Countdown to PASS Summit 2012 – 5 to Go – Communities in the Community

Just 5 days to Summit kick off. Today’s discussion is about communities within the community. That’s right. There is more to this community than meets the eye. Here are some examples which include some great opportunities at the conference.

Local User Groups

These communities are the heart of PASS. Without local user groups, much of what happens at Summit wouldn’t. You will find that most of the volunteers, including speakers, come from local user groups. Many are current or former chapter leaders. These user groups provide a frequent opportunity to network and grow as SQL Server professionals. Join your local user group or find them at the Chapter Luncheon.

Women in Technology

While I personally am not a part of this community, I know a lot of women who are. One such woman Lara Rubbelke (@SQLGal). Early on, many moons ago, I worked with her as the Minnesota SQL Server User Group was formed. Her passion for seeing women and girls involved in technology has been infectious. As the father of two girls, she is a role model of a how successful a woman can be in technology. I remember seeing here at last year’s summit talking about BigData and being really impressed and happy for her and her success. PASS has continued to support women in technology and will continue to do so. If you are at the conference this year, be sure to join Lara and others at the WIT luncheon.

Virtual Chapters

If you are looking for a specific technology or you do not have a user group in your area, check out the virtual chapters. This includes such groups as BigData, Business Intelligence, and Oracle chapters.

SQL Friends

Finally, a new community that started in Chicago and has expanded to Minneapolis is SQLFriends. The idea of this community is to host regular lunch meetings with one or more pros that allow you to network and learn in a less formal manner. As their site notes, “Come spend some time with your SQL Friends.”

I am sure I missed some of those communities within the larger community. However, these groups give you an idea of how you can be involved within the community. Try one, or two, or more this month.


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