It's hard for me to believe that I started working with the first board of directors for PASS nearly a decade ago, but it's true. PASS has grown over the years due to the support of the user community, the SQL Server expert community, and Microsoft's SQL Server team. This year's conference is just around the corner in mid-November. If you haven't thought about registering, you should! It's the best and most concentrated SQL Server learning you can get anywhere. This year there are over 130 sessions, dozens of full day pre-conference seminars, and huge contingents from Microsoft's SQL Server support, consulting, and development teams. Take a look at the event schedule at http://www.sqlpass.org.
I've had some neat and funny experiences over the years. In 1999, I was awed to meet the late, great Jim Gray for the first time. When I saw him again later that year, he remembered me in detail and, every other time after that, always expressed interest and excitement in what I was up to. What an honor. Back in 2001, I fell off the stage while delivering a session on translatinge between Oracle PL/SQL code and SQL Server Transact-SQL code. That tought me to never anger the gods of Transact-SQL by speaking about other database platforms at their conference.
In 2005, I experienced and blogged about the shower that tried to kill me in the conference hotel. And at the conclusion of the 2007 conference, I'd been working from 6:00 am until midnight or later all week. This resulted in Rick Heiges sending me a picture of me unconscious, literally stone cold asleep, on the lunch table on the conference on Friday. (Did you blog that Rick?) In 2004, I had one attendee stop me on Monday to tell me it was her worst conference ever and that she hated it. I worried about her all year, then in 2005, I saw her sitting at one of the lunch tables. "I worried about you all year!" I told her. "The conference was awesome after the first couple sessions. I really love PASS now. I was just mad because I kept getting lost," was her reply. Whew!
One of the things I've most enjoyed about the conference is the awesome people I get to meet. I remember meeting Allen White a couple years ago and was impressed with how eager and intelligent he was (and a good speaker too). Low and behold within a year or two, he had joined the ranks of the Microsoft SQL Server MVPs. I've seen that pattern repeated many times now. It's always a pleasure meeting the true geniuses of the business like Kalen Delaney, Itzik Ben-Gan, Kimberly Tripp, and the late Ken Henderson. If you've ever wanted to talk to the best known authors in the business, you should consider attending the event. They're all gracious people and are happy to speak with everyone.
So I thought it'd be fun to hear some other stories from other PASS events. I've tagged several friends below (in addition to Allen and Rick above). Now it's their turn to tell some good PASS stories and to tag a handful of other bloggers in turn!
Check their blogs to read their stories. Enjoy!