Last week I made it through the first screening of candidates for this years Board of Directors election. Seven of nine candidates advanced to the interview phase with my interview scheduled for Wednesday of this week. It’s a strong field of candidates this year, and I hope that all make it through to full nominee status. For those of you new to the election process, this year there are three seats vacant, so potentially we’ll have seven candidates vying for three seats.
Several people have asked me why I have to interview again since I’m currently on the Board. I think part of it is to make sure that a seated Board member is willing to pay their dues to go another term; submitting an application, interviewing, all things that might rule out anyone who just wants to coast. Another part of it is that just because someone was elected once doesn’t mean that they did a good job, or that they even fall into the Top X of candidates the next time around. The interview and the nomination process is the way we sort all that out.
I’m going into the interview comfortable but not over confident. I’ve had some wins, some losses, some mistakes, but overall I feel that I’ve done a good job and can make my case on that. The harder part of the interview is about vision, what do I want to accomplish and how will I do it. I’d like to think I’m not short on vision, but is it a good enough vision, the right one? That’s a question for both the nominating committee and hopefully for the voters as well.
My friend Andy Leonard is interviewing all the candidates, my interview is posted here. Probably not anything too surprising if you’ve been reading my PASS Updates, with one exception; my idea about working with INETA and other organizations. PASS needs to focus on SQL Server and I (speaking for me personally) don’t want to see us change our content mix much at any of our events. But there are a lot of other people that use SQL Server as a part of their job, not as their job, and we need to engage with them. The DBA to developer gap hasn’t gotten any smaller, the best way to fix is it participate in their events. I do presentations at Code Camps here in Florida on SQL topics and always get a great audience asking great questions. Reaching out elevates PASS, reaches people we might not normally reach, and even increases the speaking opportunities for those in our community that are ready to share.
Going back to the overall election for a moment, I know most of the candidates well, and even if I wasn’t in the running this year I’d have a hard time picking three out of the seven. I’m honestly thrilled at the list, it’s a good sign for PASS when we get this level of interest from great people.
This also brings me to the point of considering what will make this a great election. Elections are often popularity contests, and that isn’t all bad. If you’re popular enough to win, in large measure that means you have a lot of impact within our community and that’s important. But as a member and a guy running for office, how do we compare them on their merits when it’s so subjective? I don’t know that we’ll have debates, I don’t expect mud slinging, but who shapes the issues? How can we get a really good view of the strengths (and weaknesses) of each? Interviews are one way, and maybe the best way, we just need more questions. I’d love to see a list of commonly discussed issues and a response from each candidate in a matrix.
We’re not quite to the election, but it’s good to start thinking – what qualities matter most to you?