It's time once again to vote for the 3 candidates we feel will best represent the SQL Server community with a 2 year term on the PASS Board of Directors. Voting is open until Oct. 11 and if you were a PASS member prior to June 1, 2012 you should have received an email with your personalized ballot URL by now. (If you haven't, you might want to check your spam folder and\or contact Michelle Nalliah at PASS).
I ran for the Board last year and wasn't elected but was offered a one year appointment as Director for the SQLSaturday portfolio. I took advantage of the opportunity to do as much good as I could in the time and have so far I've thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Even though a lot has been accomplished it feels like there's much more to do and I've got the passion to do it so I made the decision to run again this year and am one of five candidates on the ballot.
So what would I like to do if I'm elected for a two year term? For starters, here's my official campaign platform as published on the elections website:
I believe that the heart of PASS and the key to our sustainability is the grassroots participation of our members. By continuing to establish and support new and existing local communities through Chapters and SQLSaturdays, PASS solidifies its relevance with data professionals through opportunities to connect with peers, advance their careers, and share their excitement and passion for working with SQL Server. Additionally, by offering a multitude of opportunities to speak, volunteer, and lead chapters and events, we are naturally developing the next generation of leaders who will inherit PASS.
I have been honored to serve as a Director and steward of the SQLSaturday portfolio this year, and if elected, I’d like to continue working on its success and growth. In fiscal year 2012, we held 61 SQLSaturdays with 12,000+ combined attendance, 1,675 sessions delivered by 1,320 speakers, and over 12,000 new PASS members. My goal is to continue that momentum by holding 80 SQLSaturdays in fiscal year 2013 and 100 SQLSaturdays in fiscal year 2014.
I believe it is vitally important to the health of PASS that our members know what their leaders are engaged in on their behalf. As a Board member, I will strive to build upon the culture of transparency that has been established by my predecessors through regular blogging about Board, HQ, and PASS activities and encouraging my counterparts to do the same.
I am passionate about helping guide and grow the PASS community and am looking forward to the opportunity to continue to do so if elected a member of the Board.
With that said, here are some of the specific things I'd like to do if elected:
Hold 100 SQLSaturdays in Fiscal Year 2014
We're on target to hold 80 this fiscal year; with the momentum we've gained and the enthusiasm of our passionate event leaders and PASS Community Evangelists I see no reason why we can't do 100 in a year.
Integrate Friday Precons\Seminars into the SQLSaturday toolset
Almost every SQLSaturday is holding a Friday precon\seminar these days. It's a great way to potentially earn extra money for a chapter and help grow the number of precon speakers in the community, but we've left organizers to use their own tools to manage registrations and money. It's time that we take a look at incorporating this into the SQLSaturday toolset.
Open Source SQLSaturday
For years we've had many members of the PASS community offer to help with development work on the SQLSaturday website and backend tools but we haven't had a good way to manage access. We've also had several Code Camps approach us and ask about using our tools (For reference, Code Camp isn't as organized as SQLSaturday - most write their own website and tools for managing their event). Couple that with the fledgling beginnings of PowerShell Saturday, IT Pro Camp, and even SharePoint Saturday, and it has become obvious to me that PASS has an opportunity to be a leader in the technical community space by open sourcing SQLSaturday. In doing so we'd be helping other communities grow while allowing them to contribute their expertise (and the expertise of our own members) to help our tools get better. I'd call that a win for everyone.
I said last year when I ran that I'd like to see PASS implement a speaker bureau and I still believe it's a good idea. Working together with Allen Kinsel (Director of Chapters), money was budgeted to start this in this fiscal year. We've made a lot of progress to date, starting with the in-house development of an abstract submission system dating back to the original SQLRally Orlando in 2011. I'd like to help see it through to completion.
Cohesive Learning\Certification Plans and Study Groups
PASS has a lot of great learning resources available but I don't think we that we do a particularly good job of putting them together into a cohesive plan for someone to get from start to finish on a topic or certification exam. I'd like to work on getting learning plans in place and implement a certification study program at the chapter level to help everyone from beginners to pros reach their professional training goals.
SQLSaturday Video Contest
It's one thing to stand up in front of a group of people and tell them about a SQLSaturday and why they should attend - it's another to show them what a SQLSaturday is. As it turns out we've got some very creative people in the PASS community who have put together their own videos - see this video from SQLSaturday #104 in Colorado and this one from SQLSaturday #138 in Sydney (as in Australia!). I bet the talent and enthusiasm to make more of these is out there and I'd like to encourage it to happen with a contest. Run for one year, once per quarter, SQLSaturday events submit a 2-5 minute video from their event; the quarterly winner (decided by a community vote) gets a comp to the Summit and 15 minutes of fame when we show their video prior to each day's keynote. Chapter leaders and event organizers also gets a great set of videos that we can use to market SQLSaturday at chapter meetings, Code Camps, and other events where we're trying to reach potential attendees and sponsors to show them what SQLSaturday and our community are all about.
For those of your who have already cast your vote - thank you for helping to decide who you want to lead PASS forward. And for everyone else yet to fill out their ballot, I hope that my ideas resonate with you and that you'll consider voting for me.