Monday, June 15, 2009

What I Learned at PASS

There’s a contest going on at PASS looking for answers to “Best Thing I Learned at PASS”. I have been busy enough that I kept putting this on the back burner. But it's time to put in my 2-cents.

Since the contest has a size limit, I am partitioning the story below from the rest of this blog entry.

Contest Entry starts here

Let’s start at the beginning. I wanted to learn more about SQL Server, and found a local User Group, and attended.

After a few meetings, I got to know a few people, including the President. Having these contacts, and being able to ask questions of these local ‘knowledge stores’ when I needed help was priceless. If the story ended there, it would already be a success story. I had networked and learned. I was a better DBA for it.

But that’s not the end. The President told me that I should go to PASS. Since I trusted him already, I went. My family came with me to Florida, and went to DisneyWorld, as I went to PASS. I remember being alone with people all around me. But I soon noticed tons of people, just like me, wanting to learn. During the conference, I saw a few people that I knew, and recognized some names from books I had read. Soon, I realized that all the people attending and speaking, were just like me. This is the 1st great thing that I learned; there are no experts that are better than me, they are people just like me, they just learned this stuff earlier. Now they are sharing with the rest of us. I too can learn what they know. The quantity of knowledge and contacts I have gained because I attended PASS cannot be measured. And that’s why we are all here at PASS. To learn and to network.

Contest Entry ends here

I just wanted to say a few more words in regards to PASS summits that wouldnt fit in the contest.

I have been to many PASS summits, as many as my employer has allowed. Some times, my employer has not allowed it. This has been a source of frustration to me. This annual event is where I get to join up with others of my kind, and learn from them. This has increased my knowledge so much. I hope that i get to go this year, and in future years. Regardless of attendance, I am an avid volunteer in various pieces of the PASS puzzle. This volunteerism gives me a satisfaction that i cannot gain elsewhere, especially at work. Its a great opportunity. All should attend and learn and network and better themselves. Then return and repeat.

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