Archive for July, 2012

PASS Chapters Update 2

Welcome New Chapters & Regional Mentors

In June & July we had 2 new chapters join the PASS Community

Appleton, Wisconsin Led By Jes Borland

Northern Colorado Led by Erik Disparti

We also have had a lot of new Chapter Leaders join us in existing Chapters and we look forward to helping them keep their chapters thriving.

I’d also like to announce a few new Regional Mentor changes. Please welcome Andrey Korshikov, the new Regional Mentor for Central Eastern Europe. Many of you will know Andrey from his work on the Russian edition of 24 Hours of PASS.   Joey D’Antoni will be stepping into a new role as the Regional Mentor for the US Mid-Atlantic region. Joey has been a Chapter Leader in Philadelphia, a SQLSaturday organizer and recently participated in the SQL Server 2012 Special Ops Tour.

Regional Mentors give so much to the PASS Community and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Andre Kamman and John Welch for all their hard work in the role. Andre was busy filling in for Central Eastern Europe on top of his duties as Regional Mentor for Western Europe while we looked for a great candidate. Johns dedication this past year to his role as Regional Mentor for the US Mid-Atlantic was also appreciated.

Chapter Tools

Chapter leaders may have noticed the new chapter tools are starting to be rolled out. If you are a PASS Chapter leader and have a PASS hosted DNN site, log into your admin page to see the changes, If you don’t have a PASS hosted DNN site, head to the dashboard at http://www.sqlpass.org/PASSChapters/ChapterDashboard.aspx .  There you can see the changes including:

 

Chapter Profile

Check out the chapter profile page and make sure we have your address correct. We’ll be using this address for the mailings we have planned, including your chapters copy of the Summit 2012 DVD’s

Chapter Emailer

In addition to contacting those members who’ve registered with PASS for your chapter information, you can now upload your own mailing lists and email specific lists about your Chapter.  This is version one of the tool and a great way to reach PASS members interested in your group.

Chapter Kits

The Chapter Kits have now been mailed. Please keep an eye on the post for your package. Thank you to everyone who took the time to update their address in the mailing survey. The logistics of mailing packages to 250+ chapters around the world were enormous. If you have any feedback on the kits or suggestions for the next mailing please contact us

 

Summit

PASS Summit 2012 will be November 7-9 in Seattle, WA, USA.

Chapter leaders, check with your Regional Mentor for this year’s Chapter Leader comp code. Chapter Members can also recieve a 200$ discount for the Summit, check with your local Chapter leader for the discount code

The Chapter Leaders meeting at Summit will be on Tuesday November 6 in the afternoon. We’re looking for a few good volunteers to help us set up the structure and agenda for the that meeting. If you are interested please let me know. 

Community Evangelist

As announced in the July Connector, PASS is looking for an additional Community Evangelist. We’ve made great strides in the Community team but are looking to provide even more support to the growing number of PASS Chapters and SQLSaturday events.

 If you are interested or know someone who would be great for the job, don’t hesitate to reach out to Karla or myself. We are here to answer any questions you may have.

 Read more about the requirements to be a Community Evangelist here: http://www.sqlpass.org/Community/PASSBlog/entryid/447/Join-the-PASS-HQ-Team.aspx

Regional Mentor Travel

The Regional Mentor Travel program was a success with 11 RMs traveling to 9 chapter meetings and 6 SQLSaturday events. We’re in the process of revising the program for FY2013. The aim is to provide Chapters with speakers and connect RMs with Chapter Leaders. I welcome any ideas on how to best accomplish this.

Volunteer Appreciation Awards

PASS wouldn’t be what it is today without great volunteers like y’all. This year we’ve introduced a new program,  The Outstanding PASS Volunteer. This is awarded monthly to volunteers who deserve special recognition for their volunteer efforts. 

If you know someone who has gone above and beyond the call of duty check out http://www.sqlpass.org/Community/Volunteers.aspx to nominate them. Chosen nominees will be announced on the PASS website and receive a Certificate of Appreciation signed by the PASS President.

Speaking of “Thank You’s”, I’d like to take an extra minute and say Thank you to every Regional Mentor and Chapter Leader. It’s been an active first half of 2012 and I look forward to where the second half of the year will take us.

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!

PASS Chapter Update

Today I’m hosting the Bi-monthly PASS Regional Mentor meetings and I thought this was a good time to publish an update and get back to blogging about PASS on a more consistent basis.  Its been an interesting last 6 months leading the PASS Global Chapters portfolio and I expect it to be an interesting next 6 months as well!

RM Travel

Previously I wrote about getting a budget exception to provide funds for RM’s to attend PASS events and hopefully learn some lessons about how we can best implement a program like this.  With the end of PASS’s Fiscal year on June 30 we ended the RM travel program.  I believe we learned some very good lessons and provided some very valuable support for some PASS events.

Some basic statistics

11 RM’s were able to participate and they attended

  • 9 Chapter meetings
  • 6 SQL Saturdays

Overall I wish we would have had better participation (this is about 33% of RM’s) but, given the timelines we had because of the nature of the budget exception as well as the parameters we put on the allocations per RM for this trial this was about what I expected we’d have.  We got some great feedback from the RM’s on these trips and I was especially appreciative of the feedback from RM’s that wasn’t the kindest and was brutally honest.

Chapter Tools Redesign

Ill admit to finding it mildly ironic that for as long as I’ve been a member of PASS we’ve had what I’ve often chalked up as “Data” problems.  When building the blueprint for reworking the Chapter Tools my main goal was to provide great tools to better enable chapters to grow local communities & host great events.  My secondary hopes were that in creating these tools that many of these data problems would be resolved by the ability to have one version of the truth.

In some ways over the last 3 months I’ve been disappointed with the amount of “visible” work that has been available to chapter leaders in the tools.  But, since I’ve been having at least twice weekly meetings with PASS IT from the beginning I am confident that things are going as fast as they should be.  I think its worth going through some of the challenges weve run into thus far if for no other reason than to remind myself what happened later!

We’ve hit a couple of detours that I didn’t account for in my expectations for the tools.  PASS had several different DNN portals at several different versions.  This is the basic explanation for why some chapter sites werent in single sign on and had other assorted issues where some chapters had functionality that others didnt.  This Included one particularly interesting issue where some chapters had different lists of “members” because some members were in the chapters portal sign on and others were additionally in the main PASS sign on but the chapter leader couldn’t contact (or see) both lists!  With the varrying DNN modules in use on over 150+ chapter portals PASS hosts, to get this consolidated and upgraded was no small feat.  Today all of the groundwork has been completed and we now have a single DNN Portal with a single DNN version in use across all of the chapter sites.

We also had an outbreak of data issues (remember where I mentioned this earlier!) What we found was we had quite a lot of outdated data about chapters, including which ones are active and what their actual leader contact info is.  This problem is a product of growth over the years and not having a system like the one we’re building to house all of the relevant data… This problem has been handled in some ways but, is still ongoing and PASSHQ is working on identifying the problems so we can fix them once and for all.

We also made a decision to build some webservices infrastructure now vs building it later in the project in order to have that infrastructure upfront instead of waiting till later to build it and retrofitting things at that point.

In addition to all of this we also had a couple of false starts with the outside web designer and the design of the public facing sqlpass.org changes that the chapter tools will be feeding in to.  I’m optimistic that these have been resolved as we’re currently seeing good progress from that perspective

All in all these problems havent been huge but, they have impacted how long I expected it to take us to start making changes that would be visible to not only the chapter leaders but the PASS community at large

Chapter tools Beta

If you’re a chapter leader, today the beta of the chapter tools changes can be seen if you log into the PASS website and click on the “Chapter Dashboard” menu under chapters.  The basic idea has been to replace all of the current CMM module features and enhance them as we move them over to a dashboard type interface.  Today there is basic chapter profile editing, Chapter mailing list uploads/updates. As well as a new chapter bulk emailer to send messages to the entire list of your chapter members.  If you have any comments or questions about these changes feel free to contact me.

In a (near) future post Ill outline a list of expected features that I’ve been compiling for this tools project.

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