I never realized I was an introvert. As a kid, I was super quiet, something that concerned my mother, so whenever we’d have company, she would set a rule for me. I had to pick someone there who was not immediate family, someone I had not engaged in a conversation, and talk with them for at least 10 minutes.
I think I was probably about 8 at the time, and for me, it was about as close to torture as possible, but in hindsight, I am really glad she had me do it. I’m still nervous about reaching out to people, but I have found in almost every single case, the butterflies are worth it.
I was at Pass Summit in Seattle last week with my wife and her friend, they were planning on going out and about for the week while I was in sessions and at after parties ;). We spent most of Sunday running around town as Monday was my first session. I was planning on setting things up beforehand to meet people I knew from Twitter for breakfast/coffee/lunch etc, but I didn’t reach out early or often enough so Monday was just sitting down and engaging people at tables, which in hindsight, was actually pretty cool.
In the evening, I was tweeting back and forth with Matt (@SqlAtSpeed) about meeting for breakfast and in my head, we were going to meet Tuesday morning. I hadn’t realized he wasn’t coming in until that night, but I wanted to make it easy for us to meet up so I tweeted a picture of the sweatshirt I was wearing – had a big Applegate Logo on the back, hard to miss – and that I was sitting near the community zone. Waited around a bit, when I hear someone behind me say, “Matt?”. And my connections began.
It was Cathrine (@CathrineW). “Hey, I saw your tweet and wanted to come say hi!”
This is what started it all, this one connection. Sure, knew a lot of people from twitter and have been involved in conversations with them there, but this was the first time I met someone I followed, and as a bonus, it was what I thought of as a SQLebrity! I had always been wanted to take a page out of Slava’s (SlavaSQL) book and take lots of pics with people so I got my first pic! (I’m 6’1″, she’s not. I bent down quite a bit for this shot, but it’s my favorite!)
We chatted for a few minutes when she said, “Wait, here’s Mal!” and I was quickly introduced to Malathi Mahadevan and got a shot with the three of us… Mal is not 6’1″ either 🙂 I’ve been following her for a long time, so it was wonderful to meet in person.
We chatted for a few minutes and Cathrine saw Allen White and took pity on me. “Allen, take a pic with Matt so he doesn’t have to bend down” and I met another member of #SQLFamily. He’s also one of the Directors for Pass, so not only did I get to meet someone I’ve been following for a long time, I also met a BigWig! 😉
I heard about a group that Pass was offering called SQLBuddy, so I signed up and was assigned a mentor and a group. We met up at the Welcome Reception on Tuesday evening, got a chance to take a pic with Lance (@Lance_LT), my group leader and someone he knew who it turned out I also talked to a lot online – Jim (@SQLFlipFlopsDBA). Lance is in the hat, and yeah, that’s TOTALLY Jim’s hair 😉
One of the things you’ll notice at Pass Summit is that on everyone’s lanyard are tags/flags/small signs – not really sure what to call them. They’re to note things you’re involved in. Here’s a pic of Cathrine who is involved in just a few. Yes, it’s down to her knees:
So, I was feeling pretty good, met a few people, had a bunch of great conversations, met people I hadn’t come across on Twitter, and Tuesday was turning out to be a really good day. I REALLY wanted the #SQLFamily badge, so I tried tracking down Alexander (@ArcticDBA). I’d been tweeting back and forth about the badges with Ginger Grant (@DesertIsleSQL) and practically bumped into her going to a session, so I took a pic.
I got the chance to meet someone I’ve been following for a while and realized as much as I enjoyed his banter online, he’s SO much cooler in person. Kevin Kline had an Intro to Pass Summit session which was really informative, glad I went. Reiterated a lot of stuff I’d been thinking. Got to talk to him afterward and get a pic with him.
Got pics of several speakers I enjoyed sessions with, and met several other people that I didn’t get pics with, but all in all, I think it’s a pretty good start to my #SQLFamily family album.
Make sure you make your way through exhibitor booths, you never know who you’ll run into! I’ve been following Monica (@SQLEspresso) and John (@SqlrUs) for a long time, and now they both work for the same company!
I even got a chance to take a pic with someone who wasn’t even there! Lance’s wife Angela (@AngelaTidwell)came in spirit!