If your chosen career path involves Microsoft SQL Server in any way, then one of the best moves you can make in terms of Professional Development is to attend the PASS Summit (either North American or European edition).  Yes, the Summit is as valuable for developers as it is for DBAs, and the Summit is the largest training event for Microsoft SQL Server, bar none.  Thomas LaRock (@SQLRockstar) posted a very funny preview for this year’s North American Summit.

Now, for some of you, this may be coming a little late as the North American Summit starts in just a couple of days, which may not be quite enough lead time for you to get funding and schedule flights, hotels, coverage, and all that.  But, just because you cannot attend in person does not mean that you cannot benefit from the Summit.  For the first time in Summit history, the daily Keynote addresses are being streamed live at no cost to you, and I just discovered that so is the Women in Technology Luncheon Panel.  (Don’t be a social luddite and think to yourself that the Women in Technology Luncheon is just for women.  I have attended it each of the last several years and can tell you from experience that it always provides valuable information and insight.)

Another way to benefit from the Summit even if you cannot be there in person is to purchase the DVD set of recorded sessions.  Here is a link to last year’s DVD set which included all 168 sessions plus David DeWitt’s Keynote.  Keep your eyes on the PASS site for information about this year’s DVDs, too.  And this is valuable for people who do attend the Summit, too, because there is so much good training, and you can’t be in every session.  It is common for me to have three or four different sessions that I want to attend that are all going on at the same time.  The DVD set is the next best thing to being there (to borrow a tagline).