What the future of PASS needs – and how I can help

At the recent PASS Virtual Summit I and the other candidates took part in a Ask Me Anything (AMA) session – where the community posed us questions.

It was a great experience for me – of the 3 days it ran I had time to participate in 2 of them. Current board activities and client requirements didn’t allow me to take part in the final session.

It was on reflection of the AMA session that I thought some key things need to be looked at.

Namely:

— how the community can be engaged in the future of PASS

— how we can align as a global team

— what the event(s) on 2021 might look like

  1. Community Engagement
    The Board needs to look to the leaders within our community. We need their help – because to go forward we all need to be on the same page. We need to work cohesively to save the community platform that is PASS. This cannot be a top down approach. We need your help.
    I have worked in many situations where people have said “it can’t be done” or people are siloed in their approach. One of the reasons I got into DevOps was I realised early on that we needed a goal that could align disparate groups of people. It worked wonders in my corporate career and I’ve excelled in it whilst running a consultancy company.
    In short – we need to listen to our community, we need to work with that community and take the positive actions and measure the not-so positive actions. Measure them against the goal of PASS – a platform that helps the community learn, grow and connect.
  2. Alignment
    The alignment of a global team is related to the above action item. We need to work actively with our Regional Mentors – because they represent our regions. They should be actively working with their community leaders and actively telling us the board what works and doesn’t. We need this alignment, we need this communication and we need people who are passionate about making a difference for their community. I appreciate these are volunteer positions, that it can take a bit of personal time – however – time can be allocated if something is important enough and I found helping a community to be somewhere people felt safe, could learn and become a better person. I was recognised by the community in 2019 for being relentless when it came to helping others:

    https://www.pass.org/About-PASS/PASS-News/2019-passion-award-winner

    In my life I have a pragmatic approach to disparity – one of the my early mantras was “make stuff go” and when placed in situations where groups of people wouldn’t agree on action items – I’d measure our opinions on whether it made stuff go or not. It is a very simple thing to do, the hard part is actually listening and distilling down to the fundamental problems at hand. Not up-talking or complicating things for our own ego…. That is what is needed for both items 1 & 2 above. I can help here, I have a proven corporate record in doing that.
  3. Basically this is about running out of $$…
    We need to take a pragmatic approach to the survival of PASS – and events may be smaller and more regional in 2021 – purely because of the covid situation we are experiencing right now. In saying that the Virtual Summit that we’ve just had was better than I personally thought it would be. I’m interested to see what the number/percentages look like for attendee experience. Certainly compared to other events I’ve been on it was better, yes there are improvements to be made/had. There were aspects that I didn’t like – but we have a voice and constructive feedback is far better than just saying something is bad.
    It will be interesting to see what the balance sheet looks like when all things are done – I feel that some hard decisions have to be made to ensure the longevity of the platform known as PASS. Some of those decisions will involve how we engage with the community, how we manage events as well as what strategic decisions we can make around content delivery. Not easy at all, but my passion for our community means I’m ready to stand up and fight for what PASS really needs to be,

PASS has changed my life – dramatically. I used to be a mediocre DBA. I thought locally rather than globally and the personal growth I have experienced by meeting passionate mentors has made me a far better person. It has resulted in my own mentoring of people and also having a wider sense of community – not just a data platform community – but helping others:

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/humans-of-it-blog/guest-blog-how-mvps-can-be-champions-for-diversity-and-inclusion/ba-p/824013

This is why I want PASS to continue – things have to change and I want to be a positive participant of that journey.

Please vote here:

https://pass.simplyvoting.com/?user=pass&language=en&og=112896

My other blog post around why I am running is here:
Why I am running for the PASS Board in 2020

#Yip.