Notes from the May 6th, 2010 oPASS Meeting

We moved to Thursday this month to line things up so that Dean Richards from Confio could do a presentation to our group and then head to Jacksonville for SQLSaturday #38. Attendance was good, about 30, for the presentation on wait state analysis. Jack started the meeting off with the standard intro discussion and as I listened – being able to take a step back and just observe – it was interesting to see he struggled to explain the value of PASS to the attendees.

That’s not a knock on Jack, he’s passionate about PASS and the value of the Summit. It’s just that our group is, well, our group. If PASS disappeared tomorrow, our group would still meet, still enjoy our time together, and really suffer no impact from that change. It’s not that they aren’t interested. Many are PASS members. But PASS remains an abstraction to them, and that’s just a tough thing to change.

Sorry, back to the meeting! We moved on to a quick discussion of our upcoming SQLSaturday #49 in October, lots of interest, everyone waiting for the good parts – matching up volunteers with tasks and selecting our pre-con seminar(s). I also asked about the interest in doing the Cha Cha Slide at lunch, and that definitely earned me some puzzled looks. Clearly that idea is going to take a while to grow!

Dean did a good job on the presentation, though I missed about 20 minutes right in the middle for a SQLSaturday coaching call. Heard a few good questions, think everyone found the presentation useful and it didn’t come across as a vendor pitch.

Confio did sponsor the meeting, and David Waugh did get to do his sales pitch, and that was interesting – it’s been a long time since we had a product vendor at the meeting, usually it’s local sponsors. He announced Ignite Free coming up on official release on May 8th and I’ll be curious to see how that works out. Giving a somewhat limited free version away is a great way to build market awareness. Take out too many features and it doesn’t get used, leave in too many and can hurt revenue. For those interested in getting that type of decision right, I really recommend Free by Chris Anderson.

We need to get more of the product vendors in, and it reinforces for me that there will be value in having a vendor track at SQLSat#49. Our members want (and need) to see these products in action so they have an idea of options available.

At the end we did something new. Robert Hurwitz has been of our regulars, and prior to the meeting we had an email from his co-worker and oPASS regular letting us know that Thursday was Robert’s birthday and last day in Orlando (moving to Jacksonville), and asking if bringing a cake would be ok – of course! So we sang a really bad rendition of Happy Birthday and enjoyed some cake. Seems funny to write, but it worked – these meetings are as much social as technical, and we should find ways to do stuff like this more often.