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PASS Update #18

Eric Wisdahl posted some questions on my last update, and I thought I’d reply here to make my answers more visible. Please note that these reflect my opinions, and not an official position of PASS. I’m not campaigning for anything, but I figure I can’t talk about transparency without being willing to answer questions!

Q: What do you think of the current state of PASS and in what light do you see PASS as it relates to community functions, events and involvement beyond the PASS Summit Conference?

Andy: I think we’ve made a lot of progress in the last 2 years (I’ve been on the board not quite a year), we have a strong Summit, work to do in other areas.

Q: What do you think about PASS's current relationships with other 3rd party vendors, community organizations, or events? 

Andy: From what I’ve seen our relationship with vendors is pretty good, many will be joining us at the PASS Summit. I think we’ve positioned ourselves this year to be a community among communities, recognizing that many sites like SSC and SQLTeam deliver a huge benefit to the community. Not sure what you’re looking for with regard to events?

Q: Where you do hope PASS will be in one year?  What is your actual expectations for PASS in one year?  What about in three years?

Andy: I think we need some by-law and process changes to fix the challenges in the board elections, and on the officer elections too. I’d like to see our culture change towards translucency, perhaps by having board members blog at least monthly, and speeding up the approval of meeting minutes. I’d like to see us do a better job of doing things that can be done “now”, even if we end up redoing to some degree later. For three years, that’s not much different than my five year vision, just done faster.

Q: Is there at least one key area that you see PASS being able to move into in order to make it a relevant organization for professionals on a frequently recurring basis (Daily or Weekly)?  If so, what area?  If not, how often do you see members of your community interacting with the organization and for what purposes?

Andy:  That’s a tough question, because we want to work with existing communities and not compete with them. We're still defining our niche, with things like aggregated and filtered blogs, superb content via the relaunched SQL Server Standard, and a lot of resource pages. I think as we add services for our chapters we'll become more of a destination, but we've got some deeper thinking to do going into next year, and we'll need to engage the members to help drive some of that direction.


I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.


Posted by dma on 26 October 2009

Andy, could you say more on developing and improve relationships with Microsoft as well? This year has been one of the better years in terms of MS recognizing and supporting PASS via UGSS and other means but again in all conferences such as Tech ED and even SQL Server Launches we are poor step children of Ineta and Culminis (=we get a corner of somewhere in the huge launch arena). Thank you.

Posted by Andy Warren on 27 October 2009

My perception is that our relationship with MS has strengthened greatly over the last couple years, call it a reinvigoration perhaps. I see MS (speaking for me here) as a valued partner, the only trick is working with them in a way that our members still see us as independent. So far I think we're doing that, and I think MS sees value in us doing that as well.

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