (Microsoft Corp.)

The Ultimate Free SQL Server Toolkit
Kevin Kline (Quest Software)

DRP101: Learn The Difference Between Your Log And Your Cluster
Brent Ozar (Quest Software)

Practical Performance Monitoring and Troubleshooting for the graduated beginner but not yet expert.
Joe Yong (Scalability Experts)

Securing and Hardening a SQL Server Implementation - Notes from the Field
Ross Mistry (Convergent Computing)

Insight into Indexes
Gail Shaw (XpertEase)

SQL Server Execution Plans From Compilation To Caching To Reuse
Maciej Pilecki (Project Botticelli Ltd.)

DBAs Behaving Badly... Worst Practices for Database Administrators
Rod Colledge (Independant Consultant)

Storage for the DBA
Denny Cherry (Awareness Technologies)

Understanding Logging and Recovery in SQL Server
Paul Randal (

SQL Server 2008 Manageability Features
Peter Ward (WARDY IT Solutions)

Troubleshooting applications accessing SQL Server
Abirami Iyer (Microsoft CSS)
Lakshmi Jonnakuti (Microsoft CSS)

There’s a little bit of everything thrown in.  You’ll learn about backup, security, disaster recovery and performance.  I threw in Kevin Kline’s session on free tools which will help with all of those. 

There are also some pre-conference sessions that are appropriate for new DBAs.  Either one of the following sessions on Monday would be helpful:

Care and Feeding of the Transaction Log (DBA Track)
Kalen Delaney (SQLearning)
Speaker Q&A: The Biggest Transaction Log Myth

SQL Server 2005/2008: Indexing for Performance (DBA Track)
Kimberly Tripp (
Paul Randal (

Friday also brings two great choices:

Practical Performance Monitoring and Troubleshooting (DBA Track)
Andrew Kelly (Solid Quality Mentors)
Speaker Q&A: Wait Stats Can't Wait

Disaster Recovery: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques (DBA Track)
Paul Randal (
Kimberly Tripp (

In addition I think one of the biggest benefits of PASS is the people you’ll meet.  You’ll find people like yourself in all these sessions.  Knowing other new DBAs that you can share problems and solutions with is very valuable.  Many of the people I ask for help with problems today are people I met through PASS.

I’d also encourage you to buy the Summit DVD.  The price is very reasonable and you’ll get access to the other 150+ sessions that you didn’t have time to attend.

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