The SQL Server community is, in a word, awesome. I’ve never seen a user community come together like ours does to help each other get the most of the product, learn and share their experiences, and grow in their careers. And I’ve never seen a conference quite like PASS Summit, organized by a fantastic volunteer team of SQL Server users for their SQL Server colleagues around the world.

PASS Summit 2011 kicks off in Seattle in just one week. And everywhere you look – from the can’t-miss keynotes, top technical sessions, and 2 full days of pre-conference seminars to the special events, after-hours activities, and networking focus – you’ll see the creativity and power of community.

Dr. David DeWitt is back at Summit by popular demand to talk about “Big Data,” the topic selected by community voters, and top Microsoft executives Ted Kummert and Quentin Clark will be sharing exciting news next week first with our community members – those listening from the audience as well as those watching live streaming of the keynotes from wherever they’re located.

This year’s record 170+ technical sessions and 14 day-long Pre-Con workshops were selected by our dedicated Program Committee volunteers with the help of community voting, which gave us five Community Choice sessions and 24 five-minute Lightning Talks as well.

Community members are also the driving force behind Summit’s special events and after-hours activities. We have nearly 40 seasoned Summit alumni serving as Big Brothers/Sisters in a special First-Timers program for new Summit attendees. And volunteers are putting the final touches on the Welcome Reception Quiz Bowl, the annual Women in Technology Luncheon and Panel Discussion (also available via live streaming), the PASSion Awards, Chapter and Birds of a Feather lunches, Kilt Day, the Photowalk, SQL Karaoke, and much more.

Microsoft has worked hand-in-hand with the community organizers to bring back the popular SQL Server Clinic with Microsoft CSS troubleshooters and SQLCAT experts, as well as the self-paced and instructor-led hands-on labs. And make sure you bring your questions and visit with members of the SQL Server Development Team, MVPs, MCMs, speakers, and other SQL Server and BI experts in the Expert Pods.

The SQL Server universe is fortunate to have vendors who are truly community members and supporters, and our sponsors and exhibitors are eager to visit with current and potential customers and share information about their products and solutions in the PASS Summit Expo Hall.

PASS Summit fever is in the air, and I’m loving all the buzz as people share their excitement around the conference – like last week when folks were sending through great tweets to describe PASS Summit in a word: Nirvana, DBASummerCamp, Powerhouse, SuperbowlOfSQL, #SQLAWESOMESAUCE, … But my favorite was simply “Community.” Look forward to seeing you there!

Rick Heiges
PASS Director of Marketing

PS: Can’t join us in Seattle? Tune into the live streaming of the keynotes and WIT luncheon (add the events to your calendar here) and follow along on twitter (#sqlpass) and the Live Summit site (