“It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”
No, not the end-of-year festival of repetitive music, overeating, and trampling on other people to find that perfect gift. No, it’s time again for the PASS Summit, the annual gathering of SQL Server and data professionals from around the world. The event, which is run by the organization formerly known as the Professional Association for SQL Server, will be held at it usual home base of Seattle this year. For a lot of reasons I like the concept of moving the Summit every few years, but my favorite location is still Seattle. It feels like a second home.
There are a lot of things happening this year that I’m excited about. First of all, the MVP Summit is being held the same week. Although this makes for a tight schedule, I like doing both summits in rapid succession so I can have just one full week of downtime rather than two partial weeks (which usually become a week each, after travel and such). I suspect that this even more convenient for my overseas friends, for whom the travel time for a single trip can easily exceed the time spent at a summit. Making one trip instead of two is far easier.
I’m also excited to be presenting a session on one of my favorite topics: building robust SSIS packages. On Thursday afternoon, I’ll deliver a talk entitled Building Bullet-Resistant SSIS Packages. If you’re working with SSIS (or working in data integration using any tool), I hope you’ll stop by this session.
In addition, my Linchpin People cohorts and I will again be hosting a booth in the vendor area. Please do stop by and see us and let’s chat about data integration, data quality, or the complexities of the infield fly rule. We’re also hosting a party at the Rein Haus on Wednesday night (want to come to the party? Ping me via my contact page). Linchpin has a strong presence at the summit this year, and I’m excited about meeting many of you that I’ve chatted with this year.
Personally, I’m simply excited about getting together with my SQL Family. We’ve got a great thing going here, and it truly is the highlight of my year to get together with you all, many of whom are as treasured as my biological family. Truthfully, I could just skip the sessions and visit with you all, and I would consider my week complete.
One last word: If you’re attending the summit for the first time, or if you’ve attended before but still consider yourself an outsider, please learn from my experience and don’t do what I did during the Summit of 2005. Go up and introduce yourself to people. If you recognize someone from their Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn photo, by all means go up and say hello. The SQL community is very welcoming, and most everyone will be glad to say hello and chat with you. It’s a great opportunity to build your network and make new friends.