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)