Printed 2017/08/21 08:07PM

PASS, Don’t Waste My Time

By Steve Jones, 2010/06/30

Update: Apparently I can't write, or get a point across from the comments and a few emails, so I have edited this to hopefully make it clearer.

The pre/post conference sessions came out today for the 2010 SQL PASS Summit. And to my surprise the list of sessions wasn’t quite what I expected.
I know I complained last year about the selections, and a few people said that I should get involved if I didn’t like the way things were done. So I did. I volunteered and wound up on the Pre/Post Con and Spotlight committee. I spent quite a few hours of my time reviewing abstracts, emailing with the speakers to get more information, and then rating sessions. I got on a conference call, with all that prep work, and debated the choices with the others and think we had a great list of sessions. We, the three members of the committee, sent our decisions over to PASS over a week ago. Actually I think two weeks ago.
Only the sessions I the committee I was on had picked aren’t the same ones as the ones PASS published.
<insert four letter words here>
  ______-_______ _______ ________ ______ ______
</four letter words rant>
I understand that PASS needs to make money from these sessions, and there are marketing issues involved. However the instructions I had stated that my committee “Make decisions with regard to all Program aspects of PASS Community Summit.” (emphasis mine)
Apparently that’s not the case. I’m not going to disclose which session I picked that didn’t make it, and which one  got picked instead. That’s not fair to either speaker, and not the point.
If marketing, money, other issues are the important ones, that’s fine. If you ask others to pick sessions, and supposedly decide on what the community wants to see and what is good for PASS, then let the committee do that. I can't speak for the rest of my committee, but we were caught off guard and not happy with this decision. I'm upset because I wanted to make a difference to this process, try to do a good job, defend the decisions of the committee and take the flack for those decisions. I was also trying to ensure that PASS wasn't choosing people because they're a part of some "old speakers network". I feel I've failed there since I didn't make a difference, and the old speaker's club reigned.

If that's the way PASS wants to work, let some non-SQL, non-DBA, non-volunteer honk just rank everyone and pick the sessions they think are important. Publish the rules and guidelines and make it happen.
Just don’t waste my time as a volunteer.

To be clear: My committee sent selections to PASS some time ago. We were not informed, queried, or told of any changes. One of our pre-con sessions was demoted to an alternate. One we picked as an alternate, not sure it was one we wanted to see, was moved to a regular session. Nothing in the comments below seems to give a good reason for this.

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