I was riding the elevator up from lunch today, at work. I am relatively new at my job and do not know several people at my workplace – yet. I live in a small town, and quite a lot of them know me as someone active in the local community. I am very used to strangers asking me SQL – community related questions at places like Trader Joes, DMV, airport and all sorts of different places. Today – there was a young lady riding up with me. I knew her to be from the same workplace but not too well so we exchanged polite smiles and I looked down at my shoes, as I do always when am in the elevator with someone I barely know 🙂 When I got off she asked rather hesitantly – ‘excuse me, can I ask you something? Do you know much about what they call SQL Cruise?’..Needless to say , I was delighted. SQL cruise is one of my utter favorite topic of conversations, even with total strangers. For the next 10 minutes or so – she and I had a great conversation – I told her all about the cruise, about the places we’ve been to, the fun activities on board and on shore, the great training, office hours, everything. Most importantly what I told her was this –
I am 11 year regular attendee of the PASS summit. Whenever anyone mentions a conference regarding SQL server – the summit is what comes to my mind atleast, to recommend. I love the PASS community and try to promote it whenever and wherever I can. But, there are things I don’t get at the summit. One of them is about having time and leisure to grow good bonds and getting to know people better. Make no mistake – 11 years of the summit have yielded me many, many friends for which am wholly grateful for. But not everyone can keep going that long, and not everyone has the same social skills to make friends from among 3000 + people. The summit is a huge gathering, and there are way too many distractions or things that get in the way of really hanging out even with people you know. I’ve lost count of times when just the noise and the crowd gets to me and I am left with a sort of a dazed look by thursday evening. By Friday I want to go home and all other thoughts are pretty much gone. I am wiped and need to recharge. I have decided, in the past 3 years – that the summit is a week to touchbase with people I know, and to attend some sessions on topics I don’t know and want to know. It does not work for me as a place to grow close friendships or even to network very well.
That is where SQL Cruise comes in. When you meet, eat and spend time with people and their families – a bond develops. People get interested in you as a person, and you in turn are interested in them.A friendship is born and that can lead to many amazing possibilities – including job offers.And, to a die hard traveller like me – the amazing places I get to see are in themselves worth every dime. I get to see them with friends, people I really respect and have regard for. I cannot think of the gorgeous beaches of St Thomas, or the picture perfect Amalfi Coast, the grandeur of the Colosseum in Rome , the food at Barcelona, or the sights of Mendenhall Glacier – without thinking of them at the same time. And that kind of memories are simply not created at any other conference or training.
So, if you’ve been reading my post so far – and if your goals are the same as mine – to see fun places, learn good SQL from among the best teachers, have discussions to the background of waves rocking a boat, make some good friends who are genuinely interested in your career and your success – sign up now! You will not regret it, I promise – and will come back for more.