A New Community Summit

The PASS Summit has been an annual event for a lot of my career. I attended the first one in 1999 and most of the rest through the years. After last year’s virtual Summit, I was concerned that we wouldn’t have an annual event where the most, brightest, and friendliest data platform people came together. Redgate purchased the assets out of the PASS bankruptcy and has committed to future Summits. This year’s Summit is virtual, and more importantly…

It’s free, and you can register today

Free to attend the main conference, which means you have the opportunity to go to the largest Data Platform focused conference for no charge. Just ask your boss for a little time to learn, get inspired, and interact with your colleagues around the world.. There are still pre-cons that cost money (US$200), but all the proceeds go to the speakers. A great opportunity to learn from experts and support them at a cost you likely won’t see at a major event.

I don’t love virtual events, and I do hope that we get back to live conferences, but I do like that everyone can come to the Summit this year without asking their employer, or their household, to fund the effort. Microsoft is a major sponsor and will keynote at the event, likely with some exciting SQL Server and data platform news coming. Lots of other sponsors will be there as well, which I’m pleased about because sponsors are an important part of events and user groups in our community.

If you want to know what types of sessions are coming, the best of Summit 2020 is available for you to watch, again for no cost. This year there are three themes, Back to Basics, Reach for the Clouds, and Level Up. I’m glad for the cloud track as the cloud has continued to grow faster than I expected, with so many friends, customers, and clients looking to move portions of their data workloads into a cloud situation. I’m also glad to see the career advancement Level Up track becoming a place of focus, as actively managing your career is something I feel strongly about. Hopefully, I’ll get to deliver a session in that track. As of the time I’m writing this, I know I have one session, but not sure if the program is complete.

While Kathi and Grant are managing the process, community volunteers are reviewing, rating, and making choices about sessions. That’s one thing I’m glad to see. There is a strong community effort in helping to program the conference. While I know paid professional staff organizes things and configures the platform (we contracted with a few people that have helped run the conference in the past), it’s the community that should really help decide which speakers and sessions they want to see. I’m hoping that some of the fun things like networking, the photo walk, and more are a part of the event.

There’s no good reason to not attend the Summit this year. Unless you’re buried with a deadline the week of Nov 8, 2021, ask your boss for some time, register, and come join me in watching some sessions, chatting with old friends, making new ones, and getting excited about what you can do with data in 2021.

Steve Jones

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