If you follow @PASS or the SQL community behind it on Twitter, you know something is going on. There have been 3 board members that have resigned in a short time span. I am fortunate to know 1 of them more than just a name recognized in the community, and that gave me cause for concern. PASS has helped my career in a lot of ways. More importantly though, it has helped me make life long friends. They are friends that I enjoy talking about things other than SQL. Talking about their fur children, or watching the details of their trail bike riding, or just hearing their sigh inducing jokes (I’m looking at you @BuckWoodyMSFT). In this day and age, being there to support each other as the daily tribulations become difficult.
As I’ve wrote before, I’ve tried to follow or be active in the community since 2012. Initially, the thought of a future without PASS scared me. This is an organization that has given me endless opportunities for learning. And more importantly, it has given me an opportunity to build my professional network (in addition to my personal as I mentioned above). That may sound a little selfish, but in the IT world (and other industries), your network is part of your personal “brand”. When I interviewed during my current job change, one of the question I asked was what is the policy about reimbursement for training. I asked that question with PASS Summit in mind. The amount of practical knowledge I picked up at Summit was immeasurable. If PASS goes away, where am I going to get that quality education given by people with real world examples. And how am I going to share what I know to help others. PASS helped me get to a point in my career that I could give back and help others. By building up others, we build ourselves. See my most recent blog post about how while I was giving back, someone helped me expand my own knowledge. What am I going to do?!?!?
Then I took a step back and started watching commentary from those in the community, some who have been in the community for a long time. But there is a constant theme starting to materialize. That theme is that no matter what the future holds, the community will weather this potential change. It may look different than it did, and it may not be the big powerhouse that is was. But the one constant is that people will continue to support this community. The hashtag #sqlfamily is used often, but it is a very accurate way to describe how some of us feel about this community. The fact that I can text someone and ask a question about a performance issue just like I would ask a family member for a family recipe is something that still boggles my mind. All of this gives me hope.
No matter what happens, I will be there to support the community. If that means supporting the community without an central organization, so be it. But I have faith that this community will continue strong.