We had our first oPASS meeting of the year last week with about 18 attending. Jonathan Kehayias was our featured speaker, doing a a nice presentation on common performance issues. Always a topic of interest, and we had lots of good questions during the presentation. I also spent about half an hour leading a discussion about the value that PASS might/should bring to DBA's and about networking. On the PASS side I think everyone wants to find value, less clear about how to provide that value. As I discussed some preliminary ideas about blog aggregation and discovery most agreed that it would be useful - but not compelling! The networking discussion was by far the most interesting. I've written about networking several times recently with more to go, so this was also research - where to go next? As expected every sees networking as a good idea, but only a couple believed they were effective at it.
One question I was asking in the conversation that continued after the meeting was "does the average DBA really need to network (outside of their employer)?" Not as easy a question as you might think to figure out! More soon on that.
The meeting also was a reminder that networking conversations can pay dividends in the strangest ways. We moved around to discussion of social networking, and my friend Kendal asked whether the PASSPort had an API to allow tools to connect to it (because he uses such a tool to consolidate his social presence). I don't the answer yet, but if not I can see it being a challenge - most social networkers are fairly serious about their networking/tools.
Our next meeting is March 11, 2009, no speaker scheduled yet. We always need speakers, if you're interested in visiting with us drop me a note.