- by Maria Zakourdaev
"Business or pleasure?" barked the security officer in the Charlotte International Airport. "I’m not sure, sir," I whimpered, immediately losing all courage. "I'm here for the database technologies summit called PASS”. "Sounds boring. Definitely a business trip." Boring?! He couldn’t have been more wrong. If he only knew about the countless meetings throughout the year where I waved my hands at my great boss and explained again and again how fantastic this summit is and how much I learned last year. One by one, the drops of water began eating away at the stone. He finally approved of my trip just to stop me from torturing him. Time moves as slow as a turtle when you are waiting for something. Time runs as fast as a cheetah when you are there. PASS has come...and passed. It’s been an amazing week. Enormous sqlenergy has filled the city, filled the convention center and the surrounding pubs and restaurants. There were awesome speakers, great content, and the chance to meet most inspiring database professionals from all over the world. Some sessions were unforgettable. Imagine a fully packed room with more than 500 people in awed silence, catching each and every one of Paul Randall's words. His tremendous energy and deep knowledge were truly thrilling. No words can describe Rob Farley's unique presentation style, captivating and engaging the audience. When the precious session minutes were over, I could tell that the many random puzzle pieces of information that his listeners knew had been suddenly combined into a clear, cohesive picture. I was amazed as always by Paul White's great sense of humor and his phenomenal ability to explain complicated concepts in a simple way. The keynote by the brilliant Dr. DeWitt from Microsoft in front of the full summit audience of 5000 deeply listening people was genuinely breathtaking. The entire conference throughout offered excellent speakers who inspired me to absorb the knowledge and use it when I got home. To my great surprise, I found that there are other people in this world who like replication as much I do. During the Birds of a Feather Luncheon, SQL Server MVP Ted Krueger was writing a script for replicating the food to other tables. I learned many things at PASS, and not all of them were about SQL. After three summits, this time I finally got the knack of networking. I actually went up and spoke to people, and believe me, that was not easy for an introvert. But this is what the summit is all about. Sqlpeople. They are the ones who make it such an exciting experience. I will be looking forward to the next year. Till then I have my notes and new ideas. How long was the summit? Thousands of unforgettable moments.