The PASS Elections 2011 are among us! I’m going to provoke some discussion by telling you who I am going to vote for, and why. I’m not doing this so that you’ll vote for a specific person, although I am going to share my thoughts with you. My main aim is to encourage people to consider the direction of the SQL community and to place a vote. Before we begin, please note that I’m not on the Committee for any community events such as SQLBits or SQLPass. This entirely reflects my own opinions, which you are welcome to take or leave as you wish. My wish is that you’ll vote in the SQLPass Board of Directors election. It is your chance to help to shape and direct the community. You don’t have to speak at events in order to shape the community. You don’t have to speak at an event – ever. It only takes a minute.
What I believe:
You are the community. Own it. Shape it. Use your vote.
Futurology: I think that SQLPass will become a truly global organisation. I support the emerging communities in Sweden, for example, by volunteering to speak at their events. These communities need the chance to grow and with support and advice from ‘old hands’ SQLPass, they can mature more quickly.
Share the passion: Tell people about technical community events. Reach out, make the next generation of new community members. The community is fluid; we are always seeing new bright young things who might have real contributions to the community. Encourage them.
Transparency: I’m all for complete financial transparency in organising community events. If people want to know how much I’ve spent in sponsoring user group or providing coffee or pizza or drinks, come and ask me. It isn’t a lot of money since I am just embarking on the whole sponsorship strategy and it is new to me. To be fair, but I do it because it is a form of Scottish hospitality to offer a drink at events – I mention this because it was Saint Andrews Day recently, after all.
I believe that community organisations such as SQLPass and SQLBits are driven by passion. People who are driven by such a passion for their technical discipline that they want to share this passion and knowledge with other people. You show your passion by turning up to SQL Saturday events, community events such as SQLFaq in the UK, SQLRally in Sweden or SQLServerDays in Belgium. In order to make the community hear you, you should vote.
What I don’t believe:
I don’t believe that the community organisations are about making money. I think that the organisations are about community. Let’s face it, if your objective was to make serious money, would you organise a SQL Server conference to do that? No, I didn’t think so. There. I said it and you can pull me up on it if you like. I think that the community organisations can be a nightmare to organise; they require lots of hard work and long hours by community volunteers. Not a particularly smart or quick way to raise a ton of cash, in my opinion.
Here are my key thoughts on the future of PASS over the next year:
Global: I believe that the global growth of SQLPass will become more prevalent globally. For example, in November, there were eight new chapters stretching from Nepal, Egypt, the UK and the US. For me, that’s just simply amazing. Personally I’m glad that PASS can support these new communities as they reach out to new members in their early stages. The new chapters can have PASS as a resource to depend on, which is particularly vital in the early days.
WIT: I think that WIT will grow more prevalently, and PASS already have a WIT focus already. It saddens me that there is a need for a WIT organisation, since someone’s sex should be irrelevant to their ability to do their job in the IT world. I believe that skills, knowledge and experience are what counts –what projects you have done, not what sex you are. However, I know I can call upon the support of other WIT if I need to, since the framework is already there. I haven’t taken up this facility but I do understand that some WIT may feel that they need the support and encouragement of other WIT for advice.
Passion: Community is at the core, and it needs to be nurtured. Some folks are givers, and others are takers. Which brings me to the key attributes that I think a PASS Director needs:
- International focus and global relationships
- WIT support
- Proven community Leadership
- Astute Business Sense
- Knowledge of the technology
So, who will I be voting for? Well, here are some caveats:
They are all outstanding candidates. If they don’t get picked this time, I’m sure that they will get it on another occasion. I am not telling you who to vote for! Just use your vote. Please.
He’d do a brilliant job on the BoD. He’d be a voice for the wider community and has all the credentials. More detail:
· International focus and global relationships – I am writing this from Europe, so this is my perspective from the Old World. I’ve only met Rob twice but he has been incredibly supportive of my technical and personal life from afar. Rob has a global reach, and is well known here in the UK. Rob’s previously supported community events here in the UK, such as SQLBits, by flying over from Australia to provide sessions. He’s the furthest travelled speaker, as far as I’m aware – what a commitment and a huge personal effort, and I’d like to use this as an opportunity to thank Rob for his huge support for us here in the UK.
· WIT support – Rob helped to organise the 24 hop WIT campaign. This was an incredibly brave thing to do, and I know this involved a lot of effort for him personally. He stepped me through it all the way and I’d like to thank him again.
· Passion– about sql, yes!
· Proven community Leadership – building the user group in Adelaide from scratch, along with other commitments such as non-voting position at sqlpass.
· Astute Business Sense – building a consultancy from scratch is hard! I should know. I’m still learning!
· Knowledge of the technology – Rob contributed two chapters to the first MVP Deep Dives book, and has contributed another chapter to the second MVP Deep Dives book.
I also voted for two others but I think that this blog is probably long enough! To summarise, I’ve given this hard thought and I think that SQLPass needs an international perspective at this critical growth time. That’s why I’ll be voting Rob for SQLPass Director. #VoteForRob
I look forward to your comments