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Looking at the Numbers

Andy Leonard has done an awesome job collecting information and putting the numbers together for the recent candidate decision for the PASS Board. I'm looking at the numbers, and quite honestly, I don't understand some of them. I'll stick with Steve, and Andy does a good job of explaining why Steve casts such a tall shadow on the whole process.


Leadership - 2.33

This is the second lowest score of the candidates. But Steve is the editor-in-chief of the largest SQL Server community site in the world (and it's not even close). He's been a DBA manager in his career. While he may not be the guy up front getting all the credit, those of us who have worked with Steve know he provides a ton of leadership to everything he is involved in. Case in point, the revamping of JumpstartTV.com to SQLShare.com, is something I know Steve got involved in. How does Steve get the second lowest score?

Volunteer Experience Outside of PASS - 2.17

Again, second lowest score (tied). Steve's at a lot of SQL Saturdays. He's at other events he can make, too. Now you could say, "That's part of his job," except he was doing this type of thing before Red Gate bought SSC. So again, a score I just don't understand.

Volunteer Experience Inside of PASS - 2.00

The lowest score. Okay, others might have had more involvement recently. But I remember when the SQL Server Standard was a print magazine that represented PASS. Before SSC got bought by Red Gate, Steve was the primary technical editor. He got people to contribute content (that's leadership, right there). SQL Server Standard wasn't an idea from PASS. It was started by the SSC triumvirate. The same is true of SQL Saturday. Although I think primarily the brainchild of Andy Warren, the other two of the triumvirate contributed a lot of effort, too. So that includes Steve. And once again, an idea that originated outside of PASS that was given to PASS. A very successful, idea, mind you. With respect to assisting chapter leaders, I can tell you Steve has been great. When we were struggling to get sponsors (again, pre-Red Gate purchase), Steve was the one who gave us some help through SSC.

Accountability - 3.0

Again, the second lowest score. Yet this is a guy who writes an editorial and does a podcast for SSC nearly every day. He runs every day and has for almost two years straight now. He's frequently called on as a technical editor. He's a published author. So he demonstrates accountability the most publicly of all the candidates, constantly. So while 3.0 sounds like a good score, it's not considering what I've just mentioned.

Bias to Action - 2.87

The criteria here is "Are they driven to deliver results?" Anyone who knows Steve knows that he is. Don't just look at the SQL community side of things (largest SQL Server community site in the world), but look at the fact that he has run every day. Or the fact that he has passed his candidate black belt test. Or about his work on the ranch. Or about how he's helping his son towards a very lofty goal of trying to be an Eagle Scout. But once again, the second lowest score.

Performance - 2.67

Another second lowest score. He runs the largest SQL Server community site out there. He has published his numbers about community posts and reaching his goals. Part of the critera for performance is impact. Why isn't he the highest score out there? Steve linking to your site can send thousands of folks your way in a couple of hours. I know. He linked to one of my Christian devotionals and related it to SQL Server. There was a huge surge in the number of hits for the next couple of weeks. I'd say that's impact. Which begs the question, does anyone in the community make a bigger impact than Steve Jones?


I'll admit a lot of bias in favor of Steve. He was the first one to reach out to me when I was just starting to write articles on SQL Server, back in the swynk.com days. He has sent opportunities my way at SSC, for SQL Server Standard, and other avenues, which have helped build my professional brand and made my family a little extra money on the side. If I have a professional question, Steve's usually one of the first guys I email. And when I'm trying to do something in the community for the community, Steve is almost always the first guy who looks to jump in and help. That's why I was shocked when I found Steve wasn't selected for the vote. And that's why I stared in disbelief at the scores when I saw Andy post them. Maybe I'm just out of touch. But I personally thought Steve was the kind of person I wanted on the PASS Board of Directors. I think I've elucidated why.


K. Brian Kelley - Databases, Infrastructure, and Security

IT Security, MySQL, Perl, SQL Server, and Windows technologies.


Posted by Steve Jones on 23 August 2010

Kinds words and thank you.

Posted by Thomas LaRock on 23 August 2010


That's a great summary of the details, and I won't disagree with your assessments in any way.

The very first article I ever wrote was published by Steve as well. Without him taking a chance on me there is a very good chance I would not have my current job.

Posted by Tim Mitchell on 23 August 2010

This was a tough verdict to accept or even understand, but is an especially bitter pill when you break it down like this.  I'm struggling to even find words strong enough to express my disappointment.

Posted by CameronMergel on 23 August 2010

Great read.  Tough to argue your points.  

Posted by Jason Brimhall on 24 August 2010

Wow.  With that kind of transparency it is really difficult to support the decision by PASS.  Especially knowing that they were not required to eliminate any of the candidates from the interview.

Very tough pill to swallow.  I find it hard to give him consistently low marks in these areas - unless there is some sort of bias involved.

Posted by Peter Shire on 24 August 2010

Whew! This alternate dimension almost fooled me. It seemed like a perfect copy until I read that Steve Jones isn't qualified to run for the PASS Board of Directors. Ha Ha Ha! Now I just need to find the hidden passageway back home where sensible decisions are made.

Posted by Matt Cherwin on 24 August 2010

As I've mentioned in a comment on Andy Leonard's blog, the problem is perhaps even more significant than losing Steve's potential contributions to the board. He is a hugely recognized member of the SQL Server community, and his work is directly responsible for exposing many people (myself included) to the fact that a SQL Server community exists *at all*. I ran across SSC and a couple of his blog posts when looking for information on a problem a couple years ago, and that's what brought the very existence of PASS and the thriving SQL Server community to my attention.

So the decision that we don't even get the opportunity to say we'd like Steve on the board is a double-whammy - first, we lose that opportunity. But second, it sends a crystal clear message to "the little people" that they needn't bother aspiring to be on the board - if Steve isn't qualified, how can a mope like me ever be qualified?

Posted by kcarlin on 24 August 2010

Here here!

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