I attended my second PASS Summit this year. And my experience, once again, was awesome. This year was definitely a different kind of awesome, though. Last year, I was a First Timer and was awesomely overwhelmed at pretty much everything. This year, I was a First Timer Mentor, helping a group of First Timers learn the ropes and get their feet wet in the most excellent SQL Training event there is. This year was my first Summit as a PASS Regional Mentor. So, I had some official stuff I needed to do like attending the Regional Mentors meeting and the Chapter Leaders meeting and spending some time helping out in the Community Zone (a new feature this year). I also had the change to sit down with Chris Shaw (b|t), the other Regional Mentor for Canada, and several of our Canadian Chapter Leaders for an in-person meeting to talk about the challenges they face and how we, as Regional Mentors, can help them out. That was fantastic. Particularly since Canada is so vast, and Chris and I both live in the US, it was an amazing opportunity.
I also volunteered as an Ambassador, helping answer questions and direct people to where they need to be. It was my involvement this year that made such a difference for me. Putting together an event like the PASS Summit is a massive undertaking. Even though my part was miniscule, I felt honored and proud to help out a community that means so much to me. I also got to meet the AWESOME people of PASS HQ and do what I could to make their time a bit easier.
The sessions I attended were really cool and I cannot wait to start watching the session recordings. I met a lot of new people, including Buck Woody (b|t) and Denny Lee(b|t) and so many others for the very first time. I got to spend time with so many people who I rarely see. There are too many to name that fall into this category. SQL Karaoke was EPIC and frequent. That was just awesome to do karaoke to a live band. Just. Awesome.
I was asked recently what my biggest takeaway from Summit 2012 was. It only took about 1 second to come up with the answer, “Community.” This year, for me, was more about the Community than anything else.
I have to send out a hekaton of thanks to PASS HQ, the sponsors, speakers, volunteers, vendors, Microsoft, and everyone else who made the 2012 PASS Summit just friggin awesome.
Oh, and it took all week, but on Friday, I finally managed to juggle three of the full-sized beanbag chairs in the Community Zone.