Don’t PASS up these Conferences!

There are many conferences out there that relate to SQL Server, but my favorite is the excellent PASS Community Summit held annually. "PASS" or the Professional Association for SQL Server is an independent, user-run, not-for-profit organization that supports both local "Chapters" and a worldwide presence. (http://www.sqlpass.org/). Its members are like you and me: DBA's and Developers who appreciate SQL Server but are not necessarily employed by Microsoft.

We can say whether a feature is good or bad. And that honesty comes out in the presentations and meetings. "This feature is great, this is how to use it". "This feature is fairly limited but here is a cool workaround". Yes, Microsoft is there and is supportive but the conference is not a massive Microsoft marketing juggernaut (needed spellchecker there...). Many of the presenters are independent and many are from journals such as the excellent SQL Server magazine. Again, http://www.sqlmag.com/ will tell it like it is. Yes, they are fans of SQL Server but the contributors are not on the Microsoft payroll (to my knowledge).  When I am asked tough questions in class, one of my main resources is the archive of SQL Server magazine. You gain access to this great online resource when you become a subscriber (around $50 annually - no, I don't get a commission...). In the NFL you have Brady, Favre, Montana, Marino; in the NBA you have Bird, Johnson, Jordan, Abdul-Jabbar; (showing my age...). Well, in SQL you have Delaney, Otey, Ben-Gan, Kline. If you are a subscriber, you will know what I mean. All these folks are at the PASS Community Summit.

Come and meet them. They are just like you and me. SQL Server Database developers. But don't forget your autograph book!

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