In less than a month from now, I will be attending the annual Professional Association of SQL Server conference in Seattle. This will be my fourth time in as many years at the conference, and I am probably looking forward to this one more than the previous. Some reasons why:
- This may be my last summit for a while. I am a contractor of sorts, working as a temp employee at a Madison utility company. They do intend to hire me on as permanent staff, and I have no doubt they will. However, this company does not send too many people to conferences, so I am not sure when I will be getting another opportunity.
- My old employer is still paying for the conference. My airfare was non-refundable, and since they paid $995 for my very early registration last year, the money may have already been expensed out and they’re not concerned about it. I keep checking, and my registration is still intact, so it looks like I’m still good. I’ll have to cough up the money for my hotel (share a room, anyone?) and entertainment, but it’s well worth it.
- There is a ton of learning to do. This year I will probably try to dive into more advanced administration sessions. I consider myself a mid-level DBA, and I’d like to ramp that up a bit in case I like this contract/consulting work. I could see myself as the guy who rides in on the white horse and saves the day for companies struggling with their SQL Server systems. It feels good when you can help a company out like that.
- There are people I haven’t seen since the last summit, or only a few times since then. Ted Krueger, Jason Strate, Jes Borland, Erin Stellato, Tim Ford, Aaron Bertrand, Thomas LaRock, Denny Cherry, Yanni Robel, Rob Farley, Steve Jones, Buck Woody, Wendy Pastrick, Sarah Strate, Brent Ozar, Jeremiah Peschka, Joe Fleming, etc. The list goes on and on and on. Far too many people to mention. I consider all of them friends. Some I have only met at a cyber level, but I hope to finally meet them in person this year. It’s good to get together with these people not only because they are fun to be with, but they are all incredibly smart, and I learn something from them every time I see them. Also, I have an old high school friend who lives out there, and it’s always good to meet up with him and catch up on things.
- Networking. I know a lot of people, but there are far more people I don’t know. I am coming to Seattle loaded up with mini-cards, and I intend on returning home with only a few, for those “you never know” encounters at the airport or on the plane during the return trip.
- The activities. There is just so much to do. Photo walks. Runs. Morning Fellowship. Taphouse. Karaoke. Yes, there is a lot of learning, but there is also a lot of time for other “down time” bonding and comaraderie.
There they are. My reasons for attending the PASS Summit. It’s sort of like a big family reunion. And, that’s what the SQL Server community is. It’s a family. And, as I said, I may not be back for a while, so I am going to make the most out of this trip. See you in Seattle!
What are your reasons?