I deeply care and want my favorite products and companies to improve and flourish. This letter is about making PASS community great again for those of us that use their platforms. While on a human level PASS benefits from a very vibrant and colorful #SQLFamily, the technology that PASS offers is totally inadequate for 2018. PASS provides a bare minimum web site with DNN for local groups and 10+ years old sqlsaturday.com web site for SQL Saturday organizers. In comparison to event organizing staples tools like Eventbrite, MailChimp and Meetup, and it’s own PASS Summit’s web site, PASS’ web tools look dull and soulless.
Many of us have asked PASS to make changes to the web tools. For the most part we heard the same “sorry, we would love to make all the changes, but we have no money”. The idea of moving to an open source platform and relying partially on volunteers to write code has not been acceptable to PASS. The purpose of PASS from the day of its creation was to support the community, not to make money, but PASS has also to pay bills and stay afloat. That perhaps explains lack of enthusiasm in paying for anything that is not helping its main cash cow, the PASS Summit. to be fair, the PASS financial bottom line has been in red for a few years now.
Enough negativity, let’s talk about a solution. What I propose is to work in cooperation with PASS to ask SQL Saturday organizers to voluntarily give up the $250 that PASS provides for each SQL Saturday event. We can put this money towards the “desired sqlsaturday.com changes” fund. Every year, SQL Saturday organizers put 100+ events around the globe, some costing more than $25,000 in a total. PASS can keep $20,000 a year if at least 75 SQL Saturdays would give up their $250. Of course, $20,000 would not be enough to make all the changes, but it would be enough to focus on few problems. We can vote on what changes should be made. Above all, this provides an actionable item.
What I am really looking for is to get a wide support for the idea from the SQL Community. I am sure that I’m not the only one that wants PASS to do more for the community and I think this is our chance to push for it.