PASS Update #67

It’s been a slow few weeks since my last update. This week I did a call with Karla and Wes from PASS HQ to go over the SQLSaturday IT wish list, prioritizing requests as high, medium, and low, and then turning Wes loose to do the hours estimate on the medium and high items. It looks like we’ll be able to get a few more things done this year so I want to get all we can!

What we’ve tried to stick to with varying success over the summer is defining “sprints” of up to 40 hours with the goal being that we deploy changes about every 9 days. 40 hours isn’t much, but keeping our efforts small means we don’t get into scope creep, and more importantly, if something pops up and we have to stop, I want us to be able to get to a solid stopping place quickly. Nothing worse than having to stop four weeks into a six week effort, no way to deploy, and then trying to come back to it weeks or months later. Overall it has let us get quite a few things done and Wes has put a lot of effort into finding/fixing bugs as we go.

One of the things I’ve been trying to get going for a year is a SQLSaturday monthly newsletter, and I hope to see that finally happen in December. There is a lot of stuff that gets posted as lessons learned,but it’s distributed,this will attempt to pull that stuff together once a month, and it’s where we can let event teams know about tweaks to the site, minor policy changes, and more. I think it’s a bigger win than you might expect, but it’s hard to sustain, which is why I’ve asked HQ to manage it.

A gap we haven’t filled yet is sharing more about our successes with SQLSaturday. Karla is doing amazing work filling the role of our community representative. Having someone with time and energy is definitely help to spur some interest internationally. She is in the early stages of getting events going in China and Russia! Some of those will take months or even years to come to fruition, but it is worth doing.

Changing topics, so far the election process seems to be working ok. Once it’s done I’ll be curious to hear from the candidates and the nomcom if they liked it or not. A good election is really important to the Board, and it’s important to the long term health and success of PASS. As long as we can do better each year, eventually it will get to the point where its solid and well understood.

Thinking about work remaining to the end of the year I’ve only got a few goals left:

  • Write about the overall experience of being on the Board
  • Write about things I believe need to be done to make PASS more effective over the long term
  • Revisit the SQLSaturday/community budget and authorize some spending on things like lanyards (to support SpeedPASS for those events that want to do it)
  • Vote on the election slate, and make a recommendation as to how the two seats that will have someone appointed should be filled
  • Do a good hand off to whoever will be taking over the portfolio (hopefully committee)

Looking at that list and thinking about this being update #70 I’ll end up being a few short of my goal of 26 updates per year, but I think 70 or so isn’t bad, and it’s been useful, a way for me to think about where I’m going and to share that with those of you that follow along.

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