I arrived home this morning after another PASS Summit. This is my 6th in a row. Each year I have more fun, get more excited about SQL Server and meet more people.
This year had a different dimension. I had additional options because of being an MVP. There were MVP sessions as well as a reception one night and dinner last night. I also wanted to focus on networking and met with a publisher about a potential book deal. If you were there and spoke with me, you probably know I was sick all week and lost my voice. I didn't get to party with friends as much as normal and sadly didn't get to go out for Karaoke.
As a key volunteer, I know about the challenges PASS has faced the past couple of years. We are working very hard to become more transparent and streamline our processes. We realize that we can never please everybody and must focus on our core values. Congratulations to Andy Warren. He is one of our new board members. Andy has been a very outspoken critic of PASS, and I expect to see him make a big difference.
Being a key volunteer, as I mentioned, many attendees seek me out to praise the Summit or to pass on their complaints or ideas. One recurring theme I heard is that PASS is different than any other conference. At PASS, there is a sense of community, of family. Not only is it a great technical conference, it is a way to network and meet other people facing the same challenges that you do every day. It is a great way to interact with Microsoft, MVPs, and authors. You may end up at the same table at breakfast with the person who wrote the book that is sitting on your desk at work.
This year I was very honored to be acknowledged by PASS for the work I have done for them. I received the PASSion award given each year to the volunteer who has make the biggest difference to the organization. I've been a volunteer for four years and have enjoyed being part of such a wonderful organization. I encourage you to get involved with PASS.
Some news: Membership is now free! Our print magazine has been discontinued. We will still be publishing great content online and are looking for writers and other content. We have also started a social networking site called PASSPort. Go to SQLPass.org to check out PASS!