Even though it’s been more than a month, there’s never a bad time to talk about some things and the PASS Summit 2011 is one of those. Like a lot of people I returned from the Summit and was instantly slammed with work and other personal things I had neglected for a week. Now that the madness has subsided I feel the need to write about this year’s Summit and to try to turn others on to it if they missed it.
The myth: On the surface you might think the Summit is a boring trip back to your school days, when you had to sit and listen for days on end to that economics professor talking about macroeconomic theory. Could there be anything drier than meeting with a bunch of DBAs and attending sessions on clustering, indexing and reporting?
The truth: The Summit is a vibrant event full of positive atmosphere and lively personal interaction. There are people all over who want to help you, meet you, and talk to you. Learning, teaching and discussing with others, that’s what the Summit is all about.
Outside of the sessions I attended, I spent 90% of my time at the Summit meeting people, shaking hands, introducing myself, hearing about their backgrounds, handing out my contact info, and reconnecting with SQL friends. Even with all that networking, I still didn’t get to meet everyone I would have liked to meet. I attend a conference like this with several goals in mind and one of those is to introduce myself to people who have sparked my interest because of the work they do or something they’ve published.
There’s so much going on that I couldn’t fit everything in that I wanted to do. I just waived hello in passing to several familiar people but didn’t get a chance to talk to them. I completely missed a few people that I really wanted to meet. One was Mark Ginnebaugh (B|T), who seems to run everything in the Bay Area. I wanted to get together with Mark because I have a reason to be in SF at times and he seems like the guy to know. I also wanted to talk to Audrey Hammonds (B|T), who had written a blog post that stuck with me urging women to speak at technical conferences.
That’s why I’m going back next year, to talk to the people I missed, and to meet the people I didn’t.