Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Best Thing I Learned at PASS

PASS is having a "Best Thing I Learned at PASS" contest and first prize is free entry into the PASS Summit or a four-night hotel stay during the conference. A total of ten prizes are available and this is also a great opportunity to spread the word about PASS. If you have been to a previous PASS conference and want to attend again this year, this is an opportunity to good to pass (no pun intended, at least I don't think it was, ok maybe a little).

I attended my first PASS conference in 2007 in Denver and I didn't know exactly what to expect. I signed up for the two pre-sessions prior to the conference and was able to sit through a full day training session with Itzik Ben-Gan the first day and Kalen Delaney on the second. Needles to say, I learned more about T-SQL and SQL Internals in two days than I thought was humanly possible. Just when I thought my brain couldn't hold anymore, I went to several sessions the next three days listening to some of the best minds in the business speak about any SQL topic you can imagine. I think this is one of the areas that make attending the PASS Summit invaluable (it spawns ideas that you can take with you and apply in your environment). You may not remember everything from every presentation, but you can remember enough to know that you need to research a little more on certain topics when you get back to work. But, I think the best thing I took away from the PASS Summit was not something I learned; it was motivation. We tend to get stuck in our daily routines and every now and then we need something like the PASS Summit to recharge our batteries and rejuvenate our outlook on our jobs. When you combine all this with the great networking opportunities and after parties the PASS Summit is one of the best SQL events that you'll ever attend.

I could have gone on but one thing I didn't mention above is that there is a 250 word limit and I'm at 249 according to Word. So, I guess that will have to do. I am really going to try to attend the PASS Summit this year, even if I have to foot some of the bill. As you can see from the above paragraph, I think the PASS Summit is well worth the money.