Monday, October 17, 2016

NOT NULL - SQL Saturday Portland Presentation Coming Up!

I am really excited to present a brand new session this coming weekend at SQL Saturday Portland. In my role as a database performance engineer this past year, I have been keeping notes on some 'gotchas' that come into play with database design and data storage. Thusly, I am very happy to be presenting:

NULLs ...and other SQL gotcha's

Wherein I discuss the ups and downs of NULL usage, what to do when you have 'no data' to store, some pitfalls to avoid and a few other bonus topics as time allows.

Last week, I was invited to give this presentation in front of the New England SQL Server User Group. About 50 or so people attended, and we had a lot of really great discussion about the use of NULL in a database.

I hope to see many at the PASS Summit next week, and while I'm not presenting there, it will be nice to have the opportunity to do so this Saturday!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Global Growth for PASS

I have had a few very productive conversations recently with PASS members and SQL Community members from around the globe. How can PASS be relevant outside the US/Canada region?

The EMEA region (Europe, Middle East and Africa) has a long history of well established user groups in some areas. PASS comes strolling by and wants to partner with these groups in an effort to grow community and provide resources. What is the value proposition for an established group? I see these challenges and have enjoyed conversations regarding what works and what does not. What PASS must realize is that what works for one region or geographic location might not provide the same success in others. I'm looking forward to building stronger relationships here and helping provide solutions where needed.

Contrast this with SQL Community growth in LATAM over the past several years. Under the PASS umbrella, many amazing volunteers have stepped up and started up local Chapters, hosted SQL Saturdays and worked as Regional Mentors and Board Advisors for their community. I am very excited to see PASS welcoming the first Director at Large from the LATAM region to the Board this term!

PASS cannot rest on these laurels for LATAM region, however. Support and encouragement must continue in order to grow additional leadership and continue outreach into under-served areas. I am hopeful to continue working on the Board and will work with volunteers to ensure the success of the region as a member of the Global Growth Committee. My goal is to work toward more international representation on the Board and at the regional levels while also providing support for local community efforts.

I don't want to discount activity in other regions, however. PASS has very active communities in both the Pacific (Australia, New Zealand for example) as well as thriving groups in China and India. I have worked to make sure that Virtual Chapters are providing content at hours equally convenient to members in those regions. While there has been some success, more work still needs to be done. I am very much looking forward to the growth and partnerships forthcoming in these next few months!

Elections are upon us! I'm excited to see Eduardo Castro on the ticket for LATAM and I hope to enjoy the honor of working with him and the rest of the Board for another term.

If you are so inclined, your support is greatly appreciated when you cast your ballot!

Election season! Please vote for PASS Board of Directors Oct 5-11

It's that time of year again. If you live in the US, you have an opportunity to have a voice in who will be President for the next four years; who will serve as representatives for your state at the national level; who will represent your district at the state level; etc. etc. etc.

What PASS members aren't always aware of is their opportunity, no matter where in the world you live, each and every year, to vote on who is elected to the PASS Board of Directors. Directors serve two year terms, so there is an election every year to select three (3) of the six (6) Directors At Large.

Once again, I have put my name up for election for our organization. Why? I have currently served for just over 3.5 years on the Board. I have worked hard to keep focus on Community by working on Chapters and Virtual Chapters portfolios over this time. With the growth of the organization and the increases in costs for maintaining the resources PASS provides to Chapters and SQL Saturdays, for example, I have heard rumblings that PASS is not about Community any more.

I am here to state that is definitely not where I see PASS and the Community headed. A vote from you to re-elect me to the Board of Directors will mean YOU have a voice on the board. Change is inevitable. PASS is a growing organization and there will be changes no matter who is elected. What I want to provide for the community is an earpiece and a champion to always ensure YOU are being represented at the table. When PASS started discussions around Business Analytics community, I was the loudest voice in the room stating my support, but only if it meant that no resources were moved from the current community. PASS could not afford to allow the current community to go on as status quo only. If PASS is growing BA community, it also has to not only maintain, but enhance the community it already has.

These are not simple discussions. There are not easy answers or paths to success for most issues. I am here to fight the good fight and keep PASS the great Community organization it historically has been. I love PASS. I love my #sqlfamily. I am happy to represent YOU all on the Board.

Balloting opens today October 5th and runs through next week, Tuesday October 11th.

Please vote!

I'm also honored to have the support of others from the Board and Community. See the links below (more added as they come in)
My Statement of Support of Wendy Pastrick for the PASS Board
@SQLBek - PASS Board of Directors Elections
@IrishSQL - Time to make your voice heard
@dmmaxwell - PASS Election Endorsements
@Jenstirrup - What I learned from David Bowie, and Statement of Support for Wendy Pastrick for PASS Board of Directors
See Page 3 of my Board Application