As I write this, I’m airborne and on my way to Seattle for the summit week (the Microsoft MVP Summit, followed by the PASS Summit). I was struck with the notion – and not for the first time – that I’m not really looking forward to these events for the technical content as much as I’m looking forward to networking and reconnecting with my fellow SQLFamily members. If you are planning to be at either or both of these, I strongly encourage you to make it a priority to meet people and get to know them. This should be at least as important, if not moreso, than attending sessions.
If all goes well, I’m going to meet up with dozens of people – some of whom I’ll be meeting for the first time. If you’re new to the SQL community, there may be lots of new names and faces to meet. If you’re in that group, I want to share with you five folks whom I know that you should make an effort to meet while at the PASS Summit:
Argenis Fernandez: He’s one of my favorite people in the SQL Server community. He’s an MCM, MVP, and a former Microsoftie, so his depth and breadth of knowledge is clear. However, he’s also one of the nicest, most interesting folks you’ll meet there. When you meet him for the first time, don’t be surprised if he wraps you up in a big ol’ bear hug.
Tom LaRock: Tom is the president of the PASS organization, and someone I’m glad to call my friend. He’s an incredibly smart guy with a talent for getting things done. But above that, he’s a very approachable, personable guy who really listens when you’re talking. Tom is a good guy to know for a lot of reasons, and if you introduce yourself to him you’ll be glad you did.
Allen White: Allen is one of the friendliest folks you’ll meet in the SQL community. He’s also one of the most versatile people in the industry, with a great deal of knowledge in database engine, business intelligence, Biml, and many other diverse topics. If you want an honest opinion on something, ask Allen – he’ll give you a polite but fair and accurate assessment. Allen is also a runner, but you’d better be in shape if you intend to keep up with him.
Stacia Misner: Of the various business intelligence practitioners you should know, Stacia is near the top. I’ve known her for several years and always enjoy chatting with her. She’s wicked smart, but goes out of her way to share what she knows. Meeting Stacia often comes with a bonus, as you may also get to meet Dean Varga, her fiancé and also a new member of the SQL community.
Scott Currie: Scott is easily one of the smartest people I’ve ever met. He’s the CEO of Varigence, the company that makes Biml (and my affection for that tool is well known). But apart from that, he’s a very insightful guy, one whose opinion I would trust on just about any matter, technical or nontechnical.
By no means should this be considered a comprehensive list of people whom you should meet; winnowing this list to just five people was quite difficult. These are just five of literally scores of outstanding people in the SQL community who would be happy to say hello to you at the Summit.