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Review: Ghost of My Father

I finished reading Ghost of My Father by Scott Berkun over the holiday weekend. It’s an intense read about the authors relationship with his father and the impact his father had on the entire family through behavior ranging from affairs to indifference to put downs. It’s about the part of growing up where you see the flaws in your parents and come to terms with them, at least as best can be done. It’s easy to understand the...

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More Notes From The PASSWatch Project And Thoughts on Transparency

It’s been just over two months since I wrote the first post for PASSWatch. I’m trying hard to keep PASSWatch a “pure” source so I’m posting my  notes on it here (and will include the link in the weekly summary of course). I can boil the lessons learned down to this: It’s not enough to aggregate links. Even the average 10-20 links per week is overload for most people with limited time. Aggregating is important, but even...

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Thoughts On A State of the Chapter Statement (and Doing More)

This is a follow up to a thought I voiced on Twitter last week – the value of a once a year “state of the chapter” message from each chapter (or at least the Orlando ones!). Before we cover that, some background. I’ve never been terribly happy with how PASS measures Chapters. Around 2007-2009 the big emphasis was on the number of chapters and increasing them, very little emphasis on increasing attendance or quality. Since then...

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Writing Fair and Useful Editorial Reviews Is Hard Work

One of my original goals was to be more reporter than editorial writer, but I’ve found that the editorial part is important too, though much harder to do. I’ve spent quite a few hours this week trying to write editorial comments to preface the summaries I’m doing of the minutes of the PASS Board of Directors meetings. Writing the summary isn’t too bad, but I find the editorial part challenging. What is worth calling out? Is my...

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Notes From The October 15, 2014 oPASS & MagicPASS Meeting (The Souza-Thon!)

Both groups met at a special joint meeting last night at Nova University, part of Operation Souza. Before I go into my usual notes, I want to say thank you to Mark Souza for traveling from Redmond for the meeting. He flew overnight to get here and had a 6 am flight the next morning, making for a long trip. Chapters don’t work without speakers and as much as we rely heavily on the great group of Florida speakers, it’s nice to have...

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Notes From the October 9, 2014 Space Coast SQL Meeting

Not a bad drive over from Orlando. Only a little traffic, about 80 minutes. I was early enough to have time to review my presentation and then work on the final marketing notes for SQLSaturday Orlando (good to have a few tasks queued when time appears) I stopped at Starbucks (a nice one that felt like a coffee house) and only when I was leaving did I put the pieces together and realize the woman that had been sitting near me reading...

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SQLSaturday Orlando Marketing Plan-Part 49 (Plan Notes)

Introduction After finishing up six months of managing the marketing for SQLSaturday Orlando I’ve been going back through all my blog posts to outline stuff we (or any other event) can use next year. It’s not a complete project plan, but I hope it gives you some ideas and a structure to start from.  I wish I had time for a true task list! If I really, really condense it, I’d tell you these things: Your success depends on the...

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Learning About Journalism

One of my current projects is PASSWatch. Right now it’s mostly aggregation which I think has value, but I hope to do more over time including news and maybe opinions. I get by on writing (and hope to get better at it), but I don’t know much about journalism. When I want to learn something new I want something focused and curated, so I’ve been reading The Elements of Journalism, Revised and Updated 3rd Edition: What Newspeople...

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Thoughts on the Student to IT Pro Seminar

Miscellaneous notes as I think on this. I’ve been reading through feedback from the students. Reading the raw feedback is interesting and informative. I’ll try to recap some of the things I’ve seen so far: Some found it to be interesting and helpful to understand the career journey (in this case mine) Some were overwhelmed by our “beginner” session on databases and SQL Some were introduced to new titles/areas (didn’t have...