PASS Update #33 (SQLSaturday Transfer)

I’ve just finished handing over the source code for all the SQLSaturday related items after finishing up a couple minor bugs in the admin tools. Along with the just completed transfer of the domain, that finishes up all the tasks we had identified to get the hand off done.

The next task is to get a dev environment set up on the PASS servers and get the code into source control, followed by figuring out a method for allowing volunteers to contribute to the code base. As you know that is not glamorous work, but essential to allowing us to continue to adapt as we identify new needs. No timeframe on this yet, have submitted the request for a estimate, and from there it goes into the general project queue.

I also reviewed and cleaned out my idea list for the web sites (FYI, there are three, the public facing one for attendees, one for event owners, one for PASSHQ), and right now it is as follows:

  • Show the event leaders. I wouldn’t mind showing them on the event home page. They do the work, helpful for everyone to know who they are.
  • Add photo/avatar to attendee name badges
  • Add photo/avatar to networking page (from LinkedIn/Twitter/etc)
  • Validate email addresses on sign up (to help prevent duplicate registrations)
  • Volunteer task management. Set up tasks, allow volunteers to browse and choose they wants they want to help with
  • Schedule builder, let attendees identify which sessions they would like to attend
  • Change the payment system to redirect to first, and from there to PayPal, giving the event leader the ability to stop accepting payments

My guess is that other than bug fixes the code will remain static through the end of the year. At the 2010 PASS Summit we’ll have our SQLSaturday Summit, discuss and argue which changes are most important, and then either find volunteers or carve out time from HQ to make those changes early in 2011. Ideally I think we devote a few days each quarter to making improvement.

As I think about where we are today, the biggest place that needs work is documentation, and I’ll be starting to work with volunteers and HQ to figure out how we can get that done, or at least improve what we have.

I’m requesting funding in the 2011 budget to get Blythe, Sanj, and Craig out to at least one SQLSaturday each next year. We need to make sure HQ both sees the impact of these events and gets to enjoy the work that they put into them from the HQ side of things. The main goal I’m proposing for 2011 is a SQLSaturday in every state. We’ll put a map up on and color in a state once an event happens. We’ve got a few states where we don’t have chapters, which I think represents both an obstacle and an opportunity.