Apr 062017
 

At last month’s SQL Saturday in Chicago, we had two great distinctions:

  • We were SQL Saturday #600, a milestone! (But weren’t SQL Saturday numbers going away?)
  • We also were the first SQL Saturday to use the new logo, which is just one part of the major rebranding project undertaken by PASS last year.

At PASS Summit 2016, PASS announced several new logos as part of it’s rebranding campaign. There were new logos for PASS as a whole, SQL Saturday, 24 Hours of PASS, PASS Summit, and Business Analytics. In general they’re not terrible. I actually really like the new PASS logo. The old one just never made sense to me. Was it a St. Andrew’s Cross spider on top of a storm warning flag? (Since Sharknado was a hit, a movie about a hurricane full of spiders is a guaranteed blockbuster, right?) If there was any symbolism behind that old PASS logo, I’ve never heard it.

Old (left) and new (right) PASS logos

The new PASS logo, on the other hand, has a nifty story behind it. It’s all the different facets that make up PASS coming together into one. I like that.

But then there’s the new SQL Saturday logo.

Old (top) and new (bottom) SQL Saturday Chicago logos

SQL Saturday’s new logo is much more refined than it’s predecessor, and it’s very evident that a lot of effort went into these new logos and this rebranding as a whole. That being said, I think the new logo falls short in a few key areas.

First of all, there’s the symbol itself. It definitely works well with the PASS logo, but look at it. If you’re thinking in SQL about it (and since it’s a logo for SQL Saturday, that’s not too hard to imagine) you’ll see that it’s literally “<>”, the T-SQL operator for “not equals”. I have to imagine that whoever designed this logo was a graphic designer with absolutely no clue what SQL is, or what the logo they designed meant to people familiar with it. And I think that’s okay to a degree, but very early-on in this process someone at PASS probably should have looked at that and said “ya know, that looks like a not equals operator. Is that really how we want to symbolize SQL Saturday?”

Second, the typeface used in the new logo is much more modern, and the letters are significantly thinner than the old one. It looks great on a computer screen or when printed on paper, but think about what SQL Saturday logos are used for. In a lot of cases they are embroidered on things like shirts or jackets. Did whoever designed this logo know that? Once again I’ll assume they didn’t, otherwise they probably would have accounted for that.

The smaller a detail is, the more difficult/expensive it becomes to embroider, and this logo definitely qualifies. Just look at the PASS logo located inside the SQL Saturday logo. It’s microscopic. We had to use a bolder typeface for the speaker jackets we gave out in Chicago this year; it just didn’t look good otherwise. We also had to make it single-color, and remove the gradients. But by making all those changes, we technically changed the logo, which has become a big no-no in recent years. The SQL Saturday Wiki states: “Per the SQL Saturday license, the event logos provided to you by PASS are not to be altered in any way.” So if changes are necessary to be able to embroider this logo, but it can’t be altered in any way, does that mean organizers will have to run afowl of the license agreement? Or just do away with speaker shirts altogether? I don’t know, and I’m not sure there’s any way to tell.

SQL Saturday Chicago embroidered on jacket

It really doesn’t have to be this difficult though. This logo is still quite new, relatively unused, and there seems to be quite a few members of the community (SQL Saturday organizers in particular) who think this logo could use some work. Why not change it now? I’m sure there’s a way to come up with something that fits in with PASS’ new branding, is easier to embroider, and has a better message than “not equals.”

Mar 112016
 

Recently, PASS Immediate Past President Tom LaRock posted on the PASS blog about changes to the process by which members of the PASS Nomination Committee (NomCom) are chosen.

Previously, NomCom membership has been an elected position, which has necessitated another election each year prior to the PASS Board of Directors election. I very much agree that this generates “additional noise” in the PASS election cycle, and could also contribute to lower voter turnout during the Board of Directors election. There apparently is also a perception that the NomCom is seen as “a private club”. I can’t say I’ve ever felt that way myself, but everyone is entitled to an opinion.

As a result, Tom has proposed the following changes:

  • Replacing the NomCom election with appointments by the Board of Directors; anyone can apply for consideration
  • New guidelines for the composition of the NomCom
  • Term limits: No NomCom member can serve more than three consecutive years

Personally, I agree with these changes. The NomCom serves an important purpose, but I’m not sure it warrants its own election. I think these changes will help PASS in the future, especially if voter turnout increases for the board election.

For more details, check out the blog post. Tom says these proposed changes are up for a board vote at the March 10 meeting, and there will be a town hall meeting on March 17 to discuss these changes as well as the upcoming 2016 elections.

UPDATE (16 March 2016): The proposed changes have been approved. Those wishing to be considered for the 2016 NomCom can submit letters of interest until Wednesday, 23 March 2016.

 

Jul 162015
 

I’m happy to announce I am running for the PASS Nomination Committee! Please check out my candidate profile. I also have an election page here on my blog with more information which I will be updating frequently.

What is the NomCom?

Per the Nomination Committee page:

The Nomination Committee (NomCom) administers the election process for the annual PASS Board of Directors election.

The primary role of the NomCom is to measure each candidate against a set of criteria set by the Board of Directors. The NomCom evaluates the answers to a questionnaire returned by each Board applicant. In addition, the NomCom as a group interviews each Board applicant who has passed the initial application process. The NomCom then presents a list of recommended candidates to the Board of Directors, which then approves the final slate.

Why am I running?

I’ve been a member of PASS for 6 years now, and while I’ve volunteered for and presented at many events, I want to take a more active role in something that drives the organization. Being part of the NomCom and assisting with the election process seems like an excellent way to do that. If elected, I promise to be firm, yet fair in evaluating candidates. I want to make sure the best possible people make their way onto the ballot.

How does voting work?

NomCom elections opened today, July 16, at 8:00am Pacific Time and close on July 21 at 12:00pm Pacific Time. All members who completed their myPASS profile by 11:59pm Pacific Time on June 1, 2015, are elegible to vote in both the NomCom and Board of Directors elections. You will receive a link to vote via email, and that link can also be found on your myPASS page. To verify that you are eligible, check out Bill Graziano’s post from the official PASS blog.

I would appreciate your consideration and your vote. Thank you very much!

“My name is Bob Pusateri, and I approve this message.” (I’ve always wanted to say that!)