The value of PASS

SQL Saturday logo PASS logo PASS Summit 2015 logo

Different people learn different ways. Some by doing; some by listening/watching others; some by reading. But I believe human interaction is always important and rewarding, and that is why I am a proud and supportive member of PASS.

If you don’t already know, PASS is the Professional Association for SQL Server. Now over 15 years old, it is a worldwide organization run by and representing the SQL Server community. In addition to local chapters (like NOVASQL where I am a member), there are numerous virtual chapters as well for just about any area of focus you can think of regarding some aspect of SQL Server.

Through events like chapter monthly meetings, SQL Saturdays, and the annual PASS Summit, you get the opportunity to meet a lot of people who you will learn are really not that different from you. Some might be ahead of you on their career path, and others might be behind. But everyone is there because they enjoy SQL Server, community, and learning. I haven’t had many training opportunities in my career and had to learn the large majority on the job or on my own time (or both). Those evenings and weekends spent with my peers have been not only informative but also some of the best moments of my career.

Still not convinced? It’s all free, and many local chapter meetings include a free dinner. As many of my friends know, you had me at “pizza”.


Welcome to my blog. My intention is for this to be primarily dedicated to technical information related to SQL Server and related technologies, but I’ll warn you now I have a tendency to get distracted and off-topic from time to time.

I suppose I should introduce myself. My name is Tom Staab. I am a husband (to author Elisabeth Staab) and father to 3 wonderful boys. I started software development many years ago when my parents bought a TI-99/4A computer without any games. So I did what any teenager would do. I learned how to create computer games. I began my career in IT as a GWBASIC programmer in 1989. In 1996, I made the transition from DOS to Windows and databases when I began developing an application using Microsoft Access for Windows 95. The VBA functionality was far superior to what I had used before, but it was the introduction to databases that really had me hooked.

Fast-forward about 20 years, and here we are. I shifted my focus to SQL Server over 15 years ago, and I love it. Sure, the data geek in me makes it difficult to focus sometimes, but I have to admit I truly enjoy analyzing and solving performance problems. And that’s what you’ll see here. I’ll ramble from time to time. Most of it will be about SQL Server and whatnot, but I’m sure you’ll see the occasional bit about football or my kids or how much I don’t like the cold and am already looking forward to spring. Thanks for stopping by.