A few weeks ago I asked a colleague, who is a DBA, if he was going to the SQL PASS Summit. He had no idea what PASS was. It then occurred to me that there are probably thousands of DBAs, BI developers, DW architects, etc, who do not know about PASS. After all, a few years ago I had no idea either.
Quite simply, PASS (Professional Association of SQL Server) is an organization that promotes SQL Server and puts on top-notch conferences. The PASS Summit is by far the biggest SQL Server conference, attracting over 5000 attendees. Microsoft frequently makes major announcements at the conference. There are dozens of sessions with all the major speakers in the industry (there are many reviews, such as PASS Summit 2011 Recap). It’s a great way to not only learn more about SQL Server but also to network with other people in the industry. From the PASS site:
“PASS is an independent, user-led, not-for-profit organization co-founded by Microsoft and CA in 1999. It was created to build a body of individuals that would provide expertise to help educate millions of SQL Server users around the world. PASS is run by volunteers and operates globally through its websites, sponsored events, yearly Summits, and localized Chapter activities. It is governed by a member-elected Board of Directors. The Board engages a management company to handle the organization’s day-to-day operations”
There are numerous other conferences sponsored by PASS, as explained in Tim Radney blog Getting Ahead and Getting Involved.
If you want to learn more about SQL Server and advance your career, then check out PASS.