Category: PASS General
February 18, 2014 – Behind PASS’s reputation for delivering incredible technical content stands dedicated Program Committee teams. PASS Programs encompasses PASS’s largest volunteer group – typically 60 or more team members involved in reviewing and selecting speakers and sessions for PASS Summit and the PASS Business Analytics Conference, building guidelines and resources for creating top presentations, ensuring all PowerPoint slide decks meet the highest standards, and working to improve processes for developing and evaluating speakers and encouraging participation in all PASS speaking opportunities, including at local and Virtual Chapter meetings, SQLSaturday and SQLRally events, and 24 Hours of PASS.
PASS Programs are always in the spotlight, but especially so this time of year as we gear up for an exceptional lineup of speakers and sessions at the 2nd annual PASS BA Conference in May and launch the PASS Summit 2014 Call for Speakers this week. And we’re looking even farther ahead by putting forward the following goals for fiscal year 2015 (FY2015), which begins July 1, 2014:
- Execute a robust and diverse educational program: Deliver 160,900+ technical training hours across PASS Summit 2014 and PASS BA Conference 2015, reduce by 20% the number of poorly rated sessions, and provide better attendee guidance through role- and skill-based learning tracks.
- Improve Program metrics and data collection: Increase session evaluation submissions by 15%, and work on ways to improve session room allocations.
- Innovate with technology: Enhance Orator functionality to improve Program processes and session scheduling, and scope out a centralized portal for global speaker and session information across PASS.
- Grow global speaker pool: Enhance speaker resources and communication channels to involve and develop speakers in communities around the world, and improve speaker guidance by sharing focused feedback during call for speakers and through session evaluation results.
- Improve and standardize Program processes and agreements: Blueprint the BA Conference Program process, attract more Program Committee volunteers, and engage volunteers in special projects for improving processes and results.
As I begin my term on PASS Board of Directors, I’m honored and humbled to lead the team responsible for organizing world-class educational programs that equip SQL Server, Business Intelligence, and Business Analytics professionals for today’s fast-changing world of data. Don’t hesitate to contact me at email@example.com with other ideas for strengthening our content offerings and supporting and growing our awesome speaker pool.
– Amy Lewis
Program Director, PASS Board
March 7, 2014 – I wanted to thank everyone for all the great feedback we received on the PASS SQLSaturday goals. I know many of you are excited about the undertaking of the new SQLSaturday website.
There have been a few questions around open-sourcing the site that I’d like to address. Rebuilding the site – accessed by tens of thousands of SQL Server professionals a year – is a major IT project and needs to be undertaken in a controlled and concentrated environment. In concept, open-sourcing the site is an interesting idea, but in terms of execution, we’re simply not in a position to make that happen. The site will be created in the DNN environment in order to facilitate content management functionality for the 80+ volunteer organizers who put on events on a yearly basis.
We started the community feedback process back in the fall with roundtable discussions at PASS Summit and an open meeting with those who expressed interest in providing feedback. We are currently building out wireframes for the site and will share a prerecorded webinar in the next week or so for anyone interested in reviewing. In an effort to keep the feedback process as manageable as possible, we will set up a feedback site for a select group of representative SQLSaturday community individuals from around the world to help us shape this new and improved SQLSaturday website. If you are interested in putting your name forward to be part of this feedback group, please contact us via email with “SQLSat website feedback” in the subject line.
– Tim Ford
SQLSaturday Director, PASS Board
March 17, 2014 – Have you clicked a link in the PASS Connector newsletter lately? Visited sqlpass.org or one of our event websites? How about “Like”-ing the PASS Facebook page, retweeting a post from @sqlpass, @pass24hop, or @passbac, or sharing a blog post or question via the PASS or PASS Business Analytics Conference LinkedIn group? If so, Marketing thanks you!
In addition to delivering on PASS’s annual fundraising goals by promoting and supporting our international PASS Summit and PASS BA Conference events, Marketing’s overarching goal is to spread the word about all aspects of our organization and its offerings – and to encourage active participation.
Toward those ends, here are some other key goals we are putting forward as we look toward fiscal year 2015 (FY2015), beginning July 1, 2014:
- Increase engagement with active PASS members through focused and relevant content/ programs, improved social media engagement with an eye on shared learning for the community, and encouraging local and virtual participation with Chapters.
- Grow our BA membership by establishing a consistent, segmented communications strategy around BA content and interests and support and drive BA participation in local and Virtual Chapter activities, BA-related SQLSaturday events, and other community efforts.
- Grow and support EMEA and LATAM PASS communities: Publish EMEA and/or LATAM content in Connector newsletters, issue quarterly email to LATAM and EMEA members highlighting PASS and local news, and support Chapters, VCs, and SQLSaturday portfolios as they extend community reach into EMEA and LATAM.
Everything the Marketing team does is focused on helping PASS members – and the broader data community – connect with each other, share their experiences, and learn how to improve their skills and get the most out of their organization’s data. Have other ideas for how we can share the PASS message? Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to hear them!
– Denise McInerney
PASS VP, Marketing
March 18, 2014 – Participating in PASS Virtual Chapters (VCs) – which deliver free online training from leading data experts – is one of the easiest ways you can keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date and get involved in the community.
Serving close to 25,000 data professionals from around the world, our interest-based VCs provide technical content and networking year-round through live and recorded webinars. Whether you are a DBA, developer, BI or BA professional or looking to learn in your local language, there is a VC for you. We also have VCs focused on professional development and Women in Technology topics.
As co-leader of the BI VC, I know firsthand how much work goes into setting up virtual learning sessions – our VC leaders spend countless hours bringing great training directly to your computer.
Keeping both our leaders and our community of active participants in mind, we’ve put together the following VC goals for fiscal year 2015 (FY2015) and are working out the associated budget to support them:
- Increase overall VC meeting attendance by 20%
- Increase VC meeting attendance by 25% for the LATAM region
- Deliver 16,000 technical training hours to the PASS community
- Establish satisfaction benchmark metrics for VCs and solicit feedback for improvement and growth
- Increase VC sponsorships to provide additional learning opportunities for VC participants
As I dig into my first term on the PASS Board of Directors, I’m delighted to represent and help grow our VCs serving the expanding data community. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com with ideas on growing and supporting these valuable online user groups.
– Jen Strirrup
Virtual Chapter Director, PASS Board
March 18, 2014 – There’s nothing like nurturing in-person relationships with folks who share the same passion as you do. And our 291 grassroots Chapters located around the globe are doing PASS proud by enabling local networking and shared learning with data professionals living and working in the same area.
This is my second year as Director of PASS Chapters, and while we’ve accomplished much this past year, I’m already looking forward to where we need to focus our time and energy in fiscal year 2015 (FY2015). Here are the Chapter Portfolio goals we’re proposing to support and grow local data communities:
- Enable Chapters to access more content on a variety of topics, including Cloud, Big Data, and Business Analytics.
- Continue to provide great benefits to Chapter Leaders, such as access to PASS content and events, in a fiscally responsible manner by establishing parameters for PASS event complimentary registration eligibility. These parameters will be managed via self-reporting tools for Chapters, available in early FY2015.
- Help establish at least 10 new BI/BA-focused Chapters.
- Look into setting up additional SQL Server-related Chapters in countries with no or very few Chapters, helping support increased knowledge sharing and learning in those communities.
If you have yet to connect with data peers in your area, I encourage you to look into joining – or starting – a PASS Chapter near you. And before I sign off, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to all the Chapter leaders who work tirelessly to share their passion for knowledge and the community. Please send your feedback on these goals to firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Wendy Pastrick
Chapters Director, PASS Board
March 18, 2014 – Running SQL Server 2014 – with built-in in-memory technology to speed up transactions, queries, and analytics – on Windows Server 2012 R2 can provide key capabilities for your mission-critical applications.
- Breakthrough performance with in-memory built in.
- SQL Server 2014 has in-memory technology built in to the data platform that can significantly speed transactions, queries, and analytics.
- Windows Server 2012 R2 can provide massive compute and memory in both physical and virtual environments so you can take full advantage of SQL Server in-memory technology. Windows Server 2012 R2 provides 640LPs with up to 4TB of memory in a physical environment and 64vCPUs and up to 1TB of memory per VM in a virtual environment.
- SQL Server 2014 provides the 9’s of availability you need with AlwaysOn.
- SQL Server 2014 AlwaysOn technology can provide synchronous replication for zero transaction loss and asynchronous replication for disaster recovery solutions. You can now have up to eight readable secondaries and the option to place the secondaries in Azure Virtual Machines for fast and cost-effective cloud disaster recovery.
- For SQL Server instances running in a physical environment, you can use Windows Server 2012 R2 Failover Clustering to provide server-level high availability and disaster recovery. If you are running SQL Server instances in a virtual environment, you can use Windows Server 2012 R2 Failover Clustering and Windows Azure Hyper-V Recovery Manager to provide both local and geographical business continuity and disaster recovery.
- SQL Server is the least vulnerable database the last 5 years in a row*.
- Least vulnerable means the least number of security patches you have to implement, which means less downtime.
- SQL Server offers Premier Mission Critical support for your most critical database applications.
- Get solution validation, architectural reviews, on-site engineering, and fastest response times available from Microsoft with Premier Mission Critical support.
Download this datasheet to learn more about SQL Server 2014’s mission-critical features.
* National Institute of Standards and Technology Comprehensive Vulnerability Test Database, 4/17/2013.
April 1, 2014 – SQL Server 2014 with built-in in-memory technology can accelerate your business and enable new scenarios that make you more competitive. Here are some key things you should know about in-memory technology in SQL Server 2014 and how it can benefit your organization.
- It’s built-in.
- If you know SQL, you know how to use our in-memory technology.
- It’s not a separate database product, and there are no new APIs to learn.
- You can take advantage of other powerful SQL Server features such as AlwaysOn as well as in-memory capabilities.
- You don’t need to buy multiple product SKUs – the SQL Server 2014 Enterprise SKU gives you in-memory capabilities across OLTP, DW, and analytics.
- It’s flexible – run in-memory tables alongside traditional tables on disk.
- We don’t believe having to load the entire database into memory is an optimal architecture, as putting cold data into memory doesn’t help. SQL Server 2014 allows you to select the most utilized tables and have them reside in memory. This means you can significantly improve your transactional performance without having to refresh hardware.
- We even provide tools built right into SSMS that let you know the optimal tables and stored procedures to migrate to memory.
- You can query both traditional on-disk tables and in-memory tables through a single query.
- It’s pervasive across all SQL Server workloads.
- SQL Server 2014 is the third release of our in-memory technology, which started back in SQL Server 2008 R2 with in-memory analytics. Then in SQL Server 2012, we added in-memory capabilities for data warehousing with an in-memory ColumnStore. Now with SQL Server 2014, you also have in-memory OLTP and an enhanced in-memory ColumnStore that is now updatable and offers much higher data compression.
- This means we can uniquely speed your transactions, queries, and analytics.
- It lets you remove database contention and utilize CPU and Core capacity.
- SQL Server 2014 has a unique in-memory OLTP design point of removing contention in the database by removing locks and latches and still ensuring 100% durability. You can learn more about this unique architecture by watching David DeWitt’s PASS Summit 2013 keynote.
- This means much higher throughput and speed of transactions as well as much lower latency. You can now harness the full power of your CPUs.
SQL Server 2014 provides breakthrough performance for all your mission-critical workloads. If you haven’t already, please download the evaluation copy of SQL Server 2014 and see for yourself the performance gains that in-memory technology provides for your applications. If you want to dev/test SQL Server 2014 quickly and efficiently, you can spin up an image of SQL Server 2014 in minutes in a Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine.
April 1, 2014 – Mark your calendar: An early Nomination Committee (NomCom) process will kick off this year’s PASS elections season, with applications opening in May for three community seats on the team that will manage the Board of Directors elections. The 2014 NomCom will also be working to streamline and improve our elections process for candidates and members alike.
As Immediate Past President, I’ll be chairing the five-member NomCom, which includes three elected community representatives who will reflect the three seats up for election on the PASS Board this year: one US/Canada seat and two open seats. A representative appointed by the PASS Board will round out the committee.
In addition to managing the Board elections, this year’s NomCom is charged with streamlining the process for involving and evaluating candidates and with enhancing opportunities for community engagement in the elections.
To give us time to discuss and implement any changes, the NomCom elections season will occur earlier this year, with NomCom applications opening May 14 and elections running June 3-6. Once seated, the NomCom will meet regularly from June 9-July 25 before Board applications open in early August and will participate in candidate interviews from August 27 to September 12.
To be eligible to run 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, or Program Committee member – and participating in other volunteer endeavors. Note that as an essential part of the PASS Board elections process, the NomCom requires significant time and effort.
Remember that to be eligible to vote in the NomCom and PASS Board elections, members must update their PASS profile by June 1, 2014. Many of you have already completed your myProfile information, which helps PASS better serve your interests and allows us to do our due diligence in ensuring that eligible voters receive only one ballot. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to update your myProfile today!
Serving on the NomCom is one of the most rewarding ways to give back to the PASS community and be involved in helping shape the future of our organization. Have questions about what’s involved in running for and serving on the PASS NomCom? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me or PASS HQ Governance Administrator Janice Simpson.
– Bill Graziano
Immediate Past President/NomCom Chair
April 29, 2014 – PASS is excited to welcome SQL Sentry as a Gold Level Global Alliance Partner, expanding the company’s strong individual event and program sponsorships into a comprehensive, strategic relationship that supports the worldwide PASS community year-round.
SQL Sentry has been supporting database professionals through its tools since 2004, when the company released its first product and joined the SQL Server community. Over the years, SQL Sentry has worked to give back and strengthen the community, not just through event sponsorships but also through services such as the shuttles at PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte and the high quality educational efforts its respected experts Aaron Bertrand and Kevin Kline share through events, blogs, and other venues.
"Teaming up with PASS for the Global Alliance Partner Program was the logical next step for SQL Sentry,” said Nick Harshbarger, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for SQL Sentry. “Since our roots come from many years of running a very large, complex SQL Server enterprise, we have appreciated the benefit of the unique community shepherded by PASS. The education we’ve received and the connections we’ve created through PASS have been critical to the growing success of our business. We are proud of our 10-year support of PASS and look forward to stepping up and helping the PASS community reach new heights of success.”
As a Gold Level Global Alliance Partner, SQL Sentry will be a Gold sponsor of PASS Summit, a Silver sponsor of the PASS Business Analytics Conference, and will be supporting 24 Hours of PASS virtual events, PASS SQLSaturday events, and the entire PASS community through Connector sponsorships, web advertising, and more.
PASS sponsors are a vital part of the community, supporting the organization’s many training and networking opportunities, including free learning events. Through the Global Alliance Program, PASS looks forward to bringing many new opportunities and added value to our community and to our partners. For information about becoming a PASS Global Alliance Partner, please contact Craig Ellis.
April 29, 2014 – The call for PASS Nomination Committee applications opens in just two weeks. Thinking about throwing your hat into the elections ring for this year’s three community NomCom seats? Here’s some information to help you get ready.
The NomCom manages the PASS Board of Directors elections process, qualifying, interviewing, and ranking potential candidates. A final slate is then submitted to the Board for approval. In addition, this year’s NomCom is charged with streamlining the process for involving and evaluating candidates and with enhancing opportunities for community engagement in the elections.
Immediate Past President Bill Graziano will chair the five-member NomCom, which will include three elected community representatives reflecting the three seats up for election on the PASS Board this year: one US/Canada seat and two open seats. A representative appointed by the PASS Board will round out the committee.
To be eligible to run 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, or Program Committee member – and participating in other volunteer endeavors. Note that as an essential part of the PASS Board elections process, the NomCom requires significant time and effort. By applying for the NomCom, applicants agree to the time commitments of the entire general election process, including Board applicant interviews.
Thinking of running?
“There is no better way to contribute to the health of the PASS community than serving on the NomCom,” notes PASS Regional Mentor Ryan Adams, who served on last year’s committee. “You are vetting the future directors of the organization, who will provide strategic guidance, long-term growth, and stability to the community we love. It’s not just an opportunity to interview and ensure solid and motivated candidates for the community, it’s also a responsibility that has immense rewards.”
Fellow 2013 NomCom member Erin Stellato adds that serving the SQL Server community through the NomCom is about more than giving back. “It's about having the opportunity to really get to know the community members who choose to run for the Board, and then taking that information and helping the greater community decide who the best people are for the job,” she says. “The NomCom also gives you the chance to better understand the PASS organization as a whole and starts the wheels turning about other ways you can make a difference.”
Remember that to be eligible to vote in the NomCom and PASS Board elections, members must update their PASS profile by June 1. Whether you join the conversation about how to improve the organization, support your favorite candidates and vote, or run for office yourself, please get involved and help shape the future of PASS.
For more information about PASS’s elections process and running for the NomCom, contact PASS HQ Governance Administrator Janice Simpson.