PASS Summit 2010 Magic: The Pledge

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I write this as I’m on my way to Seattle for the annual PASS Summit in Seattle, Washington. This is very exciting for me as this is my very first Summit experience and I’ve been looking forward to this for a few years now. So why am I so excited about this event? Well first off this is the largest SQL Server-focused conference in the world! Basically this is the Super Bowl (or for my international friends, the World Cup) of conferences for SQL Server professionals! Being the geek I am, I am going to write a few articles this week that will follow the format of a magic trick: the Presentation, the Turn, and the Prestige. Why this format? Well first off, I’m a fan of the movie the Prestige. Secondly, this event is much like a magic trick in itself.

For those who may not have seen The Prestige, or are familiar with magic tricks in general, there are three major steps to a magic trick. The first is referred to as the Pledge. In this step the magician sets up the audience by telling them they will witness something amazing and setup the situation accordingly. The second step is referred to as the Turn. Here is where the magician’s trick is applied be it making something disappear, or something equally amazing to happen. The audience is held captive as they don’t know how the trick , escape, or illusion will play out. Finally there is the Prestige. This is the final step where the magician finally completes the trick and the audience is left in awe as they witness the seemingly impossible occur right before their eyes. The final result of this process is the audience is left enchanted, thrilled and wanting more. One thing I’ve noticed about the SQL community, and specifically this conference, is it seems to have the same affect hence my choosing this format to share this year’s conference experience.

The last few years for various reasons I haven’t been able to make the cross-country trek for this event . Instead of experiencing the conference first-hand I’ve read accounts on blogs as well as followed along “live” while folks from all over the world Tweeted their experiences from the conference. Not only was there amazing content being presented from top-notch speakers but you could actually follow along and see relationships form as people connected and shared those experiences. Even from a distance I could see how amazing of an experience this was and I wanted to take part. Last year I took part in the conference, virtually, by volunteering my services to the then-community organizer for PASS, Blythe Morrow (Twitter). I had contributed to helping out the organization by putting together a portion of the PowerPoint presentation used by then-President Wayne Snyder in his keynote speech! What made that even cooler was when folks tweeted to me that Wayne had actually acknowledged me by name on-stage for my contribution! In that respect it was very cool feeling connected like I was there even when I wasn’t. It was then that I resolved “even if I have to rob a bank, I’m going to Summit next year!”. Luckily I didn’t have to resort to that and I’m headed there now (the conference, not the bank). I share this last story so as to let you know if you can’t physically make it to the Summit you can still be very much connected and part of the magic. If you’re looking to take part in the magic yourself PASS is always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help out! If you’re interested feel free to contact the Community Organizer, Nancy Nasso (Email | Twitter) and let her know!

So, my friends, I give you the Presentation. This week is set to be an amazing one. In the next few days the top SQL Server talent from all over the world will converge upon Seattle once again for this amazing experience. The week kicks off with pre-conference sessions given by top industry folks such as Brian Knight (Blog | Twitter), Itzik Ben-Gan (Blog), Kimberly L. Tripp (Blog | Twitter), and more! In addition to those events there will be extra-curricular events going on such as the Photowalk tour or SQLServerCentral’s Casino Night party. From there the conference kicks off with a keynote from Ted Kummert from Microsoft who promises to have some big and exciting news for attendees. Oh, did I mention that all keynotes this week will be streamed live? They will be, so you can witness the magic first-hand with us! Then the next three days are filled with amazing sessions, events, and networking opportunities. This three days portion will be the Turn, as so much will happen and I don’t know how all this magic will happen just yet. Finally, there is the Prestige. Once everything is sais and done, myself and every other attendee will surely be transformed and spellbound by the magic we experienced. In addition to these posts I’ll also be live-blogging the keynotes just so I can share my thoughts on everything that happens so keep an eye out for those posts as well. Ladies and gentlemen, sit back and enjoy the show as we present to you PASS Summit 2010! Enjoy the show!

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