Archive for November, 2009
I need help
No not the mental kind, but the volunteer labor kind.
I mentioned when I started this blog, that I was going to use it as a place to make calls for volunteers of all types. I plan on having a need for “Committee based” volunteers, and “Task based” volunteers over the next year. I figure that starting out, I should detail what my thoughts are regarding the different types of volunteers (these are my thoughts, not PASS’s)
Committee based volunteer: Someone who works for a long(ish) period of time on a series of assigned tasks, that usually culminate in some larger overall accomplished goals
Task based volunteer: Someone who works for a shorter amount of time on a single task that needs to be completed by a predetermined deadline
For this endeavour, I need a few volunteers that can help the program committee in a task based role. We had a really great speaker evaluation response rate at this years summit (approx 15,000 evals returned, you guys rock!!) and while that’s terrific for the speakers, and next years program work, its not so great for the people having to manually enter all 15000 of those responses. <digression> Yes I know there is a thing called the web, and we should move to an online evaluation system, and if you’ve attended PASS in the past, you’ll remember that we’ve had online evaluations before. Our experience in the past has been that we get far fewer evals online than we do if we ask the door greeters to hand you paper ones. </digression>
What I need your help with is taking all of the data that is being entered into the system and getting meaningful data for our speakers out. Yep, this sounds somewhat like DBA work to me so, this should easily fit some of our volunteers skills, until I tell you the data is in Access Excel. Please dont let that scare you though, we can do anything we like with the raw data to get the information out, we just have to get it into something meaningful for our speakers. While this whole process was supposed to be a fairly quick project so we could get results to the speakers quickly, we didnt anticipate the amount of evals we would recieve. For a little perspective we recieved just under 3000 evals last year with a larger attendee base. Im hoping that we can get this started, and finished in in a short amount of time, Im aiming for before the 15th of Dec. I would estimate that no one person should spend more than 5-15 hours over the next few weeks working on this.
- Approx project deadline — Dec 15 2009
- Approx time needed — 5-15 hours
As always, PASS, the SQL Community, and I personally thank you for offering your time
What does Karaoke have to do with PASS?
Luckily, having a moral opposition to karaoke does not preclude you from attending the summit of from volunteering to help SQLPASS grow. We’ll take anyone who wants to help anytime you’re willing (more on that tomorrow).
After a long day of stuffing our brains full of SQL gold, quite a few PASS Summit attendees decided to head out to bush garden for Karaoke, a little bit All they had of Jaeger and to blow off a little steam. As we have proven year after year, if you mix SQL Geeks, Jaeger, and a karaoke machine you never know whats going to happen.
After attending my first Karaoke night at SQLPASS in Seattle 06 I realized that a very important piece of the PASS Summit value proposition is in these evening/night time events, they allow you to see that we are all (no matter our stature in the SQL community) Just HUMAN SQL Geeks, and for the most part everyone is very approachable. Watch the attached video, and tell me that you’d have any trouble at all walking up to Josh the next day to talk about SQL, the only problem might be keeping from laughing at with him about the night before. After spending an evening with an entire group of these guys/gals you realize that its no big deal to walk up and talk to any them when you see them in the hall the next day at the summit, or while looking for a place to eat lunch, or wherever your paths cross. It works as a great “reason” to talk to your fellow attendees, and has a side effect of creating this amazing thing that we Techies always call “your network”
PASS After Dark
“off beat and off key, its not easy to do”
Why do I volunteer for PASS?
Ive been asked more times than I can count why I spend so many hours working for an organization that doesnt pay anything other than thanks and smiles.
I work for a large company, and have a very small team of people. As such, it is often very helpful to have a sounding board outside of your sphere of influence to talk to people about ideas, issues and bacon, mostly bacon. Sure there has always been newsgroups and forums and they certainly have their place for this type of information exchange. However, when you know someone and have shared a dinner, a beer, a session, or even just a 5 minute hall discussion, they are more vested in you’re outcome than some random stranger on an internet forum. The overall quality of the conversations and of the information that is exchanged in these groups is higher than the average internet sql community, if only by a little bit.
Payment (in the form of knowledge) for the work I do for PASS is 100% reaped by my employer, in the form of better database systems! Granted my professional knowledge is also increased but, whats good for me is good for them too right? This becomes a pretty easy sell at least in my head to know that I can put in some hours of work for a professional organization and in return they open up many conversation breakers between myself and not only the superstars of the SQL community but between myself and many of the rest of the community that is just as eager to share their knowledge.
So, with that in mind I give you a new friend that Ive twittered with for quite a while but,only just met at SQLPASS this year @mrdenny (blog). I think Denny may have had 1 too many Jaeger shots that night but, this rendition of eye of the tiger is #PASSAWESOMENESS
A new take on an old idea
As if there aren’t already enough blogs around about SQL server I’ve decided to start and build my own. For those of you tortured lucky enough to know me you’ll know exactly how hard the decision has been to start this blog.
I hope this blog will become a place that I can throw random thoughts about with almost reckless abandon. I plan on using this place as a sounding board for ideas as well as a place to store my ideas for use at a later time.
I will likely be focusing more on SQLPASS than on SQL Server troubleshooting itself so, this is where this blog will be different from most. I think SQLPASS could be so much more than it currently is and I intend to do my level best to make that happen
So, welcome to my world, please feel free to look around (theres nothing else here)
Since Im the only one who reads this, this should be considered a test, and nothing more than a test. If only I werent so lazy, Id have a fully functioning blog instead of this lousy shell.