The official PASS Blog is where you’ll find the latest blog posts from PASS community members and the PASS Board. Contributors share their thoughts and discuss a wide variety of topics spanning PASS and the data community.

Microsoft Certifications: Take the Next Step in your Career Journey

In recent years we have seen a real evolution of Microsoft Certification, and Microsoft Learn itself. For years Microsoft Certification has been a key element in many IT Professionals career journey. The ability to demonstrate mastery of a specific tool or technology provides a clear asset for your resume, as well as a confidence boost - especially for those in the earlier or growth stages of their career.

In recent years Microsoft Certifications have transformed from being product focused, to role based. In my opinion, this was a critical move, and has helped make Microsoft Certification even more relevant and valuable in today’s world. These role-based certifications enable learners to choose a learning journey based on the role you have, or the role you aspire to have. If you are looking to grow and gain confidence in your current role, get a promotion, or start a new career path, a Microsoft Certification, and the training that Microsoft Learn provides, is a great place to start.

Read more

The Importance of Voting

Election Day in the United States was this past Tuesday, an event that caused more people than ever to show up and vote.  I hope the election for the PASS Board of Directors next week generates an increase in turnout as well from PASS members.  While the vibrant and diverse population of the Data Platform community is a fraction of the size of most country’s populace, the individuals at the helm of the PASS organization are as vital as any singular leader, responsible for the immediate and long-term success of PASS during these uncharted times. 

Read more

Announcing the Azure SQL Championship Winners

We wanted to take a moment thank the PASS community for participating in the Azure SQL Championship virtual event in partnership with the Microsoft Azure SQL team. This has been an exciting competition and we’ve been amazed by the results — we captured the fun of learning together!

Read more

FY21 Budget

Every year PASS posts our fiscal year (FY) budget to provide transparency into our finances. It’s a wealth of information so we include a summary, and FAQ docs to help our members understand the information.

This year, with the impact of COVID-19, there are more challenges, and questions, than ever before. Creating the budget was well under way when the realities of COVID-19 hit PASS, so as I wrote in June, we regrouped, re-planned, and built a new FY budget for the organization. By taking that time to step back and build a new FY budget and approve it months later than we typically would, it allowed us to reforecast revenue for a virtual conference vs an in-person conference. Budgeting was an incredibly difficult exercise this year as we have never been faced with a virtual conference taking the place of our in-person, primary fundraising event. The budget is the result of forecasting done in June and July, based on the information available when the budget was developed. Like any budget, we set it at the start of the fiscal year, and measure against it going forward.

Read more

Clarifying a Campaign Rule

The nomination process to run for the PASS Board is off and running. I sincerely hope that if you’re qualified, and you think you can make a difference, you consider running for the board. We could use your help in these challenging times.

Some of the people who are already looking into running were reading through the rules and guidance, available here, when they spotted the following:

“All campaigning must promote PASS in a positive manner.”

Read more

Compete. Learn. Win. Sign Up for the Azure SQL Championship Today!

The last six months have seen an unprecedented acceleration in digital transformation. There has never been a more important time for DBAs and developers to prepare for an increasingly cloud-centric future. But there’s no need to pour over stale technical manuals or tedious training videos when learning can be fun! That’s why we’ve partnered with PASS, a worldwide community of over 300,000 data professionals, to create an interactive learning experience that allows you to test your talent and build your skill set for the future, all while earning to chance to win prizes. Sign up now for the Azure SQL Championship, starting October 12th.

Read more

Announcing the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Virtual Group

Today I’m thrilled to announce the start of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Virtual Group. The purpose of this group is to help understand and address the issues around DEI. It will also provide a platform for members of our community with underrepresented identities by highlighting their contributions and creating a space to come together for discussions and support. Additionally, this provides an opportunity for our community members who haven’t experienced issues surrounding DEI firsthand to help understand what is currently happening and how to become better allies.

Read more

Board Spotlight: The Importance of Running for a Seat on the PASS Board

PASS is looking for new leaders to join the Board. Shape the future of PASS while furthering your skills as a leader and influencer. Be the voice of the community in the strategic advancement of a global organization.

Benefits of Joining the Board:
  • Strengthen your professional credibility
  • Expand your professional network
  • Sharpen your professional skills
  • Gain exposure and insight
  • Reinvigorate your career
  • Increased visibility and grow your personal brand
  • Support initiatives that resonate with you

Read more

Confounding Variables from Historical Bias

The following blog post was co-authored by Christine Assaf and William Assaf.

Historical data analysis that is naïve to past discrimination is doomed to parrot bias. How do we combat bias in our data analytics? 

First, we already know that complex, multi-talented teams are best-suited to face complex, multi-faceted problems. A more diverse group of researchers and engineers is more likely to recognize and think harder about bias problems that may impact them personally. “It’s difficult to build technology that serves the world without first building a team that reflects the diversity of the world,” wrote Microsoft President Brad Smith in Tools and Weapons (2019). 

Second, data collection is often provided to us through real-world interactions, subject to real-world bias. No real-world data exists in a vacuum. We should understand that bias in data collection and analysis may be inevitable but is not acceptable. It is not your responsibility to end bias (though that’s a worthy cause), but rather to be proactively informed and transparent.  

Read more

Always On Availability Group – Executive Summary

The ‘Always On Availability Group’ feature is a high-availability and disaster-recovery solution. Since the launch with SQL Server 2012, data professionals have adopted this solution widely. Before implementing ‘Always On Availability Group’, data professionals need to make decisions about availability and failover mode. These decisions will involve discussion with business owners of the applications that will be supported by the databases. While engaging in these discussions, I often get the same questions from business owners who do not have a technical background about the solution.

In this article, I have listed those common questions with answers. I hope this will help in your next Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO) discussions with business owners while implementing ‘Always On Availability Group’.

Read more


Theme picker

Back to Top