Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the PASS Summit in Charlotte, North Carolina. I’ve made attempts the past few years but I’ve never been able to put a trip together for one reason or another. This was my first PASS Summit which some have described as the Super Bowl of SQL Server conferences. The best and the brightest minds that work with SQL Server show up for a week of sessions and networking. After I missed the 2012 Summit I decided enough was enough and purchased my ticket before 2012 ended.
My plan for the 2013 Summit was simple: talk to as many people as possible. If I hit a few sessions that was cool but those sessions would be recorded. Being able to talk to some of the people that shape SQL Server is an opportunity that only comes once a year, so I wanted to take advantage of it.
What also made the Summit somewhat unique for me was that I’ve been involved in the SQL Server community for well over four years now. First on Twitter, then as a speaker at SQL Saturdays and user groups. So many of the speakers, organizers and volunteers I have known or had conversations with for years. So, I wasn’t going into this conference without knowing many people, which is a very cool feeling.
I spent the week having many conversations about SQL Server, the SQL Server community and trying to understand PASS’ role in the local chapters and SQL Saturday. I never had a meal by myself nor did I spend a night in my room wondering what to do. There was always a gathering after hours or a group to have dinner with. This community really does a great job in providing many, many opportunities for networking, learning, and having fun.
Overall, I had a great time and finally met many of the people that I’ve been chatting with on Twitter for years. It’s great to meet someone in person with a hello and a handshake. If you’re someone who deals with SQL Server whether you’re a developer, DBA, or BI practitioner this is the conference for you. I’m planning on making another trip to the PASS Summit next year in Seattle and who knows maybe I’ll be selected to speak. I’m not sure the Summit is ready for that…only one way to find out.