This year marks my 15th consecutive year attending the PASS Summit. No longer the “lone database guy,” this year my role is that of PASS Director of Partnerships, a member of the PASS Board of Directors for my second year.
When I first joined this community I had been working with SQL Server for ten years, starting as a developer/DBA and moving into a variety of DBA/Data Architect roles. Attending my first PASS Summit changed everything for me. I met other attendees and speakers who managed similar roles but who knew WAY more about it than I did. Spending a few days trading tips and ideas within this community of industry experts, and industry practitioners, gave me practical knowledge I was then able to use in my every day job.
Over these last 15 years I've gone from that "lone database guy" to speaker, to MVP, and now to PASS Board Member. I've gone from DBA, to consultant, to leading a consulting practice, to Business Development Manager at SentryOne. I've done this based on what I've learned, who I've met, and the relationships I've built over the years attending this great event.
The path I took was mine, but it wasn't unique, and it's something you can do. When I started going to the PASS Summit 15 years ago people told me that I had something of value to contribute to the community – and that made a real difference to how I viewed the Summit. Today I make a point to let the people who come see me present know that their experiences, even if they are simply the "lone database guy", are just as valuable, and it's important that they share them with the rest of us.
You can chart a path for yourself as well, but you'll have more success learning from others, both in sessions and at the networking events available to you at the PASS Summit. You won't regret it.
Please join us in Seattle.