I Want PASS to Survive

I want PASS to survive.

I can say that unequivocally, because this organization has been a part of my career, my job, and my life for twenty years. Many of my fondest memories, my widest smiles, and my deepest thoughts have been connected in some way to the PASS organization.

I want them to survive.

I’m also angry at them. The board, C&C, past directors, the whole last decade because of the way I think things have been run. I have my own demons here, with how I feel I’ve been poorly treated by the organization in the past. I am trying to set that aside, and focus on what’s important.

We need PASS to survive this year, which means we pull together and push forward. Let’s make this the best Summit we can.

There are plenty of people complaining about PASS, and the way the Summit is run. I do not think I could have done things better than anyone else has. Perhaps I could have, but I certainly could have managed things worse. I don’t know what data is inside this organization, or why decisions are made. Maybe there should be more transparency and accountability, but those are issues to examine after another 60 days. This year is a black swan event, one of a few that PASS has survived. Whether this organization should have been better prepared is also a discussion for late November.

I truly don’t think that anyone is trying to make bad decisions or upset others. Making decisions is hard, and I know there is a lot of pressure on everyone. I also think that it’s up to each of us to hold everyone accountable regularly, something that hasn’t been done often enough, or widely enough. Again, we can discuss and debate that later in the year, and certainly these are things anyone running for the board needs to address, but remember that a lot of things have gone wrong this year for everyone. At home, and in business. Certainly at PASS.

This Summit is a great opportunity to learn something, and get access to the content for a full year. There are some great pre-cons at a competitive price. Booking two of these and adding the Summit is a price that many of us would pay for two days of training. You can learn a lot in two days, and then access the rest of the content for a full year.

You also support PASS. I want them to survive.

I don’t want PASS to continue to operate in the same manner next year. I don’t want the same levels of accountability, transparency, financial disclosure or protocol. I want all that to be better. I think everyone involved wants that, and they want change.

For now, I want PASS to survive, and I hope you do, too.

If you’ve enjoyed a past Summit or a SQL Saturday or a virtual group, think about attending the Summit this year. Get some training, reconnect with those of us in the same industry, and get inspired by all the possibilities of what you can do with data in your job.

About way0utwest

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7 Responses to I Want PASS to Survive

  1. Greg Moore says:

    I agree, I want it to survive, but be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. paschott says:

    I definitely want to see PASS survive, but agree there have been a lot of issues that need correction or changing. I was pretty happy to see PASS start up to bring the community together, but a lot of the decisions over the years have been odd to me. Hoping that the community at least will continue with things like SQL Saturdays, but with that being under the PASS umbrella I don’t know how that will look.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. way0utwest says:

    No “but” here. I want them to survive and I think they’ve poorly managed the org. All directors across the last decade.

    There is a time to debate change, but it’s not the next 50 days. The org needs to survive first.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Chris Voss says:

    I agree that the organization needs to survive, as someone else who has benefitted greatly from interacting through its events and network. The point that hits me most is that it’s hard to know who could do anything better or worse with Summit considering the circumstances (still grateful to be a first-time Summit speaker this year). If anything, the org we want PASS to become is possible if we keep it alive, especially with the various issues coming to light. It’s a tough situation all around.


  5. Attended PASS a few times, presented once, and have presented at SQL Saturday for several years. Absolutely love the engaged community, its what makes SQL standout against its DB competition. The question in my mind is really around Summit — Almost every major conference has began a slow decent to $0 entry (and 2020 has accelerated this trend). Although the flagship PASS Summit is pretty unique its still probably just a matter of time before it too needs to adjust to surviving only on vendor (not attendee) contributions. Will that bring more feet, more attendance, or instead hurt? SO question is — how much does PASS need its conferences to succeed to float the org?
    Haven’t seen the stats, but anecdotally SQL Saturday looks to be pretty doing well locally – though PASS Summit has got to be more than just a big global Saturday, no?


    • way0utwest says:

      Only vendor conferences have moved to $0. Those are marketing events, not necessarily sharing of information from a wide community. That’s a completely different view of the world and our industry. There are many other events that are still going on. I’m in the DevOps Enterprise Summit next week and they’re still on and charging. They can’t run a conference without charging, and neither can most organizations.

      SQL Saturdays are doing well, but they are primarily smaller events the biggest ones are 600 people, and most are 200 or less. I think that’s great, but it’s an inherently smaller audience and limited topics, although it is incredible to see speakers traveling all over the world to them.

      What does PASS need? I don’t know. That’s one level of transparency and discussion that they don’t publicize. I think they do need to reimagine the future and plan for a variety of events and budget/fundraise accordingly, but I don’t know what/how that is.


  6. Pingback: A Double Minded Man (Yup, more thoughts on PASS) | Open Mike

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