This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is hosted by my dear friend Kevin Kline (b | t) . Kevin’s call is for us to ‘Tell us the story of how attending an IT conference or event resulted in an amazing career or life opportunity.‘
My professional life literally changed for the better since my first PASS Summit, which was many years ago – I speak of it here. Like Kevin, I was a regular at PASS summit for 21 long years before the organization and the conference in its old form ended in 2020. The fall conference was an integral part of my life – every job I took up during that time came with that condition that the employer support it, and most of them did. My career, in many ways, was significantly shaped by that event and the people I met with there. In 2006, I was awarded the PASSion award for best volunteer. I speak of it here. I did not grow up with a lot of appreciation/recognition. I am from a third-world country where, in my days at least, open appreciation of people, especially women, was rare and unusual. We all have a thirst for the world to know who we are. The PASSion award made that happen for me. On many days when I feel lacking in self-love or respect, I still draw upon that amazing morning when I went up on stage with 4000 people applauding for me. It changed my life.
I have written a lot on SQL Saturdays too – I ran those events for 12 years in Louisville, KY. That helped me connect with a great number of people, and grow many skills with organizing, budget management, negotiation and event planning that I did not have before.
I cannot also fail to mention SQL Cruise a.k.a TechOutbound, which I also attended for 13 years. SQL Cruise was a unique event that gave me opportunities to get to know many people in the community as friends, shed some introvertness and socialize, and also travel and see a number of fun places.
In summary, my entire career has been a series of events that have contributed in many ways to changing my life. They did need commitment and faith on my side though. If you are reading – if you find something like an event that inspires you – don’t stop with attending a random one. Give it your commitment, give it time. Get to know people and help them with an open heart. It can and will change your life. Thanks Kev, for hosting.