PASS Summit 2013 Report #3

Started today with breakfast with the family after packing up all their clothes and stuffed animals for the trip home. Got them on their way about 9:30 and enjoyed a cool morning walk over to the Convention Center for the 10:15 SQLSaturday Roundtable meeting.

The Charlotte Convention Center is nice. Starbucks, Einsteins, and a few more on site in a sorta food court, close enough to the session rooms that you can get there and back without what seems like a mile hike in Seattle. Rooms are nice. Everything seems organized and running smoothly. I’m not surprised – it is what PASS does every year after all – but nonetheless pleased that the first foray away from Seattle in a long time is going well.

The SQLSaturday Roundtable was ok, a bit disappointing. No look at goals and action items from the meeting last year. No look at the current ‘wish list’ of improvements, just a plan to do some bigger upgrades and to review those plans with some volunteers. Confusion in the presentation about the use of email blasts and about treating PASS as a partner versus a sponsor (in practice they are a sponsor as a necessary legal delimiter, but events should treat them as a super level partner and give them table space). Some good discussion about sharing lessons, maybe using Yammer, maybe exposing more data that can be analyzed, but no concrete decisions (which is fair, some of that needs thought and experiment). No real time allocated for general discussion within the room – table level talks. Not a waste of time to attend, but I think a missed opportunity to do a lot more.

Lunch was at Buffalo Wild Wings because some of the group needed to be back at 1pm for the Regional Mentor meeting. BWW has the merit of being close and not much else being close, one of the few downsides to this location. We had a fun discussion at lunch about tons of things; SQLSaturday, branding, the recent election, teaching someone SQL in 2 hours total.

I sat through part of the Regional Mentor meeting, but also spent some of that time chatting with incoming President Thomas LaRock. I’ll work on a formal interview later in the week, today was just talking shop about membership and a few other things where we have some shared history.

I’m writing this during the Chapter meeting, lots of people here for this meeting. Some nice changes in the Chapter tools, but lots of questions about the details – right now it’s almost a training session. That’s not bad. One of the hardest things is to communicate changes and new features, it can easily get overlooked in an email. I wish PASS kept a running list (change log?) so that anyone interested could look, and that should be linked to a ‘why do I care/how do I use’ page. Wendy is doing a good job of leading and facilitating, not the easiest thing to get right with a hundred or so people in the room.

Going to hit ‘post’ now so I don’t end up finishing this tomorrow afternoon.