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Kevin Kline

Political Calculus - PASS Nominations

Pardon me, sir. Do I have a dog in this fight?

Do I have a dog in this Fight? If I did, it'd be the Warner Brothers Barnyard Dog.

After my term of service on the PASS board of directors ended in December of 2009, I fully intended to stay far, far out of the way.  It's an intention that I've largely been able to fulfill,excluding the odd conversation with an occasional board member or committee chair looking for a little impartial advice when weighing some consideration or other.

If you keep up with going's on within PASS, then you'll know that there's been some hullabaloo lately.  Please reference paragraph 1 again at this point to understand that I don't really know much about all this hullabaloo.  (I read one blog post by Stuart Ainsworth and decided to henceforth avoid all other mention of the situation). I mentioned that I've been trying to stay out of PASS' way, correct?  But sometimes you just can't dodge a bullet, even when you're bustin' out some Matrix-like moves and goin' all Neo/Keanu Reeves on it.

To wit, I was happy to volunteer in hosting our first Music City SQL Saturday, which also happened to occur the day after the PASS board of directors wrapped up their quarterly meeting here in beautiful (and hot) Nashville, TN.  The two events were destined by the stars to overlap.  Which also meant I was going to be hearing about said hullabaloo (reference paragraph 2, above), despite my better efforts to get out of its (the hullabaloo's) way.

(I'm being a bit disingenuous about being surprised that these events having some overlap.  I hosted a party at my house the Friday before our SQL Saturday for our event speakers and also invited all of the PASS directors and staff who were still in town as well.  So they were all coming together, like neutrons hurtling towards a chunk of uranium 236.  You DO KNOW what happens when neutrons are hurtled at uranium 236, right?).

Yeah, and then what?

Foghorn's idea of a dog fight

So despite trying to steer clear any PASS-related controversies, I'm compelled to speak up, albeit in as limited a fashion as I can manage.  Most of the people involved, from candidates to committee members, are friends.  I wrote endorsement letters for almost half of the candidates who made it to the Nomination Committee (NomCom) interview stage.  So I'm far from being a totally impartial judge of how individual persons were treated.  But, for what it's worth, I'm trying to make my post less about personalities and more about the overall direction of the process.  In other words, I'm trying to be constructive, not destructive.

A lot of people have put out opinions about the PASS Election process and you can read more yourself here:

Since the call to vote is now open, I hope you'll take some time to get informed about the overall process as well as the candidates standing for election.

So what's your point?

Lots of people have complained about lots of things in this round of elections (so far), but what's anyone going to do about it?  Well, my point in this and subsequent blog posts is to produce recommendations about the election process that will better it for PASS and the wider community.

I've asked several friends in the SQL Server community, as well as individuals unrelated to PASS or SQL Server but who have experience on corporate boards of directors, to join a group discussion focusing on the question:

Tit-for-Tat, eh Foghorn?

“Many in the community seem to think that the PASS election process is badly broken.  Do you think that PASS needs to implement fundamental and far-reaching changes to its election process, or does it only need some fine tuning?  Please explain your thoughts?”

So now that some of the personal aspects of the discussions have calmed down, the main point I want to make is that we can make this better.  But this will take a concerted and focused discussion to decide on the consensus.

Guest posters are waiting in the wings. Let the discussions begin!

To forward this discussions, I've asked guest posters to make open with their initial thoughts on their own blogs or here, for those who don't have their own blogs.  Some have already posted their opening thoughts, which I will repost here.  Once the opening statements are all posted, we'll begin to work through the various points and topics (refer to the PASS discussion forums  above) to see if we can drive consensus for concrete methods and steps for the nominations and election processes.

With that, you're also invited to participate. If you have thoughts around process (not personalities), I invite you to participate either through posting comments here and on our future posts and, if you're interested, to participate as a guest poster yourself.

  • Join the wider discussion here.

I look forward to your thoughts and feedback!


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Published Saturday, September 4, 2010 4:23 PM by KKline

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KKline said:

Sorry about all of the garbledy-gook at the end of the first pass of this post.  Wordpress evidently has a lot of hidden html that got carried over from the original version on my own website.



September 7, 2010 4:55 PM

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About KKline

Kevin Kline is a well-known database industry expert, author, and speaker. Kevin is a long-time Microsoft MVP and was one of the founders of PASS,

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