PASS Report 1: Why you should have been there!

, 2010-11-15

PASS Summit 2010 is now history.  This is my eighth summit but the first one since leaving the DBA world and joining Microsoft. This summit ranks as either number one or number two for me personally. The 2006 Summit is high on my list as that is the first year I really began to feel a deep connection to the community. All week, I heard people say that it was the best Summit they have attended. Not only was it the best experience for many, it was also the largest PASS Summit event in the history of the conference.

A few of the highlights from this week include the thrilling announcements from Microsoft about the upcoming Denali release, the biggest and best ever Women in Technology Luncheon, 450 Microsoft employees on site and in sight to answer your questions and tell you about our products, great after parties, Kilt Wednesday, and SQL Karaoke. Did I mention over 160 sessions from Microsoft and our community members? Yes, there was something exciting for every SQL Server professional in Seattle this week!

If you didn’t make it to the PASS Summit this year, or maybe you have never attended a PASS Summit, you may be wondering if it is worth your time and money. Why is attending the PASS Summit better than user group or chapter meetings, online training or even SQL Saturday?  The difference really is that Microsoft presence. For example, the SQL Customer Advisory Team (SQL CAT) advises the companies with the largest SQL Server implementations in the world. Chances are, your company is not one of those, but you can bring your questions to PASS and speak directly to a team member from SQL CAT. This is one of those priceless advantages you can only get at the Summit.

Another amazing benefit is networking. Of course you can and should network at your user group meetings and SQL Saturday. At the PASS Summit, you will find the best SQL Server minds in one place for a week. Are you a fan of Kalen Delaney, Brent Ozar, SQL Rockstar (Tom LaRock),  or Itzik Ben-Gan? You may find yourself sitting next to one of these and other SQL Server gurus at lunch. You also will find many DBAs or database developers who are facing the same challenges that you face every day. Maybe you can compare notes on how to solve a particular issue or learn about a cool new way to solve an old problem. Maybe you will meet someone that you will continue to be friends with for years as I have.

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