Resigned from post as PASS Chapter Leader in Cologne/Rheinland

It is with a certain nostalgia that I announce my resignation from my post as (Co-) Chapter Leader of the PASS regional chapter “Rheinland” in Germany (comprising Cologne and Dusseldorf). I had been Chapter Leader since January 2011 – quite exactly for 6 years.

A short note to the not-yet-PASS-members: PASS Germany is a registered association which, as a “Microsoft Data Platform Community,” addresses interested parties and professionals from the entire Microsoft SQL Server environment. It ranges from the Core Database Engine to the Business Intelligence components directly involved with it such as Reporting or Analysis Services, up to analytic areas such as Azure Machine Learning, just to name a few. PASS Germany is organized in regional chapters/groups (RG) in various urban areas where face-to-face meetings take place.


The background to my resignation is, first and foremost, that I moved from Düsseldorf to Frankfurt back in October (see News page at LinkedIn). And after a trial period it became clear that in theory it might be possible to support a regional group from a distance via email and the like, but the 1.5-hour-journey to “stop by” for an evening cuts down on the motivation (and, let’s face it, the purpose). A further reason is hidden in the text below. 😉

That is why by January I had decided to resign from this post. My two, now former, RGV colleagues, Tillmann Eitelberg and Christoph Muthmann, went along with my decision and will now be taking care of the RG together. In fact, the change took until April, but merely due to organizational reasons. At this point, many thanks to the longtime, good cooperation – also to Olaf Pietsch (whose post I took over at that time, and who was always ready to give advice). Whenever someone couldn’t make it, someone else was there to jump in and take over a task.

  • Those who know me will also know that I am absolutely against accumulating undeserved titles (see Topic „MCSM Chapter Member“, or accumulations of redundant titles à la “MCP + MCSA + MCSE”). So, since stopping to actively exercise this post I definitely have not been profiting from my being Chapter Leader, and that is also why I requested this resolute step.

In the pre-previous section, I said “first and foremost.” As a matter of fact, I had previously played with the idea to give up the post in favor of a “fresh” candidate. Even if I managed to win 3 speakers during the first half of 2016, and jumped in twice myself, my guts had long been telling me that a new RGV would benefit the RG and give new impetus. In principle, I think it would be nice if more people actively supported the Community. Whether as an RGV or a speaker in public, or even more backstage, such as the newsletter team – who, almost since I started being involved, has always been struggling with resource problems (here again, kudos to the entire team, especially to those who have been involved for years, for their perseverance) – or also the technical team, without whom no mailing list or addresses of PASS would be working. Unfortunately, there are not enough volunteers to really achieve more frequent changes.

This idea of “making room” had been dashed then, but the relocation reshuffled the deck.

(And since I recently joined the “baby daddy club” (aka, “reason no. 2”), I understand even more that such a post won’t be considered by many.) Here, once more my appeal from 2015, which lost none of its relevance: “SQL PASS Germany is looking for speakers – call to all SQL Server professionals.”

Speaking of speakers: Besides the men of our board (Oliver Engels, Tillmann Eitelberg, Klaus Höltgen, Frank Geisler, Constantin Klein), who almost without exception somehow manage to give many presentations in addition to the time-consuming tasks in the board, I would like to draw attention to some speakers who have increasingly established themselves in the last years as “regular speakers:” Uwe Ricken, Torsten Strauß, Gabriele Münster, Ben Weissmann (and don’t get me started on the “first regular players” like Christoph Seck) – please forgive me if I didn’t mention someone deserving. I do not claim to have a complete overview of all RGs, and even less so now.

Thanks also to the “usual suspects” 😉 from Microsoft: Frank Seiwerth, Patrick Heyde, Ralph Kemperdick, Volker Hinz, …

All of them have honored the Rheinland regional group with their time and presentation skills, and I would like to extend my thanks to all on parting.

Does this mean I am saying goodbye to PASS altogether? Definitely not. You will be seeing me in the future at least as a speaker. Yes, I’m serious – even if I can’t make any promises as to the frequency (funnily enough, since August 2016, I had been in Singapore more often than in Cologne 😀 – but this, too, for the purposes of PASS).

Whether I will take on a different post in PASS Germany isn’t entirely up to me, of course. Even though the topic “Social Media” has been irking me for years. (About 1.5 years ago, I offered to invest 80% of the time to rebuild and maintain Facebook and Xing – but unfortunately, no one popped up for the remaining 20% (because I, too, will want to take time for vacation or when sick).) But maybe this topic is already outdated.

And lastly, there are still the PASS Essentials (seminars), where I would, in principle, give presentations again after having taken a year-long break and also having been requested many a time. They are pending in the pipeline of PASS, which is always being managed on top of regular working hours, as one should bear in mind before faulting the occasionally amazingly slow processes, with or without board or Chapter Leader.

Let’s see what the future holds in store. We will see each other at some events for sure.


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