Hi, Eric Stratton, Rush chairman…

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A few times this past week I heard the quote, “Hi, Eric Stratton, Rush chairman, damn glad to meet you”.  That line kind of summarizes what the PASS Summit was like for me this year.  It’s been like coming to a week long rush event for the best fraternity in the world.  This fraternity isn’t the Delta Tau Chi’s though, it’s the PASS organization.

The PASS Summit was a chance to look at upcoming features in SQL Server, share learning in nearly 170 presentations, and networking with peers from across the street and the other side of the world.  It wasn’t always serious and one night at the karaoke bar a fellow DBA Rick Rolled us.

A Great Change

This year was drastically different though (for me at least) – and I believe it has everything to do with social networking.  It started a bit last year, but now with the flood of SQL Server professionals on twitter it seems to have matured quite a bit.  From the first day I was at the conference, I was recognizing people that I’ve shared conversations with on Twitter.  And I didn’t have deal with the nervousness of meeting them for the first time, since Twitter and Social Networking had taken care of that.

Last year at the PASS Summit, I think I met about a dozen new people.  Most of the people I talked to were just people I had met through out that year.  They were a good group of people, but I mostly just continued to develop those relationships.

This year though, I think I met about a hundred people that I hadn’t met before.  True, I had talked with a number of them prior to PASS through Twitter.  But I hadn’t actually met them.  And let’s be honest, I’m just this guy from Minneapolis.  I’m not someone who’s written books or worked on the DBCC commands.

What I am getting at here is that anyone can be a part of the community.  It’s a matter of joining in and becoming a part of the conversation.  And with Twitter anyone can join the conversation at any time.  Or you can just listen, but you’ll eventually join in… it’s too tempting.

Doing It Wrong

I’m going to say it.  I’ve said it to others and I’m going to say it here.  If you are a SQL Server professional and you are not on Twitter yet, you are doing it wrong.

If you are at a company and you are the lone DBA. *POOF* No more.  Hundreds of others in your same boat, dealing with the same issues are there for you.  If you’re at a large organization dealing with hundreds of servers and run across a new issue that no one at your company has seen.  *POOF* I bet someone out on Twitter has and they might be able to help you through the answer.

I can’t stress the benefits of social networking enough.  It really gives you a door into the office of hundreds of other SQL Server professional who can help you solve problems and give you a sense of community with what you are doing.  And when it comes to the PASS Summit, it’s a way to find out where people are going, what they are doing, and how to get around town to hot spots that others are checking out.

I hope this little unwinding from PASS helps you decide that you need to get on Twitter if you are not already.  And also helps you reconsider the PASS Summit if you haven’t gone to it yet.  I have more thoughts on PASS that I’ll be posting later.

You can register already for next year