and so did you, if you are a member of the SQL Server community.
I had of the three abstracts in the DBA category selected to go up before a community vote for the PASS SQLRally Pre-Cons. I finished in 3rd place, behind Grant Fritchey and the PowerShell guys (Aaron Nelson and Max Trinidad). I was realistic about my chances when I submitted. A security training pre-con was a long shot, but I decided I would rather have tried and not be chosen than to regret never having given it a shot. But this isn't about me, but it's about us. See, we got to vote. We got to vote in several categories for who we wanted to receive training from. The process to get to that vote was clearly communicated: three abstracts would be chosen from each category. And then those abstracts would be put to a community vote. The winner of the vote in each category would get to do the precon for the PASS SQLRally conference. And that's exactly how it worked!
Now is the time to start working over your boss about getting to go to SQLRally, especially if you didn't get to go to the PASS Summit because work wouldn't send you or if you did go to the Summit and had to pay out of pocket. The best deal, which includes a pre-con of your choice and the two day conference registration, ends December 31, 2010. The pre-cons that were selected are well worth going to. For Business Intelligence you've got the Pragmatic Works guys. In the DBA track there is Grant Fritchey, and that's honestly a pre-con I'm looking at trying to get to myself! (See, I told you I won.) For database development you have Plamen Ratchev. Another guy you can't go wrong with and if it weren't for Grant, the pre-con I'd look to be attending (sorry, BI guys). And finally, for career development there's Kevin Kline. No, not the actor, but even better, and you know what I mean if you've ever talked to Kevin. It all boils down to having very smart people in our community providing excellent training for a very low price. Speaking of which, even if you did get your boss to send you to the PASS Summit, you need to try and get to the PASS SQLRally, too. Take a pre-con and stay for the conference. Network and get your learning on. And if you can, come a few days early, bring the family, and enjoy Orlando. We all talk about wanting better work-life balance, and here's a great opportunity to accomplish that.