Why experience matters

I’ve been fortunate enough to have gained a wealth of experience with PASS over the last 9 years.  Serving in as many different roles as I have has allowed me to see the organization from most angles, good, bad, or otherwise.  While thinking of all those experiences, I can’t think of a more challenging one than when I first joined the board of directors in 2010.  When I was campaigning then I thought I had an idea of how the board worked, after all I had read all of the meeting minutes and I knew all of the Board members personally and I thought if they can do it, so could I!  The reality was something quite different for me personally.  From my experience, and conversations with others who’ve been through it, the consensus is that it takes the better part of a year to get totally up to speed on what is required of a director.

Learning the ropes-curve

When first joining the board there’s a learning curve and that curve is substantially steeper when a new director doesn’t come from a management or board/leadership background.  There are obvious things I had thought of and planned for including budgets, learning the HQ staff roles, meeting the CA/Microsoft board appointees and getting assigned a portfolio. Then there is everything else, like learning how to communicate effectively (and efficiently!) through email, learning the processes to do nearly anything, dealing with a budget that was already set, learning the history of why something is a certain way, understanding a board meeting flow, and probably most importantly learning how to get things done politically.  It turns out making decisions is actually incredibly easy on the board, the difficult part is getting everyone else to agree with that decision.

Experience matters

I have maintained the relationships I had with the members of the Board and PASSHQ  from my prior term on the board.  When you combine that with my PASSion and prior PASS Board experience, it gives me the ability to step back into that leadership role and continue to move the organization in the right direction

PASS Board Elections Open

The Slateallen

A few weeks ago I wrote that I applied to be on the slate for the PASS Board election.  Today the list of candidates has been officially announced and I am happy to say that a group of hardworking SQLFamily members on the NomCom thought highly enough of my application, interview and references that I was ranked first on the list of candidates.

Today I am launching a single page that consolidates all of the information about my campaign platform and hopefully all of the reasons you’ll want to vote for me!

Why choose me:

Passion & experience

I am passionate about the community and the things that we can accomplish while working together for the greater good.  Over the last 9 years of volunteering with PASS I have gained a level of experience that is unrivaled by any other candidate.  I want to give back more to the community that has helped me succeed both professionally and personally.  I want to see PASS better serve the needs of our existing community while at the same time having the vision to do what is needed to survive long term in a changing community.

Vision & goals

Having previous PASS Board experience will allow me to hit the ground running on day 1 to carry out my vision for PASS’s future. The combined experience and vision I have for PASS allows me to prioritize my goals as director where I think they will impact PASS’s membership the most. My key goals while serving on the Board will be:

  • Prioritizing and investing more dollars in PASS IT to bring our member used systems current.  An example of this is expanding the functionality of MyPASS to include enhanced sections for Chapter leaders, Speakers, volunteers & members.
  • An additional IT investment will need to be made to bring PASS’s membership roster current.  Bringing the roster current will allow PASS to have better knowledge of our worldwide membership and provide them better benefits.
  • It’s time to transition from the current board structure of portfolios to a committee based approach.  This will allow the board to maintain a more strategic role and grow more leaders as well as help keep projects moving better during election transitions.

I have the community perspective, experience, vision and PASSion that PASS leadership needs

Why am I running for election again?

 

I have decided to apply for the SQLPASS Board of Directors this year.  Before I get to some of the specifics on why I’m running for election again, I’d like to tell you a bit about my journey with PASS

History

In 2004 when I attended my first PASS Summit, I still remember being convinced by two of my new friends, Tom LaRock (B|T) and Pat Wright (B|T) to get up at 7AM and learn about helping PASS.  Prior to walking into that room, I had no idea what PASS was beyond the summit or why I’d ever want to volunteer for PASS.  It only took Wayne Snyder (B|T) 5 minutes to convince me that PASS needed my help.  Wayne, if you’ve not had the benefit of meeting him or seeing him speak, is a very charismatic leader and he could convince most anyone to volunteer with PASS from his sheer passion.  It would not be exaggerating to say this was a life changing experience.  Following that first interaction, I have volunteered prolifically:

  • SIG’s (precursor to Virtual chapters) 2005-2009
  • Summit Program Committee Member 2007-2011
  • Summit Program Committee Leader 2009-2011
  • Nominations committee 2009
  • Board of Directors  2010-2011
  • Chapter tools project 2012

As a volunteer I have had the opportunity to work with many teams to help implement my visions for PASS. For example the program committee brought in such current Summit favorites as half day sessions and lightning talks.  More recently, I realized we were underserving our chapters and their members and created a strategy for enhancing the chapter leader portal that correlates the data used on all members’ MyPASS page as well as the events page.  I like to think my volunteer time has been good for the organization but, I know my volunteerism has been good for me professionally.  The time I have spent on the board helped me grow my career into a new leadership role recently and I hope that growth will in turn allow me to support doing more on the board.

Why?

Passion

I want to reinvest in the community that has helped me succeed professionally by further enabling our next generation of leaders to grow and succeed.  I want PASS to have grander goals than just having a Summit, BA conference & SQL Rallys or being the SQL Saturday/Chapter steward.  Sure, PASS is and should be all of those things but I see PASS in a larger context, PASS should be an enabler.  PASS can and should provide vision and solutions to our community on a larger scale than it has attempted to in the past.
To sum all that up in a word: “Passion”.  I am passionate about PASS and its ability to help the sqlfamily achieve their professional goals.
I have the community perspective, experience, vision and PASSion that PASS leadership needs.

Future Goals

In the year since I left the Board, I’ve had the opportunity to clearly see how far PASS has come as an organization, as well as how far we still have to go!  Having previous PASS Board experience will allow me to hit the ground running on day 1 to carry out my vision for PASS’s future.  The combined experience and vision I have for PASS allows me to prioritize my goals as director where I think they will impact PASS’s membership the most.  My key goals while serving on the Board will be:

  • Prioritizing  and investing more dollars in PASS IT to bring our member used systems current.

An example of this is expanding the functionality of MyPASS to include enhanced sections for Chapter leaders, Speakers, volunteers & members.

  • An additional IT investment will need to be made to bring PASS’s membership roster current.

Bringing the roster current will allow PASS to have better knowledge of our worldwide membership and provide them better benefits.

  • It’s time to transition from the current board structure of portfolios to a committee based approach.

This will allow the board to maintain a more strategic role and grow more leaders as well as help keep projects moving better during election transitions.

Adventures in SSRS

Came across a strange permission issue today that I thought I’d blog about since it is apparently somewhat common judging by the number of unanswered forum posts about it.

Adding/editing or Testing SSRS Datasources in Report Manager generates a permission error

A developer was trying to add a datasource and use “test connection” in the report manager web interface instead of BIDS which, incidentally worked.  When they tried to save or test the data source, an error occurred “The permissions granted to user “Domain\User” are insufficient for performing this operation. (rsAccessDenied)”  After much websearching and digging through verbose SSRS logs, SQL Traces, Windows Event logs, Process Monitor traces, etc.  I had just about given up hope and turned to twitter to vent about the error.  Luckily, Chris Testa-O’Neill , Doug Lane, and Tamera Clark came to my rescue and headed me down the right path of this being an SSRS catalog permission issue (Thanks again!)

Environment Details

SSRS 2008r2

Folder inheritance is broken and the developer account has Browser permissions on the root folder as well as Browser, Publisher and Report Builder permissions on the sub-folder.  There are no system level permissions for the account.

The Problem

In the SSRS error log I found the following messages which are only slightly more helpful (Highlighted for influence)

System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapException: System.Web.Services.Protocols.SoapException: The permissions granted to user ‘Domain\User’ are insufficient for performing this operation. —> Microsoft.ReportingServices.Diagnostics.Utilities.AccessDeniedException: The permissions granted to user ‘Domain\User’ are insufficient for performing this operation.
at Microsoft.ReportingServices.WebServer.ReportingService2010Impl.TestConnectForDataSourceDefinition(DataSourceDefinition DataSourceDefinition, String UserName, String Password, String& ConnectError)…

The command is failing on the “TestConnectForDataSourceDefinition” method.  The permissions needed are those required by this method.

The Fix

Near the bottom of the documentation for the TestConnectForDataSourceDefinition the permissions required are listed as “Execute report definition”

Granting this permission is accomplished by connecting to the SSRS server with SSMS and creating a new system role with just this permission

Then grant the new role “Execute Report Definitions” permission

Finally add the user account to the new system role, this is done in report manager under Site Settings ->Security -> New Role Assignment

PASS Chapters Update Q4 2012

Welcome New Chapters

This past quarter several new Chapters have joined the PASS community:

Astrakhan .NET & SQL User Group, Russia, led by Yana Kuranova

SQL Professionals of Northwest Nevada, US, led by Christopher Sherrill

Taiwan SQL Server User Group, China, led by Byron Hu and Pohan Chen

Codificando .NET, Sao Paulo, Brazil, led by Erickson Ricci

PASS Beijing, China, led by Quan Zhang

BIDN, Johannesburg, South Africa, led by Mark Stacey

BITUGA, Portugal led by Paulo Matos

New Zealand BI User Group, led by Reza Rad

We also have had a lot of new Chapter Leaders join us in existing Chapters as well as rebooting some inactive Chapters and we look forward to helping them keep their Chapters thriving.  Be sure to reach out to your Regional Mentors and the PASS Community Evangelists for any questions you have, they are here to help you.

Regional Mentor Updates

It has been great to see more and more Chapter Leaders utilizing the great resources we have in Regional Mentors. We have some Regional Mentor changes to announce for January 2013.

Leaving the role of RM for the UK is Chris Testa O’Neill. Chris has done a tremendous job in helping with the awareness and growth of PASS in the UK the past couple of years and we are thankful for his efforts. Taking the reins in the UK and working along with Jonathan Allen in 2013 will be Mark Broadbent. Mark has been a great supporter of PASS as well as a strong Chapter leader and presenter, and most recently hosted his first SQLSaturday in Cambridge. His experiences in these areas will be a great benefit to helping others in his region.

Alexandro Prado is leaving his role as RM for Brazil after much success in spreading PASS communities in that region.  Due to the tremendous size and growth potential Brazil, we decided to appoint two RMs to cover that region. Luciano Moreira, of the Chapter in Brasilia, will work along-side with Laerte Junior out of Sao Paulo. Laerte was co-leader of SQLSaturday #100, the first PASS SQL Saturday event in Brazil. We are confident that Luciano and Laerte will make a dynamo team for that country, and we look forward to seeing what will come in 2013.

I’d like to once again thank Alexandro and Chris for their volunteer time commitment as well as their service to PASS in this key role for Chapters. Their efforts in their local regions will be recognized as the foundation that we will build on for years to come.

Updated Chapters Toolset

Chapter leaders have hopefully already heard about improvements we are making in the tools PASS has for Chapters.  We are continually rolling out new improvements so be sure to check in often for updates.  To see what we’ve been up to, if you are a PASS Chapter leader and have a PASS hosted DNN site, log into your admin page.  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:

 

Profile/Addresses

We are displaying most of the information we have about your chapter within the dashboard.  I would like to request that every chapter leader log in to the dashboard and make sure the information is up-to-date.  Some fields are intentionally not user updateable so if a field cannot be updated, and needs to be corrected please send an email to with the update you’d like to make.  Please pay particular attention to the “Chapter Leaders” tab when making sure the information is correct.  In the future we will be relying on this information being up-to-date when making key decisions about Chapters.

Events/Meetings

For Chapters using a PASS hosted website, you can now benefit from the Events module integration.  With this new tool you can enter your event/meeting details in one place and it will auto update those details to the Events page of the SQLPASS website, as well as to your home page of your own Chapter website and your event will also show up on myPASS for members associated with your Chapter.  Other events module features include local timezone/ical support, prescheduling future meetings, uploading of meeting presentations/resources, auto archiving old events and more.  For instructions on how to setup & publish an event, check out our handy guide listed on the Chapter Resources page.  We will continue to update this module with more features in the coming months.  Future plans include linking to many other sites/marketing avenues as well as better support for RSVP’s and more.

Chapter Emailer

In addition to contacting those members who’ve registered with PASS and are associated with your Chapter, you can now upload your own mailing lists and email those specific lists about your Chapter.  Thank you for the great feedback about the Emailer during the Chapter Leader Meeting at Summit. We’re working to ensure many of your concerns will be addressed in future versions of the tool.  As myPASS use increases we are seeing more and more PASS members associate themselves with local Chapters so don’t miss out on this opportunity to reach a great pool of potential new members.

myPASS

MyPASS is the new default homepage for all PASS members who are logged in to the main SQLPASS.org site.  We designed this page to bring all of the Chapter and Virtual Chapter meeting information into one easy to use interface for your members.  While looking at myPASS please check your profile and make sure it is up to date as well.  Early in the new year, the Chapter dashboard will be getting the myPASS look and feel. It will show up on the left side as a tab that is visible only to Chapter Leaders

Summit Downloads for Chapter Leaders

Finally some news I know Chapter leaders have been patiently waiting for!  Chapter Leaders should now have access to download the Summit 2012 sessions.  The following should enable you to begin downloading/streaming the sessions immediately:

  • Go to the Summit 2012 Session listings (you will need to login, or be currently logged in with your PASS Chapter leader Account)

http://www.sqlpass.org/summit/2012/Sessions/BuildSchedule.aspx

  • Click on the “session recording” link next to the session name
  • From there you should see a DOWNLOAD button below the streaming player
  • Note that in order to play this file you may need to update codecs in your media player

If you are unable to download the sessions, please contact the helpdesk

Introducing Wendy Pastrick

As you may know by now, Wendy Pastrick was elected to the PASS Board of Directors during the last election, and will begin her term on the Board January 1, 2013 by leading the Global Chapters portfolio. PASS’s support of local Chapters through Regional Mentors, Community Evangelists, tools, best practices, and more has grown tremendously over the last few years, but there’s still much to do. I hope you will all welcome Wendy and continue to provide her the same great feedback you always have with me.  Wendy can be reached on .

Goodbye for now or until we meet again

As my year as Director of Global Chapters is coming to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity thank each of you for helping Chapters as well as recognize the progress we made together this year in helping PASS communities grow stronger.  We were able to make some very visible progress during the last year to better support PASS Chapters and their members and with the team we have in place I expect we will maintain that momentum going forward.

I’ll be staying involved with the PASS Community going forward and for now I’ll be focusing on wrapping up some of the Chapter tools changes and working towards a successful handoff of that project.  It has been my privilege to work with y’all and I look forward to seeing each of you in the future.

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