I was talking a bit with a friend at SQLSaturday Jacksonville and realized I needed to write down a thought or two. I love the PASS Summit – its the great gathering of our craft. But I also long for specialized events to supplement both the Summit and SQLSaturday. Imagine that a couple times a year PASS held smaller (say 100-300 attendees, give or take) that focused on a specific area – maybe one with a lot of interest, maybe one that is trying to take off. In a way it might be a SQLSaturday for a Virtual Chapter, but I think it would be more than that. Not quite SQL Rally either. Similar in size, but different price point and different objective. I’d go to one that was 400 level on architecture, or performance tuning, or availability. Not just for the 400 level content, but to learn from and share stories people that are actively working on that stuff at that level all the time. I think the session format would still work, and getting picked to speak at one of these would be something. It would be slower, more personal, deeper. Worthy of a close to premium price (think $400-$600 per day, same as Summit).
I’m writing all of that in a hurry (or it won’t get written at all), so it’s less than polished. My point here isn’t to complain about PASS, just to encourage what I always ask; do more. Serve the craft. Serve the members. I want PASS to be more than just events, but it’s good at events, so let’s do more. Stop and think about whether you’d go to the boss to ask for funding to attend a three done conference on some topic here that was limited to 300 attendees and had 400 level content.
It’s smaller risk, easier logistics, more choices of locations. Why aren’t we doing this?