PASS Day Two: You Can’t Get There From Here (A Geog-DUH-phy Lesson)

Here it is day two and I am finally starting to get adjusted to the time difference.


Sure, I thought I had it bad.  Two entire time zones between my native Michigan and Denver.  I always lose touch with just how global PASS is. 

I was attending Peter Ward’s fantastic spotlight session on Engineering for the DBA and leaned over to a fellow attendee that I’ve become friends with through years of volunteerism (see a trend here) and had him note the time on Peter’s laptop that he was using for the presentation: 

9:30 am.

This was 5:30 pm.  This was also my stop complaining moment.

There is some bloke named Tony from the U.K.  Says he’s an editor of some sort for something called Simple Talk.  The U.K., for those who are not geographically savy, is a small land-locked country that borders with Nepal. It’s leading export is boiled meat; and it is the only country with a period in it’s name.  At least that’s what it said on Wikipedia.  That must be about 7 hours different from the mountains of Colorado!

Then you have Gail Shaw, second-year attendee from South Africa whom I met last year when she answered a question from the audience on the SIG Quizbowl.  She was back this year and was up on stage with me this year as a contestant.  I am not sure how far in the future she normally lives, my brain is full so I am abstaining from math for the remainder of the week, but I am going to approximate that she is 42 hours ahead of Denver.  My estimate may be a little high or low, but I don’t care any longer.

There are so many others:  Johan and Christoph from Germany (another country bordering Nepal according to Wiki), Greg from Australia, Louis from North Carolina (I believe that is Puerto Rico), Dan from the exotic island of Seattle. 

These are some of the people you’re in sessions with from 0800 – 1800.  These are the friends you make from years of participation.  These are the fellow SQL professionals, Microsoft MVPs, and Speakers that you are out “brainstorming” with until 0200 after those long days in classes and meetings.

You learn a great deal about SQL Server and the platforms it runs on from these long days in class.  Just as valuable are those late nights/early mornings out at the vendor parties and pub crawls.  That’s when you learn the politics of people in our industry, you collaborate on problems you’re having back at work and perhaps find a new perspective on getting your job done.  You may even learn just how much Jagermeister a DBA can consume before he’ll get on stage at a Karoke bar.  Most-importantly, you realize you’re not alone in your experiences. 

Sure, after clocking subsequent 17 hour days I am tired.  But it is a good tired.