On May 31st, I was shocked to find out one of my submitted sessions was selected for PASS Summit 2018. My response?
I didn’t see this coming. At all. I was stunned – walking around at the office, saying “Oh my gosh…I got picked” while co-workers looked at me like I had lost my mind. Literally.
I thought I would be going to PASS Summit this year, but not as a speaker. I thought I would be an attendee, learning a lot and having an amazing time. I thought it was far more likely that we see 10 feet of snow this winter in Texas than I would be selected for this year’s PASS Summit.
I am sincerely humbled and grateful to be selected. The competition was stiff. I should know – just like last year, I pulled all the data while it was still available. Once the selections were announced I was able to isolate the sessions from those submitted, and also isolate the ones that were not selected. I was able to determine one particular number – how many sessions were selected out of total submissions.
90. 90 sessions were selected out of approximately 600 submitted. I might be off by a few, but I also checked this against ones that are there but I didn’t have in the data pull from immediately following the closing of submissions. For the most part, the ones that are there that didn’t match with a submission are pre-cons or sessions from what I am assuming were invited speakers.
I’m not saying any of this is bad. What I am saying is that the competition among PASS Summit submissions is growing and becoming more fierce. I see this as a positive for the community – we are developing more and more excellent speakers with awesome content to share.
I queried my data set further, looking for the names of the people selected and those not selected. I found the latter to contain many speakers I know personally, who would make amazing PASS Summit speakers, and may have already done so in the past.
I pulled the list of the speakers that had sessions that were part of the “Best Of” from PASS Summit 2017. Out of 36 speakers from that list, 13 of those are currently part of 2018 PASS Summit lineup. While it could be said that all of these people should be on this year’s roster because they were part of the “Best Of” from last year, I think the only thing that can really be taken away from this number is the fact that no one is guaranteed a speaking spot at PASS Summit, no matter who you are.
Are there invited speakers? Yes, but like the regular submissions selection, that list likely has some subjectivity to it as well. Maybe an invited speaker gets red carded in the previous year following their session (heaven forbid, but you never know) – do you think they would be invited back? I would hope not, regardless of the content they would provide.
As speakers in the SQL community, we are largely a very goal oriented, driven bunch of people. We might even be a tad competitive. It’s not lost on me how fortunate I am to have been selected this year. Looking back to previous years when my submissions didn’t make the cut, I know now that while this was something that I wanted, I wasn’t ready. I might have been grumpy about it, but that didn’t make me any more ready for this monumental task. For all the seasoned PASS Summit speaker veterans that were not selected, you of all people know how competitive this is. You also know that your time will come again.
Selected or not, I hope to see everyone at PASS Summit this year. If you haven’t registered yet, and need a discount code, I got one of those for ya!
The price for PASS Summit goes up after June 29th so if you are planning on attending, get registered now!
Note: I am on the board of directors for the North Texas SQL Server User Group and this is our code. Registering with this code benefits our group. There are other discount codes out there but I just gave you this one. Like, right now. See? There it is. So go register and use it!