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
February 17, 2014 – Volunteers have a hand in all aspects of the PASS community – setting up Chapter and Virtual Chapter meetings, organizing PASS SQLSaturday events, speaking at events, reviewing session abstracts for events, and so much more. PASS would not exist without our passionate, dedicated, and hardworking volunteers from around the globe.
To bring focus to the important tasks of growing PASS’s volunteer pool, better organizing volunteer efforts, and recognizing volunteers’ valuable contributions, we reinstated the Volunteers portfolio last year. I am proud to serve as director of this portfolio and would like to share the main goals we’ve put forward for the coming fiscal year, budget permitting, which begins July 1, 2014:
- Streamline the volunteer channel: This effort, which began last year with the rollout of the myVolunteering section on myPASS, aims to facilitate volunteer recruitment and help grow leaders throughout the world. Targets for FY2015 are to enlist 100% of volunteers through myVolunteering and to connect 100 additional volunteers through the service, which lets members regularly know about volunteering opportunities in their selected interest areas.
- Provide a rewarding experience for volunteers: Grow the Outstanding Volunteer of the Month program – which recognizes dedicated volunteering efforts – to an average of five submissions per month, including soliciting regular submissions from Chapter and VC leaders and SQLSaturday organizers.
- Develop accountability and reward programs: Work with community-facing portfolios to track volunteer contributions across the PASS organization and enhance volunteer appreciation and non-monetary rewards.
I’ve had such valuable experiences serving as a PASS volunteer in all sorts of capacities, and I look forward to any ideas you have for involving more community members and celebrating their efforts – just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t forget to fill out your myVolunteering preferences and to say thank you to your favorite, hardworking PASS volunteer by nominating them for Outstanding Volunteer of the Month.
– Sri Sridharan
Volunteers Director, PASS Board
February 17, 2014 – Greetings to all our PASS SQLSaturday organizers, volunteers, attendees, and sponsors! I hope everyone is recharged and ready for great things in 2014. I know I’m energized by talking with so many of you in the past few months since I was elected to the PASS Board of Directors.
Although my term didn’t officially begin until January 1, I’ve been in meetings, crunching data, and reviewing history so I would be prepared to serve as SQLSaturday Director on the PASS Board for the next two years. All this homework has proved invaluable for the beginning of budget planning and our first Board meeting of the year last month.
The Board still needs to work through the budgeting process before anything is 100% finalized, but I wanted to share the key SQLSaturday portfolio goals we’ve put forward for fiscal year 2015 (FY2015), which begins July 1, 2014:
- Grow SQLSaturday reach and service to local data communities: We’re on target this fiscal year (2014) to see over 25,000 SQLSaturday registrations across over 85 events worldwide. Our goal for FY2015 is to increase those numbers to over 27,000 registrations across 90 SQLSaturday events, including at least three additional events in Latin America.
- Redesign SQLSaturday website: This effort, probably the largest technology expenditure for PASS in the next year, is already underway and will be extensive, including functionality to facilitate events in languages other than English.
- Adapt the SQLSaturday model for business analytics-focused events: We’re moving forward with our first Business Analytics Edition of SQLSaturday in Dallas this spring, ahead of the PASS Business Analytics Conference in May. And we look to facilitate four grassroots events at the local level in FY2014 to provide BA-focused content, grow speakers, and serve members.
- Increase sustainability: Reduce event and materials cost through branding reuse and economies of scale where appropriate.
After years of volunteering for, speaking at, attending, and organizing SQLSaturday events, I’m looking forward to being your voice on the PASS Board. If you have ideas or feedback, please reach out to me at email@example.com.
See you at a SQLSaturday soon!
– Tim Ford
SQLSaturday Director, PASS Board
February 4, 2014 – Over the past few weeks, the PASS Board of Directors has been working to establish overall PASS and portfolio-specific goals for fiscal year 2015, which begins July 1, 2014. These goals will help shape both the direction and budget for PASS for the upcoming year. Here’s where we will be focusing our efforts and resources in support of the vibrant and growing PASS community.
Overall PASS Goals
- Establish PASS as the community leader in Microsoft data technologies.
- Deepen our reach throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) by increasing local and virtual programs to serve community members.
- Establish a foundation for PASS in Latin America (LATAM), working with local leaders to provide programs that serve Spanish and Portuguese-speaking community members.
To hold the Board of Directors accountable and help us achieve the aims we set as a group, we have also established some Board-specific goals:
- Global Growth: Refine and determine a scalable, global paid event model.
- Elections: Establish a process to ensure each eligible voter may cast no more than one ballot in a PASS election.
- Performance Management: Design and implement a performance-management program across portfolios and PASS Headquarters to provide visibility, transparency, and accountability.
- Technology Innovation: Enhance our information technology strategy, operational processes, and organizational alignment.
Each portfolio team has established its own goals based on these overall objectives. Over the next two weeks, each PASS Director will blog about their portfolio’s goals. We look forward to your feedback and working together to continue to achieve great things for the PASS community.
– Thomas LaRock,
February 4, 2014 – PASS is thrilled to welcome Dell Software as a Platinum Level Global Alliance Partner, transitioning the company’s already strong individual event and program sponsorships into a comprehensive, strategic relationship that supports the worldwide PASS community year-round.
As a Platinum Level Global Alliance Partner, Dell Software will be a Platinum sponsor of both the PASS Business Analytics Conference and PASS Summit and will be supporting PASS Virtual Chapters, 24 Hours of PASS virtual events, PASS SQLSaturday events, and the entire PASS community through Connector sponsorships, web advertising, and more.
“We are very excited to be partnering with PASS as a Global Platinum Partner,” said Matt Wolken, vice president and general manager, Information Management, Dell Software. “With data growth and complexity driving the need for better management of leading databases, SQL Server continues to play a critical role in the IT management ecosystem. That’s why Dell Software remains focused on providing solutions for SQL Server that help organizations worldwide solve business-critical challenges, and why we are committed to remaining a leader now and well into the future. Our support for the PASS organization and the SQL Server community as a whole provides clear proof of that commitment.”
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.
February 3, 2014 – As the Program Committee prepares to open the PASS Summit 2014 call for speakers later this month, we’re excited to recognize the Top 10 sessions from PASS Summit 2013:
- Waits, Latches, and Spinlocks: Internals and Analysis (DBA) - Paul Randal, SQLskills.com
- Index Fragmentation: Internals, Analysis, and Solutions (DBA) - Paul Randal, SQLskills.com
- Skewed Data, Poor Cardinality Estimates, and Plans Gone Bad (DBA) - Kimberly Tripp, SQLskills.com
- Parallel Query Execution (DBA) - Paul White, SQL Kiwi Limited
- SQL Server 2012 Data Mining: Taking App Design to the Next Level (BID) - Peter Myers, Bitwise Solutions
- Power BI Self-Service Information Management and Data Stewardship (BIA) - Matthew Roche & Ofer Ashkenazi, Microsoft
- How to Tell When Storage Is a Problem (DBA) - Kendra Little, Brent Ozar Unlimited
- Convince Me – Persuasion Techniques That Get Things Done (PD) - Kevin Kline, SQL Sentry
- OLTP Sharding Techniques for Massive Scale (DBA) - Conor Cunningham, Microsoft
- Query Performance Tuning for Azure SQL Database (CLD) - Grant Fritchey, Red Gate Software
The Top 10 list is based on average attendee evaluations from sessions that had a minimum of 50 attendees and evaluations from at least 20 or 20% of those attendees (whichever is greater).
Recordings of these “best of” sessions are now available to all PASS members – just log in here to start watching. You can also view other selected PASS Summit 2013 sessions free on PASStv and own the entire set of PASS Summit 2013 session recordings.
And don’t forget to register by March 7 to save on this year’s event, Nov. 4-7, in Seattle.