Since becoming a member of the PASS Board, it’s been exciting for me to see all of the energy and focus that the organization has been pouring into our network of developers. This was further reinforced by Tim Ford when he announced that building relationships with developers is a crucial mandate in the strategic direction of PASS. As a developer myself, this group is near and dear to me, and I know firsthand that bringing developers into the PASS community is another step towards closing the knowledge and collaboration gap that exists between, and across, data professionals. 

However, one of the biggest obstacles that we face in our outreach to developers is in helping them understand why they should be involved with PASS in the first place. After all, “PASS is only a SQL organization, right?” Wrong. As technology rapidly evolves, data professionals from all across the gamut rely heavily on developers to provide them with artfully designed web APIs and integrations to access data in the most efficient ways possible. But how can data challenges help developers grow as professionals?

As we all know, the world of data is constantly evolving around us, with a focus on driving decisions faster, “eliminating silos” and “the changing landscape of data”, but what do these buzz terms really mean for developers wanting to collaborate with other data professionals in solving these challenges?

While it helps to know where our focus should be shifting, without a central resource to share knowledge and information with other developers, technology professionals, and data experts, how can we incorporate these emerging requirements into our day-to-day workflows? 

That’s where PASS comes in. PASS recognizes that the developer audience (and more specifically, the back-end developer audience) has at times been overlooked by peers and left out of some of the most important conversations taking place in the data world. 

However, this need for developers in the community is a two-way street. Not only is it quickly becoming a requirement of developers to get a handle on data management, it’s also essential for other data professionals to understand the developer’s role in implementing the repository infrastructures they need to be successful.

The Three Pillars

Moving forward, PASS aims to address the developer’s need to learn about data by supporting three key pillars:  

Programming
Cloud
APIs

Programming – As data programming requirements become more complex, the need for close collaboration between developers and other data professionals has increased. This two-way relationship helps developers create infrastructures that support advanced data requirements, while satisfying their desire to implement functional and applicable back-end developments, such as calling data using Entity Framework.

Cloud – The transition of databases and data stores to the cloud has been rapid. In order for developers to stay up-to-date with these changes, they must be aware of the consequences of this shift and how it affects their ability to call and manipulate data sources. 

APIs – Developers strive to build out great APIs, but finding the information they need to design and implement them is challenging. Through the PASS network, developers can share insights and leverage the expertise of peers through resources like the Application Development Virtual Group

An Important Piece of the Puzzle 

Developers already make up a significant percentage of PASS membership and without the increased support and contributions of this audience, a valuable voice in the data management network will be missing. 

Having the developers’ perspective on the real-world challenges and developments facing data professionals is not only relevant for those working in traditional data roles, but also for other developers seeking out a support network of educated peers.

What’s Next?

As mentioned in Adam Jorgensen’s recent blog post on PASS’ FY18 strategic direction, the PASS Board has reaffirmed its commitment to growing the developer audience in the coming year, while continuing to serve the existing network of DBAs, architects, IT pros, analysts and BI professionals.

To find out more about the training and support PASS provides for developers, please join our Application Development Virtual Group.

And last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to share this blog with all of your developer friends – the more we get the word out there, the more we get to help our community grow!