PASS. Thoughts from someone who is just getting involved.

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Back in 2012, I attended my first SQL Saturday. I had been working with SQL since 7.0 but didn’t really know about the community. I had just moved back to my hometown Philly from Cincinnati and was determined to get more involved. I volunteered and I ended up just directing people. And then a I had a hallway conversation with someone, and had a break through on a different way to think about SSIS (looking back, not sure how I hadn’t thought about SSIS as RBAR by design). I went to a few SJSSUG meetings that first year. Met Joey D’Antoni(t) before he was the superstar he is now :-).

Then life happened and I couldn’t be as involved as much as I wanted to due to obligations. Then I was able to attend my first Summit in 2014. I had been fighting for it because of how everyone hyped it up. My boss at the time came with me as we were scoping out BI solutions. We were also looking at attempting to implement Service Broker, so we divided and conquered. He went to all the Power BI sessions and I went to the dev track sessions and I attended Allen White’s Service Broker Session (I blame Allen(t) for my love of this underrated feature and Denny(t) and Jonathan(t) for helping me fill where I was confused). That first Summit, I didn’t do the after events, and I to this day regret it. My boss however became a proponent to send other staff after his experience.

I was fortunate to go back to Summit in 2015 with 2 other co-workers, and I vowed to change my experience in regards to the after events. Thanks to someone we met the first night we were there, I attended a lot more events and networked more than I could ever have imagined (Thanks again Justin(t)).

I was fortunate at the time to be working with a vendor who their DBA staff was highly involved in the community, and that just helped change my determination even more. They helped me realize how much I could give back to the community. They are the reason I have presented a session created with someone who has become a close friend at not 1, but 2 SQL Saturdays. That DBA team also helped me realize something that I feel is now more important than ever.

If it was not for PASS, I would not be where I am in not only my career, but my life as well. I have gained a like minded group of friends that when we aren’t talking about SQL, we are talking about life in general. These are people that are always willing to share and help teach others to help make everyone better. These are people that I would do anything I can to help them. Not because of what they did for me or the community, but because of the community, I was able to see them more than just someone who knows SQL.

I don’t know all the in’s and out’s of the behind the scenes. What I do know is that the SQL community will continue because of the people in the community. I also know that as great as the community will be, having an organization for people to find and help get them involved will be even better. And I will do whatever I can to help, whatever the level of volunteering I need to do.

By Josh

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