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An interesting month to take off

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Well, I certainly chose an interesting month to take off. Due to the fact that a lot happened in such a short time.

Usually, December is seen as a quiet month. However, it was December 2020, and I should have realized that anything could happen. I have to admit a couple of times I went online to take part in discussions and update a post quickly. However, that was about it for me.


For most people in the Microsoft Data Platform industry the biggest news is that PASS will cease to exist after January 15th. I will cover that more towards the end of this post. Along long with a list of established Microsoft Data Platform conferences currently in Europe.

A lot of other things happened in December as well. For example, the announcement about CentOS Linux being no more. You can read more about that in detail here. In typical good timing the Netherlands entered a stricter lockdown whilst I was on leave as well.

Still, it’s not all being bad news.

For example, the Azure Arc Jumpstart site was introduced. It’s a very useful site that will get you up and running with Azure Arc as soon as possible. You can find out more about Azure Arc here.

In addition, updates for both Azure Data Studio and SQL Server Management Studio became available. I’m sure a lot of people are happy about the fact that that they can now install SQL Server Management Studio without Azure Data Studio. You can read how to do that here.

Community events

I did say I would cover the news about PASS again towards the end of this post. It’s obviously very big news. Which is why I went online briefly whilst I was away to update my end of year post here.

Since that post some Data Saturdays have being announces, as well as some additions to the call for data speakers service. Of course, it also meant I got involved in a bit of a discussion about it with other DataWeekender organizers.

In reality, it has got me thinking about what will happen to the community long term. Obviously, there are a lot of new initiatives in place and new ones appearing. I’m think the main thing right now if for everybody in the community worldwide to keep communicating until we know further what will happen with PASS assets.

As far as future events are concerned, there are already a lot of established events worldwide. Given the fact that a lot of people attend these events already and a lot of them are now virtual will there ever be a need to create a new event aimed at everybody worldwide?

For example, over the weekend I have been thinking about the established Data Platform conferences worldwide which are not PASS driven. Especially the ones hosted in Europe.

European hosted conferences

With this in mind, below is an initial list I have created of the ones hosted in Europe alone along with links to them. If I have missed an event it’s an oversight and I apologize. Feel free to contact me so that I can add it to the list.

  1. Data + AI Summit Europe
  2. Data Platform Discovery Day – European Edition
  3. Data Relay
  4. Data Saturday Holland
  5. DATA:Scotland
  6. DataGrillen
  7. dataMinds Connect
  8. DataWeekender
  9. GroupBy Europe
  10. Intelligent Cloud Conference
  11. JOIN!
  12. New Stars of Data
  13. Power BI Days
  14. Power Platform Summit Europe
  15. Power Saturday
  16. Redgate’s SQL in the City Summit London
  17. SQL Start!
  18. SQLBits
  19. SQLDay
  20. SQLdays (different event, you are not seeing double here)
  21. SQL Server Konferenz

Now this list purely consists of Microsoft Data Platform conferences. In reality, if I was to add all the cloud related conferences like Scottish Summit this list would be a lot bigger. It also excludes user groups and regular meetups like SQL Friday.

Another thing to mention is that there are also future events that are yet to happen I have not added. For example, Data Toboggan and dataMinds Saturday. Plus, I have not included events that have not happened for a while.


Like I said, this list is just in Europe alone. Worldwide there are a lot more Microsoft Data Platform conferences. Now that a lot of them are virtual it opens up the door for others worldwide to attend them.

I have wondered about things since the PASS announcement.

For instance, it makes me wonder what will happen once everybody can start doing physical events again? Lots of people miss physical conferences, but will some of them stay virtual to reach a wider audience?

Should the organizers of all the events worldwide get together to form another event like Summit as well as their own events? Will they have thought out policies about inclusiveness and diversity of speakers like DataWeekender has?

Outside of conferences, should the community try to recreate PASS or just keep communicating with each other and let people create their own initiatives instead? If so, who should be involved in forming it, a minority or the majority worldwide?

Will Microsoft or another vendor try to fill the void that PASS will leave behind?

I’m guessing time will tell. Especially since there is some uncertainty about what will happen the assets that PASS currently has.

Final word

Well, I hope me talking about my choosing an interesting month to take off has been of interesting reading. I also hope my questions have given some of you food for thought.

It took a while to check all the current conferences in Europe. However, if you think I have missed out a conference or have any thoughts about this post feel free to leave a comment.

An interesting month to take off
Speaking at one of the listed conferences
Published inFood for thought

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