Pass Volunteer Training 2008 – Part 2

November 18, 2008 at 7:36 pm (PASS) (, )

Next year is going to be in Seattle again… Argggh! Another six hour flight. More jet lag. YUCK!

Money review. Yawn. But you’d be horrified how much all this stuff costs at the convention center.

BTW, I’m pretty excited to be presenting. I know someone else who pointed at their ribbons and said “The only ones that count are MVP and Speaker.” I feel the same way about my Speaker ribbon (I don’t have the other one). More so because, of 70 or so available slots, more than 500 abstracts were submitted. If you want to thank any particular set of volunteers, I’d go for the program committee. They bust butt. Of course, if your abstract didn’t get picked, you might not be too happy with those guys, but look at what they had to do. The good news is more slots will be open next year.

The last half of the day was mainly break-out sessions. I had a chat with Chuck about the Editorial Committee and then I spent hours with the SIG Committee where we are trying to figure out how best to generate content, publish it, and get people involved with the community through the SIG.

It’s been a great day. The PASS Board did a good job of putting together a lot of information.

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PASS Volunteer Training 2008 – Part 1

November 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm (PASS) ()

While it’s called training, the PASS volunteer “day” is much more a report on the current status of the organization and planning for the next year.

Today we had good start. Pat Wright went over the org chart, something new to PASS volunteers this year. Kevin Kline went over the history of the organization, including a few stories (ask him about escorting an attendee off site because of way too public a display of self-love). Lots of interesting information has come out. PASS is run under international rules as a non-profit which requires it to maintain ~20% of it’s operating expenses in the bank. Regional conferences are under consideration (although, as was pointed out, internationally, they’re already underway). The C&C management company performs the day-to-day operations above & beyond what volunteers do. It’s very clear that they’re doing a good job. They’re  popular in ways that the previous company wasn’t.

The board of directors each gave a quick overview of the past year and some future goals. Erin Welker reviewed the SIGs. The big deal this year was the web site migration.

Greg Lowe went over what’s up with the chapters. There are 132 now with more than 70 outside the US.

Christop Stotz gave a great little summation on what’s up in Europe.

Lynda Rab covered the program for the Summit. They’re making a lot of changes to the speaker program. I hope I can get in next year (this is still a lot of fun, that story may change tomorrow).  

Pat Wright reviewed the volunteer program. His only goal was to have a fun volunteer party. Mission accomplished, Pat. But seriously, they’re trying to help organize the volunteers in a better way to make volunteering easier & more rewarding (as a side note, get involved, it’s more fun than watching from the sidelines).

Special Projects was presented by Rick Heiges (he was noisy). They’re creating a chapter in Second Life. They’re introducing PASS Tips, tips about SQL Server. Sounds a bit like what Jumpstart TV is doing.

Chuck Heinzelman reviewed the Online Content for PASS. The organization is discontinuing the SQL Standard magazine. The main reason, and this was fascinating, was because printing costs are directly tied to energy costs. That’s pretty wild. They are going to expand the online content stream. They are going for high quality content, which means they’re not competing with SQL Server Central (not that SSC is low quality, at all, but the stuff published there is just a bit raw sometimes, magazine content is much, much, much more edited and reviewed). I seem to have won an award from Chuck for that content I’ve provided him over the last year. Cool. Thanks Chuck.

Bill Graziano spent some time on Marketing. They’re going to expand that part of the program to take on volunteers. Nice job on the new logo and the new color scheme, Bill. They might find a way to help market chapters. That would be huge.

Technology at PASS was reported on by Rushabh Mehta. They’ve launched the new PASSPort program (I can’t link to it yet, it’s supposed to be hidden). The conference is going to be updated constantly through the web page. They’re also posting updates on Twitter.

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Still no Joy in Mudville: GDR RC0

November 18, 2008 at 12:50 pm (PASS, Tools, Visual Studio) ()

The guys at Microsoft tried to recreate the problem I was having and were unable to. It probably means I’ve got a bad uninstall of CTP17 or something. Since I’m running on a virtual it won’t affect me in the future since I can toss it, but that doesn’t help for the PASS Presentation tomorrow. So, no demo at the end of the presentation, just a bit of tap dancing. It’ll be fine, but I would that it were otherwise.

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Report from the PASS Volunteer Party

November 18, 2008 at 10:58 am (PASS) ()

I am not here to name names. The organization threw a nice party at a local bowling alley. A lot of fun was had by all. I finally got to shake hands with Gail Shaw. She’s almost as tall as I am. My bowling game has seriously deteriorated over the years. Today, the conference gets started for real for me. All day sessions with the PASS organization.  I promise, from here on out the posts will get a lot more interesting.

From talking to a lot of people, I understand that Brian Knight’s presentation on SSIS, which included a Drug Dealers Datawarehouse or something, was the one to miss. Unfortunately, I missed it. I think there’ll be a video of it on the PASS web site.

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