Dream Job Alert! PASS Community Evangelist Needed!

Would you like to get paid to work directly with the SQL community?

Of course you would!  Well… Ok maybe not all of you would but Im hoping some of you would!!  If this sounds like a dream job for you, Ive got some very exciting news!  PASS is growing support for local communities again and we’re looking to hire a second community evangelist to work along side Karla Landrum (Blog|Twitter) and the PASS HQ team.

More details about the job specifics are available on the PASS site.

Hurry now, Dont delay, this offer only availble to the first 5 respondents,<insert late night infomercial schpeel here>, etc!

short PASS update aka coming out of hibernation

Its been too long since I updated this place….  I should apologize or make excuses but, I wont waste your time or mine thinking of them

This week is a busy week for 2011 Summit planning.  Some things need direct community participation and Id like to draw your attention to them

  • Lightning Talks (5 minute “mini sessions”) Call for speakers closes today at 6:59 UTC (11:59 Pacific)

If you have an idea that you’d like to talk about for 5 minutes, Id encourage you to submit.  These sessions were well received last year and I expect the same this year

The Summit schedule creator(s) will make extensive use of this to properly size the rooms for each session.  There is more art than science to building the schedule but, the more data we have the better.

Lots of hard volunteer work went into the forming of this years process.  Please support it by offering your time if you have it to give.

Last year PASS decided to invest in the development of our own tools to manage the educational portion of the summit.  This investment has proven to be an excellent idea as it has made running the program a lot simpler.  In the past we had 2 or 3 different tools to manage the summit and thats not including the massive amount of excel spreadsheets that were passed around.  This would create obvious problems when changes weren’t propagated through all the tools in the same way.  In prior years it was a herculean effort to get the Summit program handled on time, this year however it has been markedly easier.  Maybe its not herculean anymore but, its definitely still takes a great deal of effort from a large number of volunteers.  Additionally, the same system we are using for the Summit in 2011 was used for both SQL Rally’s so in that way, the data and use of the system should start to form one experience for the entire community (speakers, volunteers & attendees)  Sometimes its the small behind the scenes things that really make a difference on the admin side that the public may not see and in this case I cant say it enough how thankful I am the past PASS BOD made that decision to invest.

As part of this tools upgrade, we are able to do some interesting things that we may not otherwise be able to do like…

Produce an OData “feed” of event sessions

If your familiar with OData you can try it out here

If you want to see the Summit 2011 Sessions for instance, try this link. Feel free to give it a try and let me know if you see any issues, but note the sessions arent scheduled yet so those data elements wont be correct

Hopefully having a service like this will open up the data enough that it will be useful to someone out there.  We have several internal uses planned for this feed including updating the mobile application we trialed at the SQL Rally “guidebook”  Yes, we will have a fully functioning mobile application for this years summit (and most other PASS events shortly)

Hopefully Ill be able to keep this place updated with something relevant way more often

(edit: somehow I forgot the Nomcom!! oops)

Stepping out and stepping up

Changes are coming

Stepping out

For as long as I can remember Ive been involved in one way or another with the PASS Summit.. This simply means I have a short memory because I think I first started with the summit in 2006 or maybe it was 2005.  Either way its been a long run at making the premiere event for SQL Professionals a success. During the last PASS Board meeting I let it be known to the other directors that I would like to move on to other things within PASS.  I have spent a huge amount of energy over the last few years attempting to remake the processes around the summit education program.  Ive worked with a great set of volunteers over the years and together we have had some great success in making the processes better and more “translucent” as my favorite volunteer would say.  However, I think its time for a new challenge and Id like to put the same effort into one of the other PASS portfolios.  This will also give someone else with a renewed energy and vision a chance to make their mark on the Summit program.  This is where I’d like to start the handoff, unfortunately there isnt exactly a line at my door of people wanting to take it from me.  So, if you ever wanted to give up your life free time for the good of the SQL community feel free to drop me a line!

Stepping up

At the same board meeting, I stepped up and decided to put my name on the ballot for the PASS executive board.  There are lots of rules and regulations in the bylaws about who can run and when, I wont bore you with all the details but, the end result is out of those eligible to run: Myself, Tom LaRock, Rick Heiges and Douglas McDowell are running for the 2 vice president seats while Bill Graziano is running unopposed for President.  I admittedly didnt start that week thinking I was going to run for the executive board of PASS but, as it turns out it fits nicely with what I want to do for PASS going forward so I decided give it a shot and run.  Hopefully enough of the board will see that I have the right kind of energy to do good in one of the positions.

I appreciate the challenges and opportunity that have been given to me over the years in this community and hope this is merely the next logical step in my service to our community.

How valuable are good employees

Every successful business knows that its employees are its biggest asset.

As driven employees, we strive to be members of highly functioning teams.  Company management wants a highly effective team, everyone would seem to want the same thing yet it can be hard to achieve for a number of reasons.  Highly effective employees on great teams are the fundamental bedrock of all successful businesses.  But, what is the difference between an average team and an exceptional team?  A interesting discussion I had today about these differences prompted this post.

Are you an above average member of your team?

What makes someone a great technical team member, Is it deep knowledge of a technical subject?  Business application of said technology?  Ability to schmooze the boss?  Any of these things can lead a person to be known as a highly effective employee.  likewise inability to execute on any of these things (plus a host of others!) can lead someone to  be an average performer or worse an under performer.

What are you worth to your team?

Would you consider yourself 10% above average? 20%? , 50%?.  I’ve asked around and when most people are asked their self assessments are that they are at least 20% above average.  With that thought, as a business manager would you consider a 1% above average (what is average anyway ????) employee desirable?

Consider the math

As a team member at a reasonable sized organization lets say you are responsible for 50 Million$ in information (data for the DBA’s reading this).  If you are able to perform at a 1% higher level than average, you should be able to manage about 500K more than an average team member.  If somehow you managed the herculean task of being 20% better than average you’d be able to manage 10 Million$ more.  Likewise If you have a team member who is performing at a lower level , say 1% below average they’d only be able to manage 49.5 Million$.  20% below average and well, lets just say its a bad day to be responsible for 40 Million$.  If you extrapolate those numbers further and compound them yearly for a few years the 1% better employee Vs the 1% underperformer would look something like this

The 1% high performer nets $51,515,050

while the 1% underperforming employee nets $48,514,950

Thats a 3 Million dollar difference for a 1% above average performance. (not bad!!)

End result is the same

The next time you’re debating with your boss about the value you bring to your team, it can be helpful to point out the math especially if you can make a reasonable leap to huge numbers like billions of dollars in assets and 2% above average Vs 1% below.  1 great employee who brings tons to the table and say works at a 5% above average range is potentially worth more than the entire rest of an under-performing team.  Of course, asking your boss for a 500K raise might not go over well either but If you are lucky enough to be able to tie your work product to actual company revenue, this is a great way to show the leaders in your organization how important it is to hire good people, even if they are ONLY better than average by 1%

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