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The PASS Summit Survey Results 2010

I hope there will be more surveys, so I’ll tag this as 2010. The results were released recently, and there were some write-ups on the results. There was the release by PASS, and then a great interpretation (and debate) by Brent Ozar. There are others as well (Brian Kelley, Jack Corbett, Tom LaRock).

The survey was flawed, but aren’t they all? I’m sure PASS would like help in getting another one together, and they have asked. Feel free to contact them with feedback.

However. (you knew that was coming, right?)

There’s an interpretation missing. Why don’t we have an official interpretation of the results from PASS? Why hasn’t the board published something that explains how they viewed the results? Shouldn’t at least a couple of the board members have spent time going over the results by now?

There’s a write-up on the PASS blog on the chapter survey (thanks, Douglas). Transparency was on the last Board agenda in March. People have called for more transparency and communication. There’s a short announcement, but no feedback from board members on how they view the survey.

It’s our fault. We get what we allow, and a few of us make some noise about this, but it’s not enough of you out there that contact PASS and let the board know what you’d like. Too many people sit back and just let PASS happen, or in this case, do very little.

PASS can be a great organization for helping the SQL Server community grow, bond, learn, and become stronger. However it takes a little effort from all of you.

If you read this, take 5 minutes and draft a short email to the PASS board. Ask them to blog, ask them for their interpretation, tell them they’re doing a great job.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


Posted by Brent Ozar on 27 April 2010

I agree about the lack of interpretation.  I really applaud that they gave out the results, but if I was on the Board, I would want to announce it along with my own spin.  I'd want to say, "Here's the results, and here's what we think they mean."  The first mover has a big advantage there, so people ended up reading my thoughts and agreeing.  Between my site and my RSS feed stats, more people read my post than actually took the survey.  That's a bad thing for PASS.

In a perfect world, the Board would have released these results, plus posted a blog entry with their interpretation.  The discussion would have taken place on their blog, and they would have had a BoD member engaged with the community, answering questions as they came up.  From a marketing perspective, it's dangerous to let someone else (especially me) control the message and the discussion on my own site.

Posted by Anonymous on 27 April 2010

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Posted by Steve Jones on 27 April 2010

They could spin it, and I understand your comments about getting ahead of the curve. But more importantly, I want them to tell us what the survey means to them AND what they're going to do because of it.

Posted by Glenn Berry on 27 April 2010

I am happy that they released the results of the survey. It is a little sad that more people did not complete the survey, but it was very long. Plus, it is hard to get people to do surveys without some form of bribery.

I think the PASS board is doing a good job. Remember, they are volunteers, with jobs just like everyone else.

Posted by Steve Jones on 27 April 2010

Being a volunteer is no excuse for not communicating with us. It's no excuse for making arbitrary decisions on things like the Summit location, the events, where money is spent, etc. without some justification.

Are they doing a good job? I think it's adequate.

I'm not complaining about the survey. It's the lack of transparency, communication, and information.

Posted by Andy Warren on 29 April 2010

I think what you're seeing the pain of growing into transparency and you (collectively) are one step ahead of us. We've gotten to the point of sharing the survey results, the logical next step is to share how we're applying the results.

This is perhaps one of the harder parts of transparency (and the most valuable), as someone has to evaluate the results and make recommendations - and it's always EASY to disagree with the assessment!

Brent, I'm not sure it's that dangerous. I say that in part because you're going to say what you're going to say - you'll either comment on the results, comment on the comments, or both! Nothing wrong with that, and potentially a lot of good from it. I'd actually be interested in seeing multiple bloggers write independent assessments and post at the same time, would be interesting to see if they saw the same things.

If they haven't already I'll see if we can get someone to talk about how we use the results, and from that maybe we can collectively decide on ways to change the survey for next year to get better (more useful) results.

Posted by Steve Jones on 29 April 2010

If you are using the results, and I hope you are, then someone ought to comment somewhat on them. At the very least someone ought to talk about the interpretation and give guidelines to the people picking speakers.

Or they should comment.

I understand this is a change, but understand that we will continue to push.

Posted by Anonymous on 29 April 2010

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Posted by Anonymous on 30 April 2010

Recently we released the results of the annual survey to determine interests for the 2010 Summit. That

Posted by Anonymous on 3 May 2010

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Posted by Anonymous on 4 May 2010

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