Gratitude

PASS
I want to take a moment to thank a few people for being amazing. First up, Thomas LaRock is wrapping up his tenure on the PASS Board this year. He has one more in-person meeting at Summit 2017 and then he's basically done. I followed Tom to karaoke during my 2nd PASS Summit and have been following him around ever since. I'm honored to count him as a friend. Tom, you set an impossibly high bar. Thank you for everything you've done for me and for this community. Second, Denise McInerney is also completing her time on the PASS Board this year. Denise has been a fixture in the leadership of PASS ever since I first volunteered. I had no idea just how much guidance and advice and flat out…
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Food On Your Table

PASS
I was asked, "Who here thinks that PASS helps people put food on the table?" To my shame, I initially said no. I mean after all, it's just training and networking that could lead to improved knowledge and abilities which... hang on. Just how wrong I can be sometimes when I don't fully engage my brain prior to speaking. The Table and the Food I'm almost entirely self-taught when it comes to IT. I make that claim all the time. You know it's not true. Do I have formalized educational training from any type of certified body? You know, a university education? Nope. Not at all. Instead, I've learned from a combination of experimentation, books, blogs, videos, friends, contacts and some classes at a variety of venues. Notice what's wrong there? Only…
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Pre-Summit PASS Board Update

PASS
Busy, busy, busy. A lot of the work around PASS currently is getting ready for Summit. I'm prepping my part in the keynotes. I'm involved in lots of community discussions including SQLSaturday, Chapters and Regional Mentors. We're setting up the Community Zone for all sorts of activities throughout the week. We're also going to have one of our few in-person board meetings at Summit. Putting on the single largest gathering of data professionals around the Microsoft Data Platform is actually labor-intensive. The majority of the work is done by the amazing individuals at Christianson & Company, but the board is involved in the necessary decisions and, being the guy who handles finance, I'm in on a lot of those decisions. Personally, I think we're putting together, say it with me, THE BEST SUMMIT EVER.…
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Volunteering With PASS

PASS
I was just asked how many times I've been to the PASS Summit. This year will be my 12th consecutive one. That made me start thinking. At my very first Summit, I met a couple of volunteers for PASS (Allen Kinsel was one of them, I'll blame him forever). They were having so much fun that I decided to volunteer. I've been volunteering now for eleven years. I couldn't stop. Here's what I've done over the years at PASS: Book Review Committee (my first PASS "job") Editorial Committee (I wrote stuff) Editor of the SQL Standard (I had other people write stuff) First-timer Mentor (I wasn't very good at this one) First-timer Event... Chair? (I got up in front of the room, this one might not count) Founder of SQL Kilt Day (and…
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Networking and the PASS Summit

PASS
PASS Summit 2016 is fast approaching. If you're going, time to start making plans. If you're not going, sell your boss on the idea and get registered. It's only the largest Microsoft Data Platform event on the planet. There are over 200 sessions given by some of the most knowledgeable people you'll ever get the chance to learn from. The schedule is posted, just look it over. However, I want to drill down on another aspect of the event that it's way too easy to miss out on, networking. Lots of people miss this aspect of events like the PASS Summit. I know I used to. I went to all kinds of IT events over the years, but all I ever did was attend the sessions. I didn't spend any time…
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Kilt Day! PASS Summit 2016, Thursday

PASS
Thursday at the PASS Summit is Kilt Day. This means you should wear a kilt. Whether you do it in support of Women in Technology, or you just like to swan about in a kilt, this is the day to sport your kilt. Whether you have a fully traditional tartan, you believe in utility, comfort, or you're prepared for the zombiepocalypse, there's a kilt for you. All are welcome. All are encouraged.
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PASS Board Update

PASS
Time for another update. The minutes for the June in-person meeting have been approved and are now ready for your information. We accomplished a lot in the two days and you can read what we did there. I'm pleased about two things. First, while it took until the July meeting to get the vote in, we have defined how the PASS board will deal with PASS-branded and PASS-sponsored events when it comes to payment to members of the Board. Thank you so very much for your feedback to my blog post on this topic. That feedback helped us to come to the conclusion that, for PASS-branded events (these are events that PASS doesn't run, like a SQLSaturday, but that are operating under the PASS brand) a board member can receive payment, say…
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Run For the PASS Board

PASS
When the word comes around for elections to the PASS Board, are you one of those people who, even in passing, considers running? If you are, my advice is to well, do it. By the way, here's that word. In order to make this a stronger, even more vibrant organization that continues to provide support to its members, we need more good leadership. A healthy set of choices, meaning lots of people, is necessary. That means we need you to run. There is no commitment required immediately. We've just started the process. What I'm asking you to do now, is start thinking about running, and thinking about it in a positive fashion. Track down a board member, or former board member, and find out what they think of the experience. You can…
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PASS Board 2016: Update #3

PASS
I didn't post an update last month, but I did do something more important: I elicited your feedback on a question the Board needs to act on. Here's what I've been up to. First, based on your feedback (thanks) and conversations that I've had with members of the Board, I'm putting together recommendations for how we deal with payment and PASS-branded (but not PASS run, that's already covered in the By-Laws) events. I'll be presenting that in June at the in-person Board meeting. Speaking of the Board meeting, I've also been soliciting topics (although really, my priceless partner at PASS HQ, Vicki, is doing all the real work). We're also preparing the budget for FY 2017 (again, the real work is being led by an equally priceless Sandy at HQ). Beyond a series of…
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How to Convince the Boss to Send You to PASS Summit

PASS, Professional Development
August two years ago I originally posted, Make the PASS Summit Work for Your Employer. After conversations at several SQL Saturdays over the last couple of months, I decided to refresh and update that original content and post it again. I keep hearing how the job market has changed. That companies just don't want to pay for training any more. However, I don't recall any of my employers in the past ever actively wanting, desiring, begging me, please, oh, please, can't you go out to a little training? In fact, for the most part, I pretty much always had to beg the boss to send me out to training. I had to sell it. I don't think that's a new development. Let's review the selling points to help you convince the boss.…
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