"What's the big deal about the PASS Summit, Andy?"
Allow me tell my story (again): "Hello. My name is Andy Leonard, and I am an accidental database professional." "Hi Andy."
I jumped the fence from applications developer to database person in 2003. I thought I understood databases. I could write queries, design tables, build stored procedures, etc. And then I was standing nearest the server when my team decided to replace the SQL Server person. Bam! Instant SQL Server guru... right? WRONG!
Yes, I had SQL Server on my resume and had done some cool things wih the product. But this was a data warehouse. A large one. The very first thing I learned in my new position was: I didn't know nearly as much as I thought I knew about SQL Server. Or databases. Or anything.
Sobering, very sobering.
I met a couple SQL Server heroes at my first PASS Summit - 2004 in Orlando. I met Ken Henderson and Kalen Delaney. I learned a lot about database tuning from Kalen Delaney's preconference session. And Ken Henderson inspired me (I wrote about it here).
The short version: I arrived at PASS Summit 2004 as a developer struggling in his new (accidental) role working with SQL Server. I left PASS Summit 2004 as a database professional.
Go. Get there. There's lots of good reasons to attend. I firmly believe attending tha PASS Summit will change your career, if not your entire life. It changed mine.
If you read this and attend, catch up with me. I'm the fat guy with a fu. We can chat about being a database professional, or business intelligence, or about being an accidental DBA (you'd surprised how many there are!).