Eight days to go. So after going to my first conference, I was surprised that I did not know more about PASS at the local or national level. I had been involved with the Minnesota SQL Server User group from early on. However, the conference highlighted this national organization. When I joined the board of our local user group again in 2011, I was fully aware of the importance of this national organization of SQL Server professionals.
Hold on, what does PASS stand for anyway? Professional Association of SQL Server. It has been great to watch this professional association grow over the years. Yes, there has been pain, but there has been a lot of successes as well. Because of PASS, I have built relationships with pros from around the country and around the world. While this may have been possible without PASS, PASS has helped make this possible on incredible levels.
What Has PASS Done for Me?
This is a good question. What value does this professional organization add to my career? For me, I can see the influence in a couple of key areas. Without PASS, I would not have many of the professional opportunities to speak on SQL Server that I so much enjoy. This year I have been able to speak at my local user group, a couple of SQL Saturdays, a virtual user group meeting, and yes even PASS Summit. It has allowed me to grow my knowledge base in areas that are new such as Window Functions and areas where I am really stretching my knowledge such as OData. Beyond speaking, I also have had the opportunity to help new speakers through a new speakers section at the Minnesota SQL Server User Group. I have also built relationships with many pros from around the country. PASS helps me grow as a pro and have many opportunities to help others as well.
How about for You?
PASS can provide opportunities for you as well. I encourage you to find a local user group and network with pros in your area. Beyond that take advantage of all of the training and experience from data pros passionate about the subject and who enjoy sharing their wealth of experience with you. More than that, as you continue to grow in your career, you can find opportunities to share what you know and contribute to the growth of this great association and community. Check it out at www.sqlpass.org.