One of the most fun events of the year is the MVP Summit if perhaps for no other reason than my preparation for it is packing a suitcase. No presentations to write, prepare for, nothing. No activities that I have to do anything more than show up with my 2 shovels. One for the amazing amounts of knowledge that will be flowing from the Microsoft folks to us, and the other is actually more of a fork, to get all of the great food they serve us in with. The whole event is a lot like any other conference, except that the people in the audience are usually the ones speaking, and the ones speaking often look happy to be unchained from their desks for the hour or two they are speaking.
On years like this, when a new version of SQL Server is coming down the pike, things are even more awesome. They get our feedback, and we learn all of the neat new stuff that is coming the product in the coming next version, and perhaps in a later version. By the end of the three or four days of activity, our brains are pretty much filled beyond capacity, often pushing out knowledge that we still need, like how to get home, our kids names, you know, useful stuff like that. It comes back pretty quickly as some of the Summit information goes away, but be ready, it does happen from time to time.
What is the downside of all of this? Is there a downside. Well, a small one. It is really hard to remember what is and isn’t NDA after this week. I don’t have a great memory, and certainly am not able to manage metadata about where I learned certain things. And the general rule is “everything is NDA”, and in this world of social media, that is dangerous. The MVP Summit is not NDA, and has a website here: www.2011mvpsummit.com. Events there? Well, it just depends. Not a few MVPs have broken their NDA and have been let go from the program. Some groups don’t share as much as they used to because of it. The SQL Server team is great with us, and the SQL MVPs are tight lipped. It is a bummer to know what is coming and not be able to share. Even worse is that the best litmus test of whether we can share something is if it has been published on…or in other words, after it is no longer a scoop.
On the good side of things is that it really helps to know what is coming so that you can prepare materials for training, such as books.
So this week, watch the twitter hash tag #mvp11 for a constant stream of reports on the comings and goings a the the Summit, but don’t expect much information… maybe some discussions on how much Salmon we want for lunch and dinner, but very little information…