Working on Strategy for Local BA Events

December 22, 2014 – With a growing interest in and questions among community members about expanding into business analytics-related chapters and adding more local events such as BA SQLSaturdays, the PASS Board of Directors took up the discussion at our last meeting of 2014.

PASS is pursuing a variety of online offerings to serve business and data analytics professionals and is working with the Virtual Chapters that cover BA-related topics. We are also excited about the possibilities in growing our BA-related local activities and creating more in-person training and networking opportunities. But to make sure that we are serving the community in the best way, the Board agreed on our Thursday conference call to suspend such further expansion until we can develop and agree upon a plan for structuring and growing these new BA community groups and events. (Look for the official minutes of this meeting to be posted on the Governance page in January.)

While we work with community members on a strategy that will successfully move us forward in supporting business and data analytics professionals around the world, we ask that you hold off on any new local PASS-sponsored BA initiatives. We’ll be looking for your ideas and feedback in the New Year – feel free to contact me any time if you have questions or comments – and please watch the PASS Blog and Community Connector for the latest updates.

Wishing all the #sqlfamily a safe and happy holiday season,
– Denise McInerney
PASS VP, Marketing

PASS Programs Team Leverages Data Science for Attendance Predictions and Feedback Rating

December 17, 2014 – This year, Data Scientist and PASS volunteer Dev Nambi joined the Programs team to help with PASS Summit 2014 sessions scheduling and predictive analytics. Over the past month, Dev and the team have been digging into the data from both session attendance and session feedback, and we wanted to share the findings with the community.

In this first year of doing prediction for attendance, we saw a variety of results, including the reduction of overcrowded sessions. Dev details the results and provides a link to the raw dataset in his blog post PASS Summit Attendance and Predictions. With the lessons learned from our debut effort, we will continue to improve on and incorporate prediction models into our Summit scheduling process.

Dev and the team also examined Summit 2014 session evaluations. This year, we saw a 14.8 % return rate of evaluations from attendees, and we’re looking at ways to increase that number. Despite an increased possible margin of error based on the decrease in responses, we appreciate all the session evaluation feedback we received from attendees and are taking key findings into account as we start planning next year’s Summit. To view the correlations and rankings, please see Dev’s analysis in Say Anything! PASS Summit Feedback and Ratings.

A big thank you to Dev for the time and effort he spent analyzing and compiling the attendance prediction and session evaluations data. Thank you also to Summit attendees for using the Schedule Builder to help with attendance predictions and to the entire PASS community for your feedback. Moving forward, PASS Programs will continue assembling, sharing, and using this information and data analysis to help make the Summit experience the best it can be. If you have any comments or input, please don’t hesitate to email program@sqlpass.org.
– Amy Lewis
Director, PASS Programs

15 #SQLFamily Wishes for 2015

December 9, 2014 – For our last Connector newsletter of the year, we asked 15 PASS community members what they wished for their fellow data professionals in 2015. What did Thomas LaRock, Mark Souza, Rimma Nehme, Kalen Delaney, Kimberly Tripp, and other passionate PASS volunteers from around the world have to say? Read on to find out – then add your own message for the New Year in our comments section.

“Before I make a wish, I must first be thankful. I am thankful for a caring, passionate SQL Server community that doesn’t hesitate to go out of their way to help others be successful. My biggest wish for 2015 is that this special #SQLFamily continues to prioritize others over themselves and that the passion and caring is contagious worldwide. The future of the data industry for all of us is exciting – with lots more to learn and share – so keep an open mind and be ready to embrace and conquer whatever the data industry throws at us. Whether it be Big Data (real-time analytics), Cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), etc., our SQL Server foundation has put us in a great position to succeed.”
– Mark Souza, GM – Microsoft Data Platform Group

“I wish our #SQLFamily love, luck and inspiration. May the New Year bring all your objectives and plans to life! And special wishes for my fellow SQL Server professionals in Central/Eastern Europe – may you have the biggest and best SQLSaturdays and chapter meetings ever.”
– Andrey Korshikov, BI developer, Russia
2014 PASSion Award winner, leader of the PASS Global Russian Virtual Chapter & Regional Mentor for Central Eastern Europe

Я желаю нашей #SQLFamily любви, удачи и вдохновения. Пусть Новый Год принесет задач и планов воплощение! И специальное пожелание для моих коллег-профессионалов SQL Server в Центральной / Восточной Европе - пусть у вас будет самый большой и лучший SQLSaturdays и встречи групп чем когда-либо ранее.

“I wish for SQL Server professionals to learn what kinds of workloads and applications will benefit from In-Memory OLTP and use the new technology to get up to a 30X performance improvement. Then I hope they learn what kinds of workloads and applications won’t benefit from In-Memory OLTP, so they don’t complain about In-Memory OLTP not working! :) I also wish that all SQL Server professionals would have a chance to experience the wonders of the SQL Community first-hand, whether at a major conference, a SQLSaturday, or even a Virtual Conference. Happy New Year!”
– Kalen Delaney, SQLearning, Washington
SQL Server MVP, speaker & author of “SQL Server Internals: In-Memory OLTP”

“On behalf of the Global Portuguese Virtual Chapter, our wish for 2015 is to connect and bring valuable learning opportunities to even more data professionals who speak the Portuguese language, with these goals in mind: Connect, Share, and Learn SQL Server and make our chapter an essential resource for professional career development. Wishing everyone a wonderful new year, full of achievements!”
– Marcos Freccia, Sr. SQL Server DBA - Dell, Brazil
SQL Server MVP & PASS Global Portuguese Virtual Chapter Leader

Em nome do Global Portuguese Virtual Chapter, nosso desejo para 2015 é conectar e trazer as melhores oportunidades de aprendizado e ainda mais profissionais de dados que falam a língua Portuguesa com estes objetivos em mente: Conectar, Compartilhar e Aprender SQL Server, e que possamos tornar o nosso chapter um recurso essencial para o desenvolvimento de uma carreira. Espero que todos tenham um ótimo ano novo, repleto de conquistas.

“My wish for 2015 is that everyone in the PASS community develops a passion for learning. Learn something new every single day – whether it’s cloud, parallel databases, NoSQL, Hadoop, etc. – then start thinking of common-sense ways to put these new technologies to work for you and your organization. And in the middle of all this learning and doing, don’t forget that the ultimate goal of data technologies and the businesses we work for is to improve lives – remember to enjoy your family and friends and live life to its fullest!”
– Rimma Nehma, Senior Research Engineer, Microsoft Jim Gray Systems Lab, Madison, WI

“For the LATAM community, I wish success to all PASS Chapter leaders as they organize their local meetings and SQLSaturday events, and I look forward to continuing the exciting PASS growth in Latin America and helping establish new chapters in many countries in 2015. For the worldwide PASS community, I wish that all SQL Server professionals would take the opportunity to get involved in PASS activities and their local chapters through volunteering and knowledge sharing.”
– Eduardo Castro, Data Architect, Grupo Asesor en Informatica, Costa Rica
PASS Regional Mentor – Latin America

Para la comunidad de LATAM , deseo éxito a todos los líderes PASS Capítulo como organizan sus reuniones y eventos locales SQLSaturday , y espero con interés la continuación del crecimiento emocionante PASS en América Latina y ayudar a establecer nuevos capítulos en muchos países en el año 2015. Para el mundial comunidad PASS , deseo que todos los profesionales de SQL Server tomarían la oportunidad de involucrarse en actividades PASS y sus capítulos locales a través del voluntariado y el intercambio de conocimientos.

"My wish is inspired by one of my all-time favorite quotes: If you want to master something, teach it (Yogi Bhajan). My wish is for you to pick something that you really want to learn, learn it, and then deliver it to your office colleagues, a local user group, or even a SQLSaturday. Our community is so strong – members are always paying it forward – and this is a great way to keep that spirit going. Happy Holidays!”
– Kimberly Tripp, SQLskills.com, Redmond, WA
SQL Server MVP, speaker & author

“I wish everyone working with SQL Server, from accidental DBAs and casual coders to data warehouse developers and performance-tuning superheroes, the chance to supercharge your skills and social network by going to a really inspiring conference. You deserve it, because the world is depending on your databases.”
– Johan Åhlén, Nordic CTO of SolidQ, Sweden
President of the Swedish SQL Server User Group & co-founder of PASS SQLRally Nordic

“I have three wishes for 2015: First, that all database professionals are able to attend at least one SQLSaturday, even if they have to travel a bit to get there; second, that my co-leader, Rob Hatton, and I are able to increase our BI user group meetings to 20 people each month; and third, that I am able to present one of my sessions at an international venue.”
– Mickey Stuewe, Data Architect, Costa Mesa, CA
Founder & Co-Leader of BIG PASS Community user group & 2013 Tribal Awards' best new community voice

“My desire for 2015 is that SQL Server would enter the world of massive parallel processing and would be able to handle truly large amounts of data across many commodity servers, providing high availability with no single point of failure. I don’t want to switch to PDW, Cassandra, or MariaDB (although I love the name :). I want my favorite RDBMS to be able to scale out and send this wish out to those who can make it happen. And for the PASS Global Hebrew Virtual Chapter, I hope that more and more people learn about it, and that with the community’s help, we’re able to continue providing even more valuable learning opportunities for Hebrew-speaking data professionals around the world.”
– Maria Zakourdaev, Data Architect, Perion Networks, Israel
Global Hebrew Virtual Chapter Leader

“My wish is that everyone will review their backup and disaster recovery (DR) plans in 2015. Everyone needs to have a backup and restore plan in place and tested regularly, as well as a DR plan that is tested at least yearly. If you are not familiar with how to implement these technologies, then 2015 is the year to do it!”
– Ryan Adams, DBA at Verizon, Texas
PASS Performance Virtual Chapter Leader, Regional Mentor – South Central US & SQL Server MVP

“Wishing the #SQLFamily a happy and prosperous Connect, Share, and Learn year in 2015! I encourage everyone to continue their data and BI learning globally through our regular PASS DW/BI Virtual Chapter webinars and YouTube Channel – and tell a friend. For my Australian #SQLFamily, let's rock SQLSaturday Melbourne on 7 Feb 2015! Have a safe and fun holiday season.”
– Julie Koesmarno, SQL Server/BI Consultant, LobsterPot Solutions, Australia
PASS DW/BI VC Chapter Leader & SQLSaturday Melbourne Committee Member

“To my MEA #SQLFamily, thanks for all your efforts this year, and I am looking forward to working with you to grow our region and reach even more fellow data professionals next year with great learning and networking opportunities. My wish for the worldwide #SQLFamily is for everyone to enjoy the festive season. Be safe, have a Happy New Year, and return refreshed and ready for even bigger things in 2015!”
– Jody Roberts, DBA, Cape Town, South Africa
SQL Server MVP & PASS Regional Mentor - Middle East and Africa

“One of my biggest wishes for 2015 is for communities to stop competing and instead help one another so that we can all grow stronger together. Whether the communities are for different database technologies, software vendors, or even from different countries with different languages and backgrounds or from different associations and affiliations, ultimately we are all trying to do the same thing in sharing, learning and growing. Together, we can be not only stronger but more effective. Let's all try to do more to embrace and connect with diverse communities and make 2015 a truly special year to remember!”
– Mark Broadbent, DBA, Cambridgeshire, UK
PASS Regional Mentor - UK, leader of the PASS Oracle Virtual Chapter and the Cambridgeshire SQL Server User Group & organizer of SQLSaturday Cambridge

“My wish for 2015 is for all members of our #SQLFamily to have the best possible disaster recovery plans that they never have to use.”
– Thomas LaRock, PASS President & Head Geek at SolarWinds