Blog Post

Hi, I’m Hamish Watson and I’m running for the PASS Board of Directors.


Hi, I’m Hamish Watson and I am running for the PASS Board of Directors:

This blog post is why I decided to run for the board, why I think I am qualified to be a board member and the vision of where I think the board needs to go.

I had thought about running for the board for some time – I have been a member of the PASS community since 2013. I’ve been a User Group leader since 2015 and lead organizer of SQLSaturday South Island since 2016.  I have always been someone who cares about what is going on and was a peer support person for new students at my high school and through university as part of the Maori student community. I’m 1/4 Maori and helping my extended student family (whanau) was important to me.

PASS is a global community and it has helped me extend and stretch myself – because without becoming a member of our community I would never have travelled around the world helping others make a positive change in their lives through my talks.

This outward looking viewpoint is probably as a result of being a New Zealander – we’re a small country that does big things. We were the first country to give women the right to vote in the 1890s, we had reforms in the 80s that meant that people of any gender, race and sexuality could be considered a “Kiwi” i.e. we all are one – we should treat each other as one. I try and live my life according to those foundational goals of my country, specifically around helping others who are not included or represented.

I bring to the board a viewpoint that we need to be aware of inclusivity and the diversity of our community. It has been encouraging to see the actions that PASS have started to take and whether or not I get on the board – I want to help continue those steps.

I wrote an article this year around how I and my fellow MVPs need to consider other people:

It shows how even at grass roots level we all have a part to play to help people and make sure that they are included, supported and have a positive experience with us.

Two of my endorsements for the board were Reza Rad and Rob Farley- two people who have mentored me over my community career and their tutelage over the years has encouraged me to help others. I have mentored students in India and helped them get their first job, I have helped SQLSaturdays get off the ground in new places – I do this because I know what it is like to have to ask for help. I want to be the person that approaches people and say “can I help?”

Applying for the board is my way of saying to my PASS community – “can I help?”

My vision is to bring some of my positive attributes – I am passionate about helping others, my drive is for people’s viewpoints to be heard and acknowledged and I like to incorporate openess in all the things…

Our technology platform is evolving – we’re Data Platform instead of just SQL Server – the role of the DBA is evolving too (Data Engineer and the like) and PASS needs to be a part of this evolution. To be both a leader in the education space and also to serve our changing community.

Your vote is important and this year we have an awesome strong contingent of people who care deeply about our community. It is very encouraging for the direction of where PASS will go to see more people from around the world put their hand up and say “I want to help guide our community”. I stand amongst champions this year and if I do not get on the board – I know that the other people will make a difference.

My mantra for everything in my life is “make stuff go”, I like to connect disparate technology and people where others say it can’t be done.  After the March shootings this year in Christchurch I saw a community that was hurting and needed some help. I helped them “make stuff go”. I was told for certain things it couldn’t be done – I refused to accept that and even now I’m still involved within that community helping and just being someone that they know cares.

That is what I want to bring to the board – to bring together disparate cultures, viewpoints and thoughts – to bring it together towards a common goal of connecting us all as a global community.

I want to MakeStuffGo and I hope that you do too – if you see me – please stop and have a chat. I want to hear about your experiences, your thoughts, because for our community to grow it needs voices to be heard.


but more importantly – #Vote – number of people who vote in the past are low – and I hope that this year you all will take some time, read the bios and place three votes to make a difference.


How to Vote

To be eligible to vote in the 2019 PASS Election, PASS members must have completed their myPASS profiles by June 1, 2019. (If you’re not already a free member of PASS, there are many reasons to join, including the wide variety of Virtual User Groups, free training, and ability to interact with your  chapters and SQLSaturday events!) Voting will commence at 11:30am Pacific Time on November 6th until 12:00pm Pacific Time on November 12th. Election results will be announced November 13th.

You’ll be able to vote via your My Profile page.

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