Category: PASS General
Is the SQL Community your life? Ready to take the next step and put your PASSion to work? PASS is looking for a new Community Evangelist to join Karla Landrum and the PASS HQ Team. Applications are open now. Read on to learn what it takes to be a stellar community evangelist.
With a global membership of more than 100,000 and growing, the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS) is the world’s largest SQL Server community. Our goal is to help educate and connect SQL Server users around the world through local and virtual chapters; free online events; and local and regional events including PASS SQLSaturday and the annual PASS Summit.
In 2011 our first Community Evangelist joined PASS to support the community by engaging with chapter leaders, event organizers, speakers, sponsors, and members on a daily basis. The community’s response has been tremendously positive – and we’re ready to add another Evangelist to the team.
What a Community Evangelist Does for PASS
Acting as ambassadors for the organization and advocates for the community, our Evangelists play a key role in helping PASS do great things. Working as a fulltime consultant/contractor under the direction of the PASS HQ management team, here’s an idea of what you can expect to do:
- Mentor chapter leaders to help build and sustain their user groups
- Coach chapter leaders to host a PASS SQLSaturday in their city
- Look for opportunities to establish new chapters and recruit new chapter leaders
- Represent PASS in person at one chapter meeting or SQLSaturday per month (including international events)
- Build and enhance an active network of regional mentors, encouraging them to be active PASS ambassadors at events and user group meetings
- As part of the PASS HQ team, help execute successful community programs at events like PASS Summit
- Work with the larger PASS team (HQ and the Board) to execute the organization’s strategic vision
- Blog and tweet regularly about community experiences
What PASS Does for a Community Evangelist
Being an evangelist is incredibly fulfilling both personally and professionally. What can you expect as a PASS Community Evangelist?
- Grow your network while meeting SQL Server professionals from all walks of life
- Visit new places around the world while travelling on behalf of PASS
- Keep your finger on the pulse of Microsoft technologies while attending events as a representative of PASS
- Connect with community members from across the world while working from the comfort of your own home
Who You Are
We’re looking for someone who is passionate and enthusiastic about the Microsoft SQL Server technologies and can help us grow the PASS global community. Our ideal person is friendly, outgoing, self-motivated and an active volunteer in the SQL Server community. You don’t mind talking with people (sometimes for many hours a day!) and you enjoy sharing your community experiences through blogging and social media. You don’t need technical expertise in SQL Server but you do need to be familiar with the technologies at a high level.
You can be sitting anywhere in the world, but you will need to be available during a portion of the North American workday. As a global organization that needs to communicate with people around the world, PASS wishes to accommodate 24 hour availability in the near future – filling this position is a first step in accomplishing this goal. Since the position is located remotely, we are looking for someone who exhibits strong self-management traits, has good administrative skills and is well organized. Fluency in a language other than English is also a bonus.
Travel is part of the job so expect to fly, and because many of our events take place on weekends you’ll be required to work on Saturdays from time to time.
If you’re excited at the thought of being a Community Evangelist for PASS we’d like to hear from you!
To apply, please send:
- Your resume and cover letter.
- Include links to your blog, Twitter, etc.
Send all materials to: email@example.com by 5pm EDT on Friday Aug 3
Who better to tune PASS’s Performance Virtual Chapter for success than a community of volunteers dedicated to helping database pros optimize SQL Server, database design, attached storage area networks, and more?
This month marks 2 years of the revived Performance VC, which just celebrated 180 attendees at its latest session, Performance Tuning for Pirates with John Sterrett. It and other presentations over the past year from some of the top experts in the SQL Server community are available in the VC’s archives for free replay.
“Our mission is to host sessions for PASS members and the greater SQL Server community that relate to SQL Server performance in some way,” says Chapter Leader Erin Stellato. “Whether it's related to finding and trouble-shooting performance problems, designing for performance, optimizing performance in SSIS, query tuning, … every session includes a performance aspect.”
Although the VC was formed before 2010, it had grown sluggish before being revived by Tim Edwards, who did a call for volunteers and received great response. The refreshed group held its first LiveMeeting session in July 2010 with Jason Strate.
Today, the VC owes its success to “a village” of volunteers, Erin stresses, including Speaker Wrangler (gotta love that title!) Carlos Bossy, LiveMeeting Hosts Wil Sisney and Neeraj Jandwani, Web Masters Paul Hiles and Yulia Fuller, and Marketing guru Ryan Adams, assisted by Phil Franz.
The Performance VC meets the fourth Thursday of every month at 18:00 GMT/14:00 EDT/11:00 PDT, and each meeting features a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card, sponsored by Confio. To be eligible, you just need to attend the monthly webcast; winners are randomly chosen from all those in attendance for the whole webcast who provide their email address.
The group’s next meeting, July 26, will feature Microsoft SQLCAT’s Kevin Cox speaking on Using the New XEvents in SQL 2012.
You can join the Performance VC Google Group Distribution List and follow @SQLPASS_PVC on Twitter to receive the latest updates and meeting announcements. And if you’re interested in speaking or have any questions about the group, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Big thanks to the nearly 1,400 PASS members from 57 countries who made their voices heard in the 2012 Nomination Committee (NomCom) election. And congratulations to Stefanie Higgins, Angela Henry, and Jason Strate, who are joining NomCom Chair Rushabh Mehta and Board of Directors representative Thomas LaRock on the committee to manage this year’s PASS Board of Directors general election.
A total of 1,339 voters cast 3,603 votes in this year’s active NomCom election, featuring a slate of 12 incredible candidates. For comparison, 1,951 PASS members voted in the 2011 Board of Directors election.
The NomCom’s role includes finalizing the Board of Directors election application, interviewing and ranking candidates, and putting forward the final slate for Board approval and community vote. Applications for the three open PASS Board Director-at-Large seats will open July 25.
To learn more about the 2012 NomCom election results and preview the upcoming Board of Directors general election, see the PASS Elections page. The discussion forums will be closed until the Board elections open, but if you have any questions or concerns, please contact PASS HQ.
Congratulations again to Stephanie, Angela, and Jason. And a special thank you to Louis Davidson, Mark Ginnebaugh, Ryan Adams, Mark Broadbent, Dave Schutz, Neil Hambly, John Morehouse, Nicholas Cain, and Rick Heiges for their enthusiastic candidacies in this year’s NomCom election.
PASS’s newest Virtual Chapter aims to answer two primary questions for those new to the DBA world or considering a career as a SQL Server administrator: How do I become a successful DBA? And what do I need to learn first?
The idea for the DBA Fundamentals VC came from questions VC co-leader Mark Swofford received from DBAs he’s managed and college students he’s talked to. “Students are confused about the path to become a DBA, and new DBAs many times have basic conceptual ideology, but have yet to see it firsthand,” he notes. “Neither of these groups needs a deep dive into transactional replication, but they do need to understand what an index is.”
Mark, who led the PASS Virtualization VC for a few years, contacted PASS HQ with a proposal for a VC that addresses the needs of people in their first year or so of employment as database administrators, as well as those who aspire to be DBAs. Then he recruited DBAs Michael Brumley and Steve Cantrell to help lead the group.
“To be a successful DBA, it takes a solid foundation of general concepts, career development, training, fearlessness, confidence, and mentorship from more experienced professionals,” Mark adds. “This Virtual Chapter will host regular novice-level presentations on a wide variety of topics: the basics, skills for sure, concepts, career development, and the importance of getting involved in the community early on.”
The DBA Fundamentals VC kicks off its lineup of free webcasts July 10 with David Smithey’s “DBA 101”, and has already launched a forum for DBA basics questions and answers. The team is also busy scheduling future speakers – including Scott Shaw, Adam Belebczuk, and Jes Schultz Borland – and coordinating some special events, such as an upcoming day-long online DBA Boot Camp.
The VC is looking for professionals who’d like to give 100-level presentations on a wide variety of DBA topics – if you’re interested in speaking, just email email@example.com. And to make sure you get the latest meeting details, join the VC and follow @DBAFundVC on Twitter.
Inspired by its namesake technologies, PASS’s new Master Data/Data Quality Virtual Chapter seeks to provide a central, trustworthy source of information that can help data stewards ensure reliable, consistent data.
The VC, getting ready for its third online meeting next week, focuses on Master Data Services (MDS), new in SQL Server 2008 R2, and Data Quality Services (DQS), introduced in SQL Server 2012.
“MDS and DQS are still new products in the data platform stack,” notes Patrick Gallucci, who co-chairs the VC with Tom Marek. “In talking to people in the SQL Server community, I get a lot of questions around master data - what is it, how to use it, what scenarios to use it in... So our initial sessions will really show people what MDS/DQS means to them – the value of master data.”
The VC’s first two meetings are available for online replay. And the group will welcome Gene Web of The Profisee Group on Monday, June 18, for Master Data Maestro for Microsoft Master Data Services.
“In addition to having guest speakers at our free monthly online sessions, we are also trying out open, community-driven chalk-talks,” Patrick adds. “We received feedback that people really like the format, and we want to encourage that type of collaborative problem-solving.”
If you want to submit a chalk-talk topic, just send a brief email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the topic title, user story, problem statement, and why the problem is hard to solve. The VC also invites community members to take a quick survey of MDS/DQS topics they’re most interested in.
The VC website features links to top MDS/DQS resources, and as the group grows, watch for a newsletter. If you are interested in volunteering your time and talents to help manage and grow the VC, Patrick and Tom would love to hear from you - simply email email@example.com. For the latest on Master Data/Data Quality VC meetings and resources, make sure you register for the VC today.
The PASS Global Growth team has spent considerable time in the last few months thinking through how to evolve PASS into an organisation that is both more relevant to and supportive of the worldwide SQL Server community. We’ve launched our new micro-site containing information that relates to our thinking around internationalising the PASS organisation. More documents and events will be announced in the next few weeks.
On the site you will see documented thoughts and proposals that detail what we have compiled to date. We will also be announcing various opportunities for you to engage with the Global Growth Committee in a variety of interactive sessions, including live Twitter chats, online town hall meetings, a feedback site and more.
The content on the site is not set in stone, it simply reflects how we would approach certain changes based on our current thinking. We are advocating changes that impact the community and PASS in quite a profound way. We therefore need your help and guidance to ensure we make the right changes for the community as a whole.
Your feedback is incredibly important. We want to know what you like, what you don’t, how you think it could be improved, and most importantly of all whether you think the changes we are proposing to make will help PASS support the worldwide SQL Server community more effectively.
Last but by no means least I’d like to welcome Karen Lopez onto the Global Growth Committee. Karen has worked with and represented several other not-for-profit organisations over many years including those attempting similar transformations to the global growth objectives. We are delighted to have her expertise to call on and so are grateful that she has agreed to give up some of her time to supporting the SQL Server community in this endeavour.
I look forward to reading and hearing your thoughts in the weeks and months ahead. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts or use one of our many feedback mechanisms we’ve set up.
Together I am convinced we will build an even better PASS organisation that truly reflects, represents and supports the worldwide SQL Server community. That can only be a good thing and I am genuinely excited to be part of it.
It’s your turn! Voting opens today for three community seats on the 2012 PASS Nomination Committee (NomCom), which will manage the Board of Directors general election. Thanks and good luck to all 12 candidates who applied for this important role.
All applicants have been vetted by NomCom Chair Rushabh Mehta, and in compliance with Election Review Committee recommendations, the slate is being put forward for community vote to decide who will join Rushabh and Board member Thomas LaRock on this year’s five-member NomCom.
The 2012 NomCom candidates are:
- Angela Henry
- Dave Schutz
- Jason Strate
- John Morehouse
- Louis Davidson
- Mark Broadbent
- Mark Ginnebaugh
- Neil Hambly
- Nic Cain
- Rick Heiges
- Ryan Adams
- Stefanie Higgins
Secure, individualized ballots are being emailed today to all PASS members in good standing as of June 1, 2012, and all ballots must be submitted by noon PT on June 22. The ballot allows you to choose up to three candidates you feel will best serve PASS as part of the NomCom.
NomCom members will review applications for the 2012 PASS Board election, check references, and interview and rank the applicants who wish to run for the PASS Board. Volunteer experience and a good understanding of PASS as an organization are critical to success on the NomCom. Check out the Nomination Committee page to learn more about the candidates and the NomCom’s role in the PASS elections process. If you have any questions or concerns about the NomCom election, please contact PASSHQ.
Thanks in advance for taking time to participate in the NomCom election and the running of your organization – and good luck again to all NomCom candidates. Happy voting!
After running three SQLRally events, both in the US and overseas, the PASS Board feels it’s the right time to step back and re-examine our SQLRally event options in the US. Orlando, Dallas, and Sweden have all been well supported, community-oriented, and successful events, but we’ve observed that the North American SQLRally events, compared to the international one, are more resource intensive for PASS.
So instead of charging ahead with the next SQLRally in the US, we want to take some time to review the model and determine what will work best going forward. This means no US-based SQLRally event will take place in 2013.
It is important to note that SQLRally is not going away. The event is modeled differently overseas and is so far working very successfully and efficiently. We hope to learn more from the international model with SQLRally Nordic taking place in October. We are also planning one or two more international SQLRally events in the upcoming fiscal year.
In the meantime for the US, our widely popular SQLSaturday events—40+ events in 2012, several with pre-conference days—are cropping up everywhere and giving members ample chance to improve their SQL Server skills in person. And, along with a review of the SQLRally model, we’re actively investigating other types of US-based event opportunities.
As always, we welcome your feedback. Please let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.
How do you connect a SQL Server community across the world’s fifth largest country? If you are the leaders of the PASS Brazil Virtual Chapter, you create an online spring of free information and interactivity that flows like the mighty Amazon.
The Brazil Virtual Chapter started from a quick talk at TechEd 2010 among the people who now serve as the VC’s Board of Directors. “We were all involved in local PASS Chapters, and we all faced the same situation,” explains VC leader Felipe Ferreira. “Brazil is so huge that we constantly have people from all over the country asking for content and events, but when we organize a local meeting, we usually get only 20 or 30 people in the room. So we wanted to bring people together through an online portal, where we could organize and store all session videos, webcasts, and event calendars. But more than that, we wanted to create a central repository of content in Portuguese, where we could aggregate all the articles that people write on their personal blogs.”
The group approached their PASS Regional Mentor, Alexandro Prado, who was excited about the idea and organized a meeting with all the PASS Chapters in the country. After some discussions and brainstorming about the model and more ideas for the project, the team created the BR Virtual Chapter. Almost all the local PASS Chapter leaders in the country sit on the VC’s Board of Directors, and in 2 years, it has more than 350 active members, 50 videos/webcasts on its portal, and of this writing, just posted its 1000th technical article.
The VC has over 40 authors writing content for its portal, with the latest posts also featured on the Brazilian SQL Server MSDN site. Authors simply write on their personal blogs and use a specific tag on articles they want pulled onto the VC site.
In addition, the VC hosts live webcasts the third Thursday of every month, covering SQL Server administration, development, and BI topics. All are recorded and uploaded immediately to the site. In May, featured speaker Thiago Iacopini, a Microsoft PFE, talked about SQL Server security. The next presentations are June 21 with Laerte Junior speaking on Troubleshooting SQL Server with PowerShell and July 19 with Microsoft PFE and Microsoft Certified Master Fabricio Catae. An average of 50 people attend the webcasts live, with typically 150 more watching the recorded versions, although the BI sessions are in even higher demand. One of the BI basics session recordings from Felipe is the most visited video so far with 795 views.
The VC’s leaders and volunteers are also active in their local user groups and in organizing other in-person events, such as SQLSaturday #100 - São Paulo 2011, the first SQLSaturday in Latin America.
“The SQL Server community here in Brazil is incredible,” Felipe notes. “People are very united and passionate about what they do, and they are always hungry for more information, which serves as a great motivator for us. We have a lot of people who are trying to start or improve their careers in the database world, and sometimes they feel a little lost and don’t know where to start, what to read, or what to learn. Thanks to the BR VC, they can find a lot of information, articles, and Microsoft certification exam preparation advice and keep in touch with their peers all over the country. We have people who joined the group as newcomers to SQL Server and today sit right beside the original members at the same level of knowledge – and both are now helping the new generation.”
In addition to Felipe and Regional Mentor Alexandro, other members of the BR VC Board are:
- Andressa Martins
- Diego Nogare
- Nilton Pinheiro
- Marcondes Alexandre
- Thiago Zavaschi
- Roberto Fonseca
- Pedro Galvão Jr
- Vladimir Magalhães
- Luciano Caixeta Moreira
The VC is always looking for more volunteers, speakers, and ideas. If you are interested in writing for or helping with the VC portal or speaking to the group, see the contact information on the BR VC site.
Are you a dedicated PASS volunteer with a passion for improving our community? Then you’re eligible to apply for three community positions on this year’s Nomination Committee (NomCom), which will oversee the 2012 PASS Board of Directors election.
The call for NomCom applications – open today through June 6 – kicks off the 2012 PASS elections process. The NomCom will manage the PASS Board of Directors general election, ensuring that each applicant for this year’s three open Board seats is qualified and suited to lead PASS as it continues to grow and reach out to all members of the SQL Server community. But first, the PASS community will elect the three community members who will join NomCom Chair/Immediate Past President Rushabh Mehta and another Board member on the 5-person committee.
To be eligible for the NomCom, candidates must have a demonstrable track record of volunteering with PASS – such as serving as a Regional Mentor, Chapter or Virtual Chapter Leader, Program Committee member, or frequent community speaker – and participating in other volunteer endeavors. Note that the NomCom is an essential part of the PASS Board elections process and requires a substantial commitment of time and effort. By applying for the NomCom, you are agreeing to the time commitments of the entire general election process, including the applicant interview process currently slated for late August.
If you meet the eligibility requirements and are interested in serving on the NomCom, please review the details and complete elections timeline on the PASS Elections page and download the application today. NomCom applications close June 6, and voting will run June 13-22, with all PASS members as of June 1, 2012, eligible to vote. The top three vote-getters will be elected to the NomCom and begin managing this year’s general election process.