On December 17, the PASS organization announced the news that it would cease operations on January 15, 2021. Since the announcement, folks have been scrambling to figure out how to keep their user groups and events going or downloading recordings.
By the way, if you need assistance with your user group, please reach out to Redgate (firstname.lastname@example.org) if there is anything we can do to help.
For many of us, this news means more than just finding a new way to conduct user group business. It feels like we have lost something more personal. Many people in the community have stories about how their involvement with PASS lead to growing friendships, finding new jobs, or taking their careers to places they never imagined. PASS has been a big part of the lives of many in the data community, and losing it hurts.
Many of us called PASS Summit a big family reunion, but like most families, we didn’t always get along. Several in the community have criticized PASS for years. I’m sure some of it was justified, but I'm not going to rehash it here. I do know that the board members, volunteers, and employees at “HQ” put their hearts and souls into PASS and worked extremely hard. We are losing more than just a conference; we are losing a big part of our lives.
The world is much different than it was 20 plus years ago when PASS began, and PASS might have evolved in time, but the pandemic forced the end. Jeff Bezos once told the employees at Amazon “I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt.” That seems impossible, but if you were around in the 60s or 70s, you might have thought the same thing about Sears.
The bonds formed through PASS over the years are still in place, and the data platform community will continue to grow and thrive.