Countdown to PASS Summit Series: A Network of Experience & More to Bring Home

We can feel the excitement building as the Summit approaches! Here today, to help us with the final countdown and to get you ready for the rewarding week ahead are two of our SQL Server MVPs, Chris Shaw and Steve Novoselac, to share some wise words on what you can expect to get out of PASS Summit 2012 in Seattle, Washington.



Chris_ShawChris Shaw, a former United States Marine, started his database career in 1993.  He is an Microsoft MVP Award Recipient the author of Pro SQL Server Practices 2012, which was released in October.  Chris currently consults for Xtivia, and can be reached at

I try to go to the PASS Summit each year, and I think over the last 10 years I have only missed a couple of them.   Recently at the local Users Group meeting, I was asked why someone should go to the PASS Summit.  It didn’t take long for me to start talking about all the reasons I go, but at the top of the list:

This is the best opportunity I have to sit and talk SQL with other professionals who have different experiences than I do.

At work, I don’t always have the opportunity to utilize all the things that SQL Server can do, so when a situation arises and I am asked to complete a project with SQL Server, I sometimes lack the experience in actually doing it.  I may have the knowledge on how to do it and the resources to find out to implement it, but without the experience, I believe you are more likely to miss some of the obstacles that you might encounter along the way.  I also believe that you might be more concerned about some of the challenges that may not exist, so speaking to others who have had different experiences can be very rewarding.

TJay Belt a close friend of mine was asked in an interview why he was the better candidate for a position.  The answer was along the lines of, “When you hire me, you get me and my network of SQL Server Professionals with all of their experience as well”.

For more insight from Chris on why you should be excited about PASS Summit 2012, read Chris’ Big Data blog post, where he discusses another highlight of PASS Summit 2012, David DeWitt’s session, Big Data Meets SQL Server.


 Steve_Novoselac Steve Novoselac (@scaleovenstove) is the Business Intelligence and Software Development manager at Trek Bicycle Corporation, as well as on the Board of Directors of MADPASS, the Madison, WI PASS Chapter. Steve can be found blogging at and

Very soon, I will be landing in Seattle for the annual PASS Summit. This will be my third Summit, though I wish I could say that I had been to them all because the experience is one you don’t want to miss.

After consecutively attending the last few Summits, I can attest to the fact that it is a great thing. When asked “What is the one thing you look forward to at the Summit?”, I really don’t have to think about the answer.

What keeps bringing me back is not so much things at the Summit, but what I bring back. Usually around the last few months of the year, I start feeling like I’m in a rut with things, and it just so happens that the Summit lands smack dab in the middle of that. I go to the Summit, plug into as many new and exciting things as I can get my hands on, and the juices start flowing. By the end of the week, my head is filled with so many ideas on how our team could implement “this” or think about how the business could use “that” — it really is invigorating.

I have always tried to get at least one other team member, if not more (myself and two others are attending this year) to attend the Summit so we can get more info, cover more bases and look from multiple angles. We try to talk to as many people we can, including presenters, MVP’s and Microsoft Employees. We try to hit the big sessions and the not-so-big sessions (where all the stuff that is going to be huge a couple of years from now is being talked about!). We try to make it to events throughout the week and check out as much as we can of the entire experience. (We also don’t forget to try some Pacific Northwest cuisine and beer!) But the best thing for me about the Summit, is taking things we learned back to the office and actually executing on them.

The Summit is the one time of year that we can forget about what we are working on day to day and start to learn and experience things to make not only our careers interesting, but help the business we work for become more productive and successful by using the solutions we will put in place –w ithout a doubt, many of these solutions come from the ideas sparked at the sessions and discussions at the Summit.

I hope to see you there!