T-SQL Tuesday #153: Looking Back at PASS 2011 – MVP Authors

This month @kekline is hosting T-SQL Tuesday and is asking the question:

Tell us the story of how attending an IT conference or event resulted in an amazing career or life opportunity.

The year was 2011 in the fall at the annual PASS conference. I had just recently started a new job and one of the requirements I was adamant about as a hiring requirement was going to the PASS Summit. For many people, they wouldn’t risk loosing a job opportunity for something like that but to be honest, who is in charge of your career? You are.

So I went to Summit to learn and hang out with friends and acquaintances.

Why am I nostalgic about 2011? As I’ve gotten older (I just celebrated the 26th anniversary of my 29th birthday) memories and looking back are becoming more and more important to me. It isn’t so much as what happened at Summit in 2011 as to watching the #SQLFamily grow and adapt and overcome over time.

Swag Still In Use

Tell me- of ALL of the paid swag or free gifts you have received at conferences, how much of that is still in use today? Check this out:

PASS 2011 Backpack and SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume2

I tend to want to be a good steward of things that have been entrusted to me. Read- I take care of things and try to make them last. Some of you who have been to the Denver SQL User Group over the years have seen me with this backpack.

While in the past I have blogged about my extensive SQL Server book collection and I love collecting signatures when I can, this particular book stands out.

SQL Server MVP Deep Dives Volume 2

Why? Because they had a book signing by all of the MVP(s) who could attend the book signing line. I have 35 signatures. Most signed their bio page.

Some of these authors have:

  • Moved on into other careers and are no longer active in the SQL community
  • Passed away 😦
  • Retired
  • Switched jobs many times up to today
  • Moved up in the world and are doing quite well for themselves
  • Gotten older and look nothing like their bio picture today (ha!)

My point is this: the #SQLFamily is just that – family. Families change over time!

And! Can you guess out of the 65 articles written in 2011, how many of them were about the cloud?

Big Fat Zero.

And! Can you guess how many of the technologies presented have been super-ceded by current tech and software and are no longer relevant or are now just seen as poor advice?


My point is this: remember what I said above about who is in charge of your career? You are. It is up to you to control and deep dive into things you are passionate about and can share with others for constructive feedback.

Never Been an MVP

Want to know something? I have never been an MVP. Been using SQL Server since the last millennium- one of my go to Dad jokes I store in my Dad-abase (!)

Have been an active member in my local server group for almost a decade, hosted several SQL Saturday(s), travel to speak, etc. but just never qualified for what seemed like ever changing requirements of the MVP program; how much do you blog, how many Microsoft licenses and revenue can you bring in, how many people do you know like a popularity contest, how many and what types of certifications do you have- and I have heard so many explanations over the years at to why some people get picked and some people do not. So I stopped worrying about it as a career goal long ago and just try to do the best job for my current employer as I can. Over the years I have learned to stop comparing myself to other people and to just focus on doing the best that I can for my Lord, my family, myself, my country and my community- including all of you!

Over time it has been a joy to watch people advance their careers and grow their families in whatever form that looks like. The last eleven years has seen such an incredible amount of changes since Vol 2 of the Deep Dives came out that it really is a snapshot in time. Will there be a Vol 3 someday???

Why Such A Long Hiatus From Blogging Todd?

As I ask myself this question in the third person. Long story, will try to tell another time, maybe. On April 11th I started a fantastic new job at Sierra Space as a Senior DBA. It was like working at a start-up all over again. Mentally spent at the end of the day, constant meetings start to finish, pushing myself, excited to jump out of bed and go into work (yes- I am one of THOSE people who work best around other people; I’ve worked ~3 years WFH and I had enough). The Spring and Summer of 2022 has been a lot of long days but good days.

Slowing Down to Think

Another long story short- my car died. It has been towed three times and been into two different shops over ten times. Both they and I have replaced the computer, every single sensor and the problem appears to be some kind of intermittent problem. It can run fine for months then will barely drive at all. With the insane increase in the price of gas here in the US I decided to do something crazy. A buddy at work has one of these and with my EcoPass I can take it with me and ride free (!) on the buses or trains in the Denver Metro area. FYI: I have over 458 km/275 miles on it to date. Tires are showing some wear!

Segway Ninebot on a bike trail in Cherry Creek State Park

I’ll blog more about my scooter experiences later but it has given me more time to think as it has forced me to slow down these last few months. Especially while riding and waiting on trains and buses. In case you were wondering, my car is still in the shop too.


Hey Kevin! If I can get my hands on a copy of SQL in a Nutshell 4th Edition, I will make it a point to find you someday at an event and get your signature on it too. Thanks again for hosting and you too are someone whom I have admired and have respected all of these years looking back! —Todd Kleinhans

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