I have attended PASS for several years, and discovered at my very first event that this is an extremely valuable conference to attend. The actual technical tidbits I've learned from attending sessions and having conversations with my peers, PASS officials and Microsoft employees alike have been priceless, but far too many to mention. Besides, how could I pick one item among so many?
To be quite honest, the best thing I've learned has not been anything technical at all, but rather the mere and simple fact that community is king. Like many I'm sure, I went for a long time in my career believing that if the documentation couldn't help, I'd have to figure it out for myself. Knowing that I can learn from others, and that – even more astoundingly – others can learn from me, has been cemented by PASS like no other event in my life. The best thing about this annual gathering is that the relationships and camaraderie persist far beyond the time boundaries of the conference itself, and continue today to give me that feeling of belonging to something special. And that, my friends, is far more valuable than realizing the meaning behind that obscure trace flag or DMV column.