In case you have not yet heard, PASS is running a contest and asking for people to submit their stories regarding the best thing they have learned by attending a PASS conference. The contest runs through July 1st and the winner will get their choice of a free registration to the 2009 PASS Community Summit or four free nights in a hotel during the Summit. In other words, a typical win-win situation and all you need is to submit your story in 250 words or less.

I spent a while thinking about how I would put into only 250 words what it is that would be the “best” thing I learned at PASS. There are so many bits and pieces of information that I have gathered over the years and it would be hard to rate one as being better than the other. While I was pondering all of those bits and pieces I started to recall individual years and events. And then it hit me like a slab of double thick bacon…

The best thing I ever learned at PASS was how to be a better database professional.

I learned the value and power of a community of SQL experts. I learned how to connect, to share, and to learn. In short, I learned how to become better at my profession. That’s the best thing I learned from PASS, and I know I am not alone.

I wrote earlier about the value of your network. At the bottom I listed out a handful of people I want to meet at this year’s Summit. I have not updated that list in a while but hope to get around to it shortly. I know that spending even just a few minutes with people on that list will make me a better database professional.