Another SQL Saturday weekend has come and gone. This time it was SQL Saturday #87 in Louisville, KY . The event appeared to be pretty well packed, Malathi Mahadevan ( @sqlmal | Malathi’s Blog ) and crew pulled off another awesome event! Hopefully most people around the area got to attend…if not then there is always next time. A couple of notes that I jotted down ..
We need to do a better job of maybe having a couple of the representatives of the local user groups give a short introduction and talk about their groups. Possibly also give a plug for other groups in the region. This is possibly the third event that I have had someone come up to me afterwards and said something similar to the following
Attendee: “Awesome presentation! This is my first event and WOW totally cool free training!”
AJ: “So do you go to the monthly user group?”
Attendee: “Whut? There’s a user group? “
…you get the picture.
This time it was for someone whom travelled from Nashville (3+ HOURS) to attend….and Nashville just had their meeting like earlier in the week. At PASS, I was playing the role of Regional Mentor – Midwest and ran into a couple of people who were freaking attending PASS Summit but had not heard about the IndyPASS group until PASS.
We need to do a better job of bringing in new members into the community at the local level. This is what I argued as PASS’s biggest problem going forward when I was “trying out” for the BoD. It’s not like it’s some kind of secret….I go to a .NET user group meeting….I have 100-150+ people normally attending. I go to a PASS user group meeting and I have generally from 20 – 60. Now I know that there are more DBAs in most regions than that and it pains me that they are not there. The biggest grumble from people most of the time is related to training ….and here is some free training right in your backyard….EVERY MONTH!
Increasing membership at the local level helps to handle several key issues…
- Speakers: Bigger attendance numbers would “inspire” more speakers to attempt to come and speak at groups.
- PASS Membership: Bigger attendance = bigger PASS membership
- Microsoft Influence: Bigger PASS Membership = Greater influence with Microsoft
- PASS Summit: More PASS membership = more people hearing about the Summit
And it is not as if it’s that hard to think about how to get more people interested in the local groups. Here’s some from a stream of though right now…..
- .NET User Groups: Get the .NET User Group leader to allow the PASS User Group leader to introduce themselves during the first 5 minutes of the meeting. Explain to the developers that if they learn the database side of things then it will make them better developers
- Microsoft Mentors: Seriously, Microsoft wants the groups to extoll the virtues of the Microsoft platform then get someone to volunteer as a mentor for the group and have Microsoft recognize the “touch time” that they have with the group/groups that they mentor. A Microsoft mentor could assist with things like promotion ideas…speakers…etc.
- Microsoft SQL Server Community Champion: Microsoft needs to set someone up at the head level to help coordinate this stuff with the SQL Server community out there. If it were me then I would nominate Jimmy May ( @aspiringgeek ) . Why because when he was in Indy I almost always saw him at meetings and he seems to have a good grasp on community.
Maybe you have some better/more ideas? Share them! Jot them down in the Comments section below and maybe we can post them all up and send them up the line.
PASS Community Evangelist
If you didn’t know already ….Karla Kay ( @karlakay22 | blog ) is our new PASS Community Evangelist and I for one believe that she is already doing an awesome job! I think that PASS having someone working with the community who actually understands the complexities of what is going on in the community is a step in the right direction.
So if you are a Chapter Leader or looking to possibly start up a new chapter then you need to hit Karla up and she’ll get you pointed in the right direction.
Okee Dokee! Now for my presentations… I always believe in giving my feedback back and figuring out what needs to be done better next time.
Scoring ( A – Best Ever! – E – Total Waste of My Time )
Master Data Services in SQL Server 2012
Sample Remarks: Demos helped explain the use effectively. Thanks for sharing today!
My thoughts: This went pretty good and I had good discussions with people. People seem to be psyched for MDS in 2012!
Everything Your Jr. DBSA Won’t Tell You About SQL Azure
Sample Remarks: OMYG – HE’S FREAKING AWESOME! HE’S THE COOLEST EVER!
My thoughts: The one D may have been an Oracle guy ticked because their cloud strategy sucks….
Well that is enough for now… I had a great time and hope to see everyone soon!