An Engineer and a tiger walk into a Clinic at the PASS Summit 2018

Sounds like there should be a punchline right? Well, there is. Microsoft will be in full force at PASS Summit 2018, and this is the third blog post in a series describing the involvement of the Microsoft SQL Server engineering team there. You can read more about our keynotes and our Modernizing pre-conference seminar from this series. In this post, I’ll talk more about the SQL Server engineering team sessions and participation in the famous Data Clinic (aka the SQL Clinic) covering everything from SQL Server 2019 to the practical and to the modern.

SQL Server 2019

You may have seen the buzz about the launch of SQL Server 2019 preview a few weeks ago. Our team will immerse you in the strategy and the details of SQL Server 2019 with the following sessions:

The Tiger team

Many people have asked me whether the Tiger team is some special ops unit of SQL Server. Well in a way, yes: they are all members of the SQL Server engineering team but with very special skills and customer experience, and the team always puts on amazing presentations. Check out the lineup:

Don’t miss these

SQL Server is no longer just a relational database engine, it is a modern data platform. And innovative, new parts of that platform are technologies like graph, Machine Learning Services, Java language support, in-memory columnstore, and containers. I promise you will walk away from these sessions and learn something you didn’t know.

The Data Clinic

In 2003, Ken Henderson approached me with the idea that we should not just speak at the PASS Summit, but also do something more interactive. That year we started something called the Service Center with just the two of us in a room answering questions. The first day, almost no one came. The next day it was announced at the keynote we would both be in a room answering questions. Later that day there were so many people in line to talk that the fire marshal had to kick people out of the room. Thus was born a unique opportunity to interact with Microsoft experts with no special add-on fees. Years later in 2009, Mark Souza approached me and asked if we could combine forces with the CAT team to create something even bigger. We called it the SQL Clinic. It grew into something legendary. Each year we had to find a bigger space to accommodate the crowds. CSS and CAT together would offer troubleshooting and architecture advice, ad-hoc with no special prep. We would help customers solve real-world problems or questions live, on laptop or whiteboards. Later, the rest of the SQL Engineering team joined the clinic to make it something special. Now at any time during the day, you can walk into the clinic “area” (a room is too small) and interact with SQL Engineering developers and program managers, architects, the Tiger Team, and the CAT team. And as the expansion of the SQL Server product grew into Azure, we renamed it the Data Clinic to account for BI and Azure services such as Azure SQL Database and CosmosDB. So whether you have a scratch, a broken leg, or need some serious surgery (ok I’m just kidding, it is not a real clinic), come find us right across from the Expo entrance and get the answers you need or meet folks you have always wanted to meet from the engineering team. Or, drop by to chat during Data Clinic Happy Hour, 4-6 PM on Wednesday, November 7. Finally, you can read the history behind the clinic in the PASS v20 stories.

We will also staff an expo booth with demos and other opportunities to answer your questions. And we will also have short, 20-minute theater sessions in the booth, where will demonstrate all the technologies of SQL Server 2019 and our tools and you’ll get a chance to take home some fun giveaways.

Finally, I want to extend an invitation to anyone attending to the PASS Summit to come and meet our team. Whether you find us at the clinic, after a session, at the booth, or just in the hallways. Please don’t hesitate to stop and meet us and ask us a question. SQL Server is only successful because of the incredible community that uses and supports this product. I can speak for everyone in our engineering team that we get it. We know this is your conference. And since this conference is for you, we don’t want any question unanswered. This is my 16th PASS Summit and it is an event I look forward to every year. Our team hopes you walk away with the resources you need and enjoy all the content from Microsoft and our great community. See you in Seattle!