Category: PASS Chapters

SQLSaturday #103 Curaçao Recap – Planting Seeds

(Condensed from my Community Pollination blog – read the full version here.)

This past weekend, there were two SQLSaturday events: #108 in Redmond and #103 in Curaçao. I heard all the “Oh sure, tough choice there” comments, but my plans early on were to attend the Curaçao event.

The original vision for my new role as PASS Community Evangelist was to get to one first-time venue each month to talk to attendees who might not be familiar with PASS. My being onsite to assist with some logistics and last-minute details at these events helps out the first-time organizers as well. Plus, I can see what areas I need to make sure I’m mentoring on before event day. 

This trip was only 3 hours from Miami. I was greeted at the airport by event leader and local PASS chapter leader Roy Ernest [blog|twitter]. Roy went out of his way to not only pick me up, but to also pick up each speaker who came from over from the US. None of us arrived at the same time, so it wasn’t exactly convenient for someone already with so much stress of his approaching event. SQLSat #103 had three non- local speakers - Bill Pearson [blog|twitter], Rob Volk [blog|twitter], and Tim Radney [blog|twitter] - and two local presenters: Roy and volunteer and co-worker Rohan Joackhim [twitter].

Friday evening’s speaker appreciation dinner was at a great Indian restaurant - one of many in a renovated fort called Rif Fort. From the outside, it looked like a castle, but when you walked in, there were all kinds of restaurants on several levels, all with open seating. You could look out in one direction and see the beautiful crystal-clear, aqua-colored ocean and then look inward around the fort at all the entertainment, from drummers and bands to folks dancing in the open center area. It was really a unique setting; the only downfall was that the band was so loud, it was hard to hear even someone sitting directly across from you.
 
The event had two tracks, DBA and BI, and was held at the University of the Netherlands Antilles, courtesy of the head instructor, Rinnus Felipa. It’s always nice to meet those who help make a SQLSaturday happen, and kudos to universities such as this, which offer their venues for free to the IT community. It was obvious that the success of this day was important to Rinnus - he was onsite all day and meticulous about details that the university was responsible for, such as lunch. On the lunch menu was “Steak de Wea,” a local combination of rice and steak covered in a savory sauce, with fresh green beans and salad. It was delicious, and I enjoy trying something local and new to my taste buds. SQLSat #103 didn’t charge attendees for lunch, and the university kept the cost very reasonable (I believe each plate was around $7 per person).
 
The morning of the event, there were 95 registrants, including those who opted out the week prior. Actual attendance ended up being around 60 - so as typically seen at SQLSaturdays, about a 30%-35% drop-off. The event had only three sponsors: PASS, Redgate, and O’Reilly. But even with the little budget he had to work with, Roy managed to put on a great event for his community. As I talked with attendees during breaks and addressed the group as a whole at the end, many comments rang a common tune - they want to see another SQLSaturday… and most don’t want to wait another year for it (hint, hint, Roy!). As always, I stressed to the attendees that they should work on becoming presenters themselves for the next SQLSaturday event, and they could start sharpening their SQL and presentation skills by speaking at their local user group.

This post would not be complete if I failed to mention another key Curaçao volunteer: Surenda Djaoen [twitter], another of Roy’s co-workers and someone he is mentoring to become the new leader of the Curaçao SQL Server User Group. With Roy doing so much running around on Friday, and still prepping his own presentation for the big day, Surenda took on a lot of the last-minute details for the SQLSaturday. One of the highlights of the trip for me was getting time to talk with her about running a user group and some tips on growing the local speaker pool. It’s always rewarding to see volunteers’ eyes light up with excitement as their minds start racing with ideas. That’s all it takes - just plant a few seeds, and watch them grow!
 

PASS Chapters Update

(Reposted from my blog; read the original post here.)

Mission Statement
I was asked by someone to write a mission statement for chapters. I don’t know if this qualifies in the truest definition of a mission statement or not but, I partially stole this from a friend, and I hope he doesn’t mind: 2012 is going to be the year of the chapter.

Its been a busy quarter since I took over responsibility for chapters and there have many changes, hopefully this post can summarize the highpoints.

New Faces
During the past quarter, we’ve seen exceptional growth of chapters, including seeing 12 new chapters formed across the globe!
 

Budget Exceptions
Last month, I put forward some recommendations to the board of directors for increased spending for the fiscal year 2012 (ends 6/30/2012); two of those proposals were accepted and funded. Yesterday I had the opportunity to lead two separate meetings with our Regional Mentors in order to bring them up to speed on what those proposals are funding.

The first thing this is going to allow us to do is send a “Chapter Kit” or mailing to every PASS Chapter around the globe! I’m not going to spoil the surprise about what’s going to be inside but, we hope that Chapter leaders will find the contents valuable and can put them to good use.

The second program we’re going to implement is to fund some Regional Mentor travel to PASS chapter meetings and SQLSaturdays. The basics are that we’ve given each Regional Mentor a funding allocation and asked them to visit as many chapter meetings in their region as they can, the primary focus being on chapters - especially those that need help with speakers or are otherwise struggling. We are attempting to fill a gap in speakers at local UGs and allow the Regional Mentors to get out in the community and evangelize for PASS.

Both of these programs are new, and both are things that we’ve talked about trying for a good while. I’m expecting both of these efforts to have a positive impact on the community, and I’m expecting to get lots of feedback during the process and learn some lessons while we see exactly how this is going to work and what impact its going to have.

Tools Improvements
Since I started with chapters, I’ve been pushing forward with a plan to revamp the existing tools our chapter leaders use to manage chapters, and I’m happy to say I’m starting to see some real movement towards helping with our needs in this area! I expect the first round of changes to start being rolled out within the next 45 days. As this project continues, I'll continue to write about the new and exciting changes we’re making.

Brazil: Connecting a Vast Community

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.

 

SQLShot – Growing New Speakers

(Cross-posted from my personal blog; you can read the original here.)

I was talking at SQLSaturday #161 East Iowa with one of the newer PASS Chapter Leaders, Sheila Acker [t] of Quad Cities PASS, about ideas for growing more local speakers. I described a little program called SQLShot that we do in Orlando at the OPASS meetings. Sheila thought something similar could work for her group and that other Chapter Leaders might like to hear about it as well. Here’s what SQLShot is all about.

You know how during the networking time at user group meetings, you’ll often overhear one person sharing with another something they did at work that day that really helped their company or just made their day easier? Or maybe you hear the opposite conversations – a DBA talking about what a brute of a day they had trying to figure something out, and the other person sharing a technique or tool that might help. What these database pros probably don’t realize is that so many others in the room might also benefit from that knowledge.

This is when you, the Chapter leader, strike and ask the member if they’d consider doing a presentation on that very topic at an upcoming meeting. Of course, as most of us know, DBAs as a whole tend not to be that outgoing, and the thought of talking in front of an audience of their peers can be terrifying.

At OPASS – the Orlando user group started by Andy Warren [b|t] years ago and now led by Shawn McGehee [b|t] – we do what we call a SQLShot , a 10- to 15-minute presentation typically done by someone who has very little, if any, previous speaking experience.

Of course, you can ask during the opening announcements if anyone is interested in doing an upcoming SQLShot. But usually all you’ll hear is the crickets. That’s why it’s important to recognize opportunities like those mentioned above and reach out to specific members on topics you know they can talk about.

As your user group’s leader, you are also a mentor. Your members just need someone to encourage them, someone to eliminate the obstacles going up in their minds. Explain that a presentation on what they were just talking about could benefit others. Let them know it doesn’t have to be some super-polished PPT that they spend hours on, trying to think up (dare I say it) bullet points. Paint the picture; keep it simple. Let them know their presentation might involve just opening up SSMS, showing off the query they created, and describing what the problem was and how this code helped.

The typical rebuttal is, “That won’t even fill 10 minutes.” Tell them that’s fine. Because, just wait... once they are up there and start talking about their solution, before they know it, they’ve shared for 30 minutes. Database pros are excited about what they do, and that excitement usually starts pouring out about 2-3 minutes into the demo.

The next retort will be, “Everyone knows this already.” As we all know, even the most seasoned DBAs learn at least a thing or two in almost any session they attend. Remind your novice speaker that many of the audience members are beginners, and even if they’re not, they’re attending the meetings to learn from their peers’ experiences.

Now here’s a rebuttal I often hear from user group leaders: “I just can never get anyone local to present at our meetings.” I’m not so naïve to believe that all user group leaders are outgoing and can easily approach others and dare to “ask” someone to do something as bold as present. Times like these are YOUR chance to improve your leadership and mentoring skills.

If you’re reading this thinking “that’s me,” brace yourself. My recommendation is that YOU do the SQLShot for your next meeting! There are so many benefits to presenting the SQLShot yourself. You get to learn more about it yourself, mentor others what to do, and lead by example. Show them just how easy it is to do a brief demo. That will be all it takes to generate others to give it a shot.
 

PASS Summit: Get in the Community Zone

There is no doubt that PASS Summit is all about SQL Server and the SQL Server community. While you might know the conference as the best place to learn anything SQL Server-related, it’s also the best possible place to get connected with SQL Server professionals all across the globe.

PASS community volunteers from around the world work hard every year to deliver the best technical training and information to meet the needs of all attendees, no matter what their skill level or technology interest. And this year, we’re extending that mission to provide more knowledge about and connections with the SQL Server community by creating a special Community Zone.

What is a Community Zone? It’s both a location for community sharing at Summit and a state of mind that encourages more community involvement through a variety of organizations and events. You’ll find the PASS Summit Community Zone between the Lunch Hall and the Exhibit Hall. And we are looking forward to showcasing both PASS-related and non-PASS-affiliated community groups and events.

If you represent a not-for-profit SQL Server organization, please join us in the Community Zone. And even if you aren’t able to attend Summit, if you send us information about your group or event, we’ll help spread the word. How much more community can you get?! :)

Talking about community means reaching out to more than just English-speaking attendees, and we have invited volunteers who speak other languages so we can welcome everyone and try to help all members reach their respective community goals. We’re also interested in hearing your suggestions – if you have a great idea for a user group or a not-for-profit event, drop us an email at ce@sqlpass.org.

The Community Zone will be open Wednesday, Nov. 7, through Friday, Nov. 9, with your faithful PASS Community Evangelists – Karla Landrum and me – and many generous volunteers looking to make your visit as fun and valuable as possible. (Hint: We’ll have some great networking games and other activities to help attendees learn about different communities all around the world and connect with each other.)

I am so excited about the new Community Zone and helping PASS members get more involved in and improve their local communities and the SQL Server community at large. So if you’re attending PASS Summit, please drop by the Community Zone to say “Hello,” ask questions, discuss exciting plans for the SQL Server community, or just hang out – who knows, you could also win some amazing prizes! 
– Niko Neugebauer

 

Pop Quiz: What’s PASS’s 20th Virtual Chapter?

School will soon be in session with the debut of PASS’s 20th Virtual Chapter, dedicated to free training and support of SQL Server and Business Intelligence professionals in the education sector.

“Our mission is to provide SQL Server training that uses educational data and that shows how to take advantage of SQL Server tools for education-related tasks,” says VC leader David MacLean. “We want to start monthly online sessions in December, depending on how quickly we can get speakers lined up.”

David got interested in launching the VC when he registered for PASS Summit 2012 as a first-time attendee and asked if there was anything special for the education sector happening at the event. “Lana Montgomery and Karla Landrum said. ‘There is now,’” he notes with a laugh. “Karla and others at PASS really moved on this, and I am very excited and pleased that we are the 20th PASS Virtual Chapter.”

David will be meeting at Summit with other database pros working in education to recruit VC volunteers, speakers, and members and gather suggestions for meeting topics and web resources. You can find him at the VC tables during the Welcome Reception or leave him a message at the Community Zone.

Some session topics might include:

  • How to import SAT/ACT scores from the College Board using SSIS
  • How to import the Common application or other vendor application data using SSIS
  • Designing SSRS reports tracking candidate stages across multiple years or reports that combine candidate/student data with financial aid data
  • Using SSAS to predict the factors that get candidates to enroll

“Speakers don’t have to have a background in education because we all use the same tools,” David notes. “And if need be, I can assist with how they might make some changes to their presentation that would relate it specifically to those working in education. For consultants, this is a great opportunity to develop contacts in the education sector.

If you are interested in speaking, volunteering, or suggesting meeting topics, you can contact David at david.maclean@msmc.edu with “Education VC” in the Subject line or on Twitter at @DavidAMacLean1. To join the chapter, just go to the PASS Home page and click the “Join a Virtual Chapter” button.

“I will note that Scotland had an Education Act in 1496, so I think it is appropriate that a MacLean start the Education Virtual Chapter for all the fine laddies and lassies of PASS.” He adds. “If someone buys me a glass of Glenfiddich Special Reserve at one of the Summit After Hours events, I might just sing an old Scottish tune for all fellow Scots.”

Board Portfolios for the New Year

As 2012 draws to a close, I’m growing increasingly excited about the start of another year full of opportunities for PASS. With the Board of Directors elections completed and a new Board starting in 2013, it’s time to assign portfolios for the upcoming year. Next year sees the return of an old portfolio and the combining of some existing portfolios. It also brings us both returning Board members and new leaders.

Adam Jorgensen headed up the Summit Program portfolio this year and will return to that position next year, leading the team that selects the amazing educational sessions for the largest SQL Server and BI training and networking event in the world. The Program Committee just completed its work for Seattle and is gearing up for PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte.

Denise McInerney will return to the Virtual Chapters portfolio next year and will also handle 24 Hours of PASS. There are many similarities between these portfolios as well as cross-portfolio opportunities, so it makes sense to assign them to a single director.

Rob Farley
 will guide the SQLSaturday portfolio. These events are seeing tremendous growth throughout the world. With our continued focus on serving members around the globe, we expect these free events to reach and positively impact even more members in 2013.

James Rowland-Jones, elected to the Board after serving a 1-year appointment, will continue leading the Global Growth portfolio. We’ve made great strides in the past year getting feedback and laying the groundwork for better supporting the global community. Now it’s time to build on that work and put the next steps into action.

Wendy Pastrick will begin her term on the Board by leading our Chapters portfolio. PASS’s support of local Chapters through Regional Mentors, Community Evangelists, tools, best practices, and more has grown tremendously over the last few years, but there’s still much to do.

Sri Sridharan
, also newly elected to the Board, will guide the returning Volunteers portfolio. As we continue to grow PASS’s volunteer pool, it’s important to have a dedicated a team to coordinate volunteer activities across the organization. Although this portfolio has existed in the budget, it hasn’t had anyone assigned to it for several years. We are still defining exactly how the Volunteers portfolio will align with our other portfolios, but by the end of 2013, we expect to see more volunteers, better organized, and with greater recognition for their valuable contributions.

In addition to the PASS Executive Committee – consisting of myself; Executive VP, Finance, Douglas McDowell; VP, Marketing, Thomas LaRock; and Past President Rushabh Mehta – as well as Founding Partner Board members from CA and Microsoft, this is the team that will lead PASS for the upcoming year. Please congratulate them on their portfolio assignments and offer them all the support you can. We’re expecting great things from them.
 

PASS Chapters Update Q4 2012

(Reposted from my blog; read the original post here.)

Welcome New Chapters
This past quarter several new Chapters have joined the PASS community:

We also have had a lot of new Chapter Leaders join us in existing Chapters as well as rebooting some inactive Chapters and we look forward to helping them keep their Chapters thriving. Be sure to reach out to your Regional Mentors and the PASS Community Evangelists for any questions you have, they are here to help you.

Regional Mentor Updates
It has been great to see more and more Chapter Leaders utilizing the great resources we have in Regional Mentors. We have some Regional Mentor changes to announce for January 2013.

    • Leaving the role of RM for the UK is Chris Testa O’Neill. Chris has done a tremendous job in helping with the awareness and growth of PASS in the UK the past couple of years and we are thankful for his efforts. Taking the reins in the UK and working along with Jonathan Allen in 2013 will be Mark Broadbent. Mark has been a great supporter of PASS as well as a strong Chapter leader and presenter, and most recently hosted his first SQLSaturday in Cambridge. His experiences in these areas will be a great benefit to helping others in his region.
    • Alexandro Prado is leaving his role as RM for Brazil after much success in spreading PASS communities in that region. Due to the tremendous size and growth potential Brazil, we decided to appoint two RMs to cover that region. Luciano Moreira, of the Chapter in Brasilia, will work along-side with Laerte Junior out of Sao Paulo. Laerte was co-leader of SQLSaturday #100, the first PASS SQL Saturday event in Brazil. We are confident that Luciano and Laerte will make a dynamo team for that country, and we look forward to seeing what will come in 2013.

I’d like to once again thank Alexandro and Chris for their volunteer time commitment as well as their service to PASS in this key role for Chapters. Their efforts in their local regions will be recognized as the foundation that we will build on for years to come.

Updated Chapters Toolset
Chapter leaders have hopefully already heard about improvements we are making in the tools PASS has for Chapters. We are continually rolling out new improvements so be sure to check in often for updates. To see what we’ve been up to, if you are a PASS Chapter leader and have a PASS hosted DNN site, log into your admin page. If you don’t have a PASS Hosted DNN site, head to the dashboard at http://www.sqlpass.org/PASSChapters/ChapterDashboard.aspx. There you can see:

    • Profile/Addresses: We are displaying most of the information we have about your chapter within the dashboard. I would like to request that every chapter leader log in to the dashboard and make sure the information is up-to-date. Some fields are intentionally not user updateable so if a field cannot be updated, and needs to be corrected please send an email to the Community Evangalists with the update you’d like to make. Please pay particular attention to the “Chapter Leaders” tab when making sure the information is correct. In the future we will be relying on this information being up-to-date when making key decisions about Chapters.
    • Events/Meetings: For Chapters using a PASS hosted website, you can now benefit from the Events module integration. With this new tool you can enter your event/meeting details in one place and it will auto update those details to the Events page of the SQLPASS website, as well as to your home page of your own Chapter website and your event will also show up on myPASS for members associated with your Chapter. Other events module features include local timezone/ical support, prescheduling future meetings, uploading of meeting presentations/resources, auto archiving old events and more. For instructions on how to setup & publish an event, check out our handy guide listed on the Chapter Resources page. We will continue to update this module with more features in the coming months. Future plans include linking to many other sites/marketing avenues as well as better support for RSVP’s and more.
    • Chapter Emailer: In addition to contacting those members who’ve registered with PASS and are associated with your Chapter, you can now upload your own mailing lists and email those specific lists about your Chapter. Thank you for the great feedback about the Emailer during the Chapter Leader Meeting at Summit. We’re working to ensure many of your concerns will be addressed in future versions of the tool. As myPASS use increases we are seeing more and more PASS members associate themselves with local Chapters so don’t miss out on this opportunity to reach a great pool of potential new members.

myPASS
MyPASS is the new default homepage for all PASS members who are logged in to the main SQLPASS.org site. We designed this page to bring all of the Chapter and Virtual Chapter meeting information into one easy to use interface for your members. While looking at myPASS please check your profile and make sure it is up to date as well. Early in the new year, the Chapter dashboard will be getting the myPASS look and feel. It will show up on the left side as a tab that is visible only to Chapter Leaders

Summit Downloads for Chapter Leaders
Finally some news I know Chapter leaders have been patiently waiting for! Chapter Leaders should now have access to download the Summit 2012 sessions. The following should enable you to begin downloading/streaming the sessions immediately:

    • Go to the Summit 2012 Session listings (you will need to login, or be currently logged in with your PASS Chapter leader Account):

http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2012/Sessions/BuildSchedule.aspx

    • Click the “session recording” link next to the session name.
    • From there you should see a DOWNLOAD button below the streaming player.
    • Note that in order to play this file, you may need to update codecs in your media player.

 

Introducing Wendy Pastrick
As you may know by now, Wendy Pastrick was elected to the PASS Board of Directors during the last election, and will begin her term on the Board January 1, 2013 by leading the Global Chapters portfolio. PASS’s support of local Chapters through Regional Mentors, Community Evangelists, tools, best practices, and more has grown tremendously over the last few years, but there’s still much to do. I hope you will all welcome Wendy and continue to provide her the same great feedback you always have with me.

Goodbye for now or until we meet again
As my year as Director of Global Chapters is coming to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity thank each of you for helping Chapters as well as recognize the progress we made together this year in helping PASS communities grow stronger. We were able to make some very visible progress during the last year to better support PASS Chapters and their members and with the team we have in place I expect we will maintain that momentum going forward.

I’ll be staying involved with the PASS Community going forward and for now I’ll be focusing on wrapping up some of the Chapter tools changes and working towards a successful handoff of that project. It has been my privilege to work with PASS Chapters


Chapter Referral Program

May 13, 2013 – After receiving positive feedback on the PASS Business Analytics Conference (BAC) Chapter referral program – 14 local PASS Chapters received monetary rewards by participating! – a similar program for PASS Summit has been created. For PASS Summit 2013, any local PASS Chapter (by local, we mean that your Chapter meets in-person) is eligible to participate.

All Chapter leaders should have received a unique discount code to share with their members. When the discount code is used to register for PASS Summit 2013, the Chapter receives $50 USD, with a maximum of $1,000 to be paid out at the completion of the event. Please note that use of the Chapter discount code is not retroactive and cannot be applied to an existing PASS Summit registration.

The following PASS Chapters benefited from the BAC referral program:

St. Louis SQL Server User Group

$100

Capital Area and Central Texas Users of SQL Server (CACTUSS)

$50

Chicago SQL Server User Group

$200

I380 Corridor PASS Chapter (East Iowa)

$50

Southwest Missouri SQL Server Users Group

$50

Madison Professional Association for SQL Server (MADPASS)

$150

Orlando SQL Server Users Group

$100

Rochester PASS

$50

Chicago SQL BI User Group

$50

Sweden - SQLUG

$150

West Michigan SQL Server User Group

$200

Cincinnati PASS (CincyPASS)

$100

SQL Server User Group Norway

$150

MN Microsoft BI User Group

$250

 

Chapters, Chapters Everywhere!

By Wendy Pastrick

June 11, 2013 – PASS is growing every day across the globe. Since the first of the year, we have welcomed 18 physical chapters across Asia, Africa, Europe, and South and North America, bringing us to 306 total PASS Chapters. Local groups allowing SQL Server professionals and enthusiasts to meet face-to-face and talk about their favorite technology builds our community and makes each of us a better professional. When was the last time you attended your local chapter meeting? If you aren’t sure when it meets, find your chapter on the PASS website and check out its schedule.

If there isn’t a Chapter in your area, PASS has all the tools you need to start one. With the help of online tools - plus the expertise of our amazing Community Evangelists, Karla Landrum and Niko Neugebauer -  setting up a group and getting the word out for your first meeting should be a smooth process. You can reach out to Karla and Niko for all the details. Let’s continue the growth of our community and provide local networking in your city.

One of the things Chapters routinely need are people who will stand up in a room of their peers and share their knowledge. It doesn’t matter what your passion is, as long as it can teach at least one person one new thing, your willingness to share it will be appreciated. I hope that anyone who has attended one or two meetings can be encouraged to sign up with their Chapter Leader to speak at the next event!

You don’t have to be an MVP, or even someone with a special title at work. All you need is the desire to share with the community. Here are some questions to get you thinking about topics you could present:

•    Do you have a favorite feature, such as log shipping or Service Broker? Many people have very little knowledge in these areas and would welcome a short demonstration or case study about how to use them.
•    What kind of configurations do you use when you install your server? How about database settings that become part of the standard for your organization? Share them with your colleagues!
•    Have you solved a tricky problem? Describe it to the room, and let them know how you went about solving it. Your experience could benefit others.

Remember, keep up the great work and let people know how your local Chapter has helped you. Then, give back a little and volunteer to help your Chapter Leader or SQLSaturday event team, or sign up as a speaker! I’m looking forward to meeting all the Chapter Leaders, Regional Mentors, and community at large at PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte in just a few months.

It’s been a big year already, and I’m sure more great things are coming soon!