PASS Update #61

Just a few quick updates.

First, on the SQLSaturday site we’ll be shortly rolling out an updated logo and layout for the public facing site. We’ve had the event leaders review the plan and while it wouldn’t be fair to see all agreed, we felt like we had a good consensus to move forward. We’ve also deployed a few new features for users, including the ability to login to the site using PASS credentials, which in turn is the start of giving attendees the ability to interact a lot more easily than before. Still plenty to do, but good progress.

On the election I haven’t heard any more about when it will begin. The tentative date of August 1st has gone by, I’m hoping it will start soon. If that sounds like I’m frustrated and disconnected, both are true. I completed the work of the ERC and turned over recommendations to the Board, which in turn made some minor tweaks and gave the ok to proceed. Hopefully news soon.

This week I’ll be leaving work early on Wednesday to drive to Ft Lauderdale for the South Fla for a Board meeting and for SQLSaturday. It’s the first time since I was elected that I’ve dreaded going to a meeting. It’s the time for collaboration and to get things done, but I feel like it’s two days that would probably have been better spent either at work or on vacation. I’ve submitted a few topics on the agenda, though as I write this on Sunday no final agenda has been announced:

  • Budget. Our fiscal year begins July 1 and we still don’t have an approved budget. Several of us have asked to better understand some of the costs of HQ and overhead and so far have not gotten detailed answers. There are privacy concerns around salaries,but those have to be dealt with. More on this post-meeting.
  • Committees. I’ve been wanting to move to a strategic role,and I think our current method of portfolios works against that. My proposal is to build committees comprised of a chair, vice chair (both from the Board), and three to five volunteers. We would charter a committee to oversee various portfolios and include in that charter whether it was authorized to charter sub-committees and to delegate spending decisions. Committees would be required to post public minutes and anyone missing 3 consecutive meetings would be automatically removed. I’m open on the implementation, but my experience tells me that this could change many things. We can’t afford to lose a year because a Board member decides to do little (due to work, lack of interest, illness, whatever).
  • Measuring Satisfaction. I think we should be polling our members once a year to see if they believe we are moving in the right direction. We should be polling our Board to see if they are finding the role to be fulfilling, and to see if they get the appropriate levels of support from within the Board and HQ. We should poll HQ too, because we want them to be successful, and we should also poll employees that leave.
  • Pre-cons at SQLSaturday. I want to see us do more, and I want to help via PASS by doing coaching and providing some cash to help get things going. The concern is that we may hurt our ability to sell pre-cons at the Summit. I think that won’t turn out to be true. More importantly, those pre-cons have been happening already, and will continue with or without us. I see a lot of value in doing more. More on that soon as well.

More soon.