Blog Post

I was at the PASS Summit

Seattle Highway SignAlright, the title of this post is a big fat lie. I would have given my left join to experience the PASS Summit firsthand in Seattle, but it wasn’t meant to be this year. Luckily thanks to the magic of teh internetz, I was able to feel like I was there. I’d like to thank two groups of people for making this possible:

First of all, a big thank you to everyone at PASS that was responsible for streaming the keynotes and women in tech lunch for everyone to see. I know it took a lot of people to make this happen: whoever decided streaming it was a good idea, those who set up the streaming from the IT side, the people who filmed it, etc.

Second, an equal amount of thanks to all of you who were actually at the summit and were tweeting and blogging your experiences. It’s through your actions that folks like me who are stuck at our desks this week can live vicariously through the constant stream of information flowing from the conference.

Being able to watch the keynotes live and tweet back-and-forth with those in attendance and others at home made the experience very real to me. In some ways it might almost be better than actually attending, as I can be multiple places at once with Twitter and I wouldn’t have to figure out where to go or what I’d have to miss in order to be somewhere else. That being said, there are so many wonderful people at the Summit I’d love to meet in person that no amount of tweeting or other online correspondence could ever make up for actually being there.

As for next year, I promise to do my best to join you all in the flesh, as opposed to just in spirit and tweets. I may have to hitchhike to Seattle, sleep on a park bench, and sneak in back doors to do it, but if there’s a will there’s a way!

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By Bob Pusateri

Bob Pusateri is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, Microsoft Certified Master of SQL Server, speaker, blogger, volunteer, and author who loves finding new and exciting ways to break and fix things. He works as a consultant and architect, specializing in data, virtualization, and cloud technologies.


  • I really think the social media thing builds a big following for the event and makes more people want to attend each year. I hear over and over again from people that they watched the buzz on Twitter and blogs, then said, “Wow, I gotta go next year because it looks like fun.” It’s always been fun, but it’s just been tougher to communicate that out to the public.

    • Bob Pusateri

      Very true! I remember catching all the twitter buzz last year and being stoked, but the addition of live streaming the keynotes this year kicked up the #awesomesauce another notch!

  • Here, here! I’d like to be able to say I’ll be there next year too, but it’s too early to tell yet. I’m planning to take some time off next summer w/ the family, sadly I have to admit it’ll be the first time in I don’t know how many years. So taking two vacations (or at least 2 sets of consecutive days from work) in a year… magic 8 ball says ask again later.

    To Brent’s point, it seems like once people are connected (especially through social media) they “get” how cool PASS is/would be, but how do we get that conveyed to the masses? I watched a few video clips of people telling what they thought the best part of PASS was, and lots said it was the people, the social networking, as I’m sure I would say too. But if you’re not connecting with people already through social media, you don’t feel the need to go meet them at PASS. It seems like a catch-22.

    Maybe we have to start thinking of a pipeline approach, the way they’re looking at doing with SQLRally and more SQL Saturdays. I read/heard (maybe from something Grant Fritchey or Glenn Barry posted?) that they were surprised how many people did not know about SQL Saturdays. I think it has to start at the grass roots level. Get more to the local groups or virtual chapters to begin the pipeline. From there get them to the local SQL Saturday. Then to SQLRally, then eventually Summit.

    Some people just don’t have the time. Some don’t want to spend the money. That’s just a simple unfortunate reality. But starting local has got to be the way to get people hooked. Starting that way is free and for a short time commitment. From there hopefully they’ll realize they’ve just taken their first steps into a much bigger world, to paraphrase Obi-Wan.

    • Bob Pusateri

      Very true – if you don’t know what you’re missing out on then there’s no incentive to look into joining. I found myself thinking about that this week in the form of wishing I had joined PASS a few years ago when I was young (::ducks::) and living at home, hence I had more money to spend on things like the Summit or SQL Saturdays, but alas I didn’t know what I was missing.

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