Why would you stay up until 4am working on a presentation and then drive 8 hours to speak at a SQLSaturday when you aren’t getting paid? Why would you spend hours and hours making tables full of food for people you don’t really know? Why would you cruise Nashville in the middle of the night to make sure the folks you were with saw the Grand Ole Opry before they left?

Then again, why would you spend hours debating the injustices of a decision you don’t agree with on Twitter, blogs, and Facebook? How about taking on a second unpaid job volunteering? Or paying your own expenses and using up your precious holidays to attend PASS Summit?

The answer is Community. Community isn’t just a group of people—it’s a living entity that can grow, wither, get sick, heal, die, and be reborn. Being part of a community can be phenomenally rewarding, very challenging at times, and always interesting.

Spending last week in Nashville for a PASS Board of Directors meeting and the kickoff for SQLSaturday #51 was been both phenomenally rewarding and very challenging. But at the end of the day, I feel more a part of the SQL Server Community than I have in a long time.

Although I was emotionally and physically exhausted at times from working through some tough issues, what I will take away from the experience is a sense of awe that Allen White cares enough to drive down from Ohio to Nashville to make his presentation. That Rachel and Kevin Kline would make more than 20 dishes and open up their beautiful home to host the SQLSaturday kickoff. That Robert Cain and Barry Ralston took the time to drive Andy Warren and myself around Nashville at 11pm to show us the main drag and let us hear the Country music blaring out of the bars, get a glimpse of the Grand Ole Opry, and see the bizarre but fantastic Nashville Parthenon.

Like tending a garden or raising a child, there are a lot of differing views on the best approach for running PASS and meeting the needs of the Community. To me, what’s most important is that people care and that they work toward the goals they are most passionate about.

Last week, I met and interacted with so many people that care, and I am confident that our PASS Community is in good hands. The PASS Community is active, it has a powerful voice, and it will continue to shape its own evolution.

Lynda Rab,
PASS Board member