Wendy Pastrick [Blog | @wendy_dance], (my friend) who leads the PASS Program effort on the PASS Board, recently wrote Changes to the PASS Summit 2017 Program, Pre-Conference Call for Interest, and a Community Survey. The PASS Summit 2017 Program will be somewhat different from previous years. “Different in what ways, Andy?” Excellent question, and the answer is, “It depends.” (You saw that coming, didn’t you?)
It depends (some, at least) on your feedback which you can provide by completing the PASS Summit 2017 Program Survey. The survey should take no more than five minutes to complete. You can even win a three-day pass to the Summit! I encourage everyone in the SQL Server Community to take five minutes to respond to the survey. I did.
There are two town hall online meetings scheduled for 13 April. Registration is required and I’ve signed up for the earlier meeting.
Changes to PASS Summit 2017 Speaker Selection Process
Another chunk of Wendy’s blog post is dedicated to changes to the Summit speaker selection process:
Experienced community speakers with a consistent track record for highly rated Summit sessions will be invited to work closely with the Program team to develop updated sessions for specific content areas. PASS is also looking to invest in a small number of new Summit speakers to further strengthen the educational value of the event.
Selecting speakers with a consistent track record of highly-rated Summit presentations mostly makes sense to me. It fits with the desire to “invest in a small number of new Summit speakers.” As I mentioned in PASS Summit 2016 Speakers last year, my favorite statistic from Allen White’s [Blog | @SQLRunr] PASS Blog post Insights into the PASS Summit Speaker Selection Process was 20% of the speakers selected were first-time presenters. I interpret the quote from Wendy’s post to indicate the number of first-time speakers at the PASS Summit 2017 will be south of 20%. That’s probably ok. It’s probably more ok to have this metric bounce around from year-to-year so that new Summit speakers are introduced to PASS’s audience and gain experience speaking at a national event. From a practical perspective, it’s either that or clone Conor Cunningham, Jen Underwood, Bob Ward, Jen Stirrup, Brent Ozar, Lara Rubbelke, Paul Randal, Kimberly Tripp, Buck Woody, Jessica Moss, Grant Fritchey, Adam Machanic, Steve Jones, Denny Cherry, and other popular speakers.
Changes to PASS Summit 2017 Precon Selection Process
A bigger change appears afoot in the Summit precon selection process. I cannot locate a list of pre-qualifications (yet). Instead, interested parties are asked to “please fill out this call for interest form and email it to our Program team by April 7 at 7 AM UTC.”
Highly-rated, experienced full-day speakers with expert knowledge of their key topic area will be considered.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
PASS Summit 2017 Call for Presentations
Wendy indicates the PASS Summit 2017 Call for Presentations will open in May. The CFP last year closed in early March (something like 2 Mar, if memory serves), which was… inconvenient for the Summit and presenters who wanted presentations about the new stuff – SQL Server 2016 – and it wasn’t released for General Availability until 1 Jun 2016. (I joked the PASS Summit 2017 CFP would likely open the week before the PASS Summit 2016… I was wrong.) Holding the CFP in May makes more sense for presenters and attendees.
As For Me…
As I mentioned in PASS Summit 2016 Speakers I wasn’t selected to present at the PASS Summit 2016. Because I had a lot of other things on my plate I opted to not attend last year. I was able to watch the keynotes online and probably had a better view of them than if I’d been there in person. I missed hanging out with many friends that I typically see only once per year, but I was surprised that that was the only negative part of not attending. To be sure, missing reconnecting with friends is not trivial but I thoroughly enjoyed staying home last November – more than I thought I would. This year I’ve mulled simply not submitting. Truth be told, I’m still mulling not responding to either the Precon Interest Process (I downloaded the form, completed it, and… saved it while I think about it some more) or the Call for Presentations although I’m more open now than before to submitting and letting the chips fall where they may. Regardless of where the chips fall, attending the PASS Summit – although it’s a good event with lots of opportunity to network, make new friends, and catch up with old friends – has lost some of its appeal for me in recent years.