Next week is the PASS Summit in Seattle, where lots of SQL Server professionals will be gathering to network, bond, and learn a bit about SQL Server. I've been fortunate enough to attend many SQL Server events, and the highlights of the trips are always the chance to sit and talk with many of you out there that read this newsletter on a daily basis.
When I first started going to conferences in my career, I was often "that guy" as Tim Mitchell put it. I'd go to events, sit in as many sessions as possible, but often hang out alone at nights, catching up on work or watching a little TV. Over time I realized that some valuable information at sessions came from the speaker answering questions informally at the end. I'd hang out with those groups, listening and learning. The next year I even asked a few questions, getting solutions to a few issues in my environment.
Over time I've found that the most valuable information that I got from events wasn't in the sessions, but between them. Or before them, or after them. The best information, tips, tricks, ideas, and inspiration came from talking with other attendees. Learning what they might do in a similar situation, or how they've solved a problem, or even just getting their advice on what you've implemented. That's networking; getting out there, talking with others, and making friends or acquaintances.
It's easy to do, and you can start with me. If you signed up for our networking event on Monday night, swing by and say hi. I'll be Adam Machanic's pre-con on Tuesday and the SQLServerCentral party Tuesday night. The rest of the week I'll look like the guy in the image above, so feel free to stop me and say hi. Don't forget to do the same with the people sitting next to you at sessions, meals, or even while waiting in a line at any event.
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