Meet PASS Board Candidate Jeremiah Peschka


The PASS Board of Directors election starts on October 12th, and we’ve got four really well-qualified candidates to choose from:

You can read their bios at the PASS Candidate List, and they’re good, but I wanted more.  I emailed each of them with a set of interview questions to satisfy my bizarre curiosity.  The first one to respond back was Jeremiah Peschka, and here’s our interview:

Brent: First, thanks for volunteering to dedicate your time to the community. What made you decide to run for the Board of Directors this year?

Jeremiah: You did. In all seriousness, though, I’ve tremendously enjoyed volunteering within PASS (both locally in Columbus, OH as well as with the Application Development Virtual Chapter) and I want to keep giving back to PASS as a whole. I also have some great ideas about how we can keep growing PASS and give more to the members throughout the year instead of over 3 days at the Summit.

Walk us through one of your typical workdays. What do you do?

On a typical work day I check up on any outstanding tasks that I had from the previous day, check on the nightly jobs, and make sure that none of the database servers have suffered a sudden, catastrophic failure. Generally I look for ways to automate checks for anything that could go wrong and then I concentrate on writing new stored procedures, performing index tuning, or doing performance analysis on the entire system.

What parts of your day-to-day experience will make you a better Board of Directors candidate than the other candidates?

Better than the other candidates? Barring my good looks and charm, I would have to say that I can’t give you an honest answer to that question since I don’t know two of the candidates beyond their online reputation. However, I do think that my community involvement and ability to work within constraints give me some solid skills that will be an asset to my tenure on the Board of Directors.

I’ve heard that the PASS Board of Directors is a time-consuming hobby to say the least, and at this point in our careers, none of us have tons of extra time. What other projects or things do you expect to have to cut back in order to make time for the Board? (I’d just like to give the readers an idea of how tough it is to prioritize things.)

This is a question that I had to answer for myself before I decided to run for the board. In the end, I hired a team of highly trained office ninjas to take care of my day job while I pursued all of my hobbies. Truthfully, this was a really difficult decision to make because I enjoy all of the things that I do. Luckily, I have some incredibly helpful volunteers both locally and with the App Dev virtual chapter who have been willing to step up and take a more active role in the day to day affairs of the user groups. There are a few other goals (pursuing the MCM certification) that I decided to put on hold for the next two years, should I be lucky enough to be elected, because I wanted to help PASS by joining the Board of Directors.

I believe social networking and Web 2.0 tools like Twitter, Facebook, and StackOverflow are changing the way DBAs interact with each other, get training, and solve problems. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

I agree with you 100% about this. These ‘instant on’ tools make it incredibly easy to find the answers to questions. Instead of googling/binging ‘SQL Server clear database proc cache’ I can send out a tweet and find out, in a matter of seconds, that the answer is DBCC FLUSHPROCINDB. Do you know how long that takes to find otherwise?

These tools have also helped me form friendships with a lot of great people, many of whom happen to be DBAs. The ability to instantly connect with people across the globe give us the ability to share information, expertise, and our free time in a way that we’ve never had before.

Do you blog and use social networking tools? Where can DBAs find you online?

I do blog and network socially on the intertubez. Here are all of the various ways people can find me:

You can also find all of my contact info on my blog:

Do you have any conflicts of interest that may pose a challenge?

Apart from being fairly opinionated, I do not believe that I have any conflicts of interest. Does owning an Oracle book count? I use it to prop my laptop up to eye level to reduce the risk of RSI.

If PASS put you in charge of increasing new memberships, what specific steps would you take?

I’d make it free to join PASS. (Hand over mic – They already did that? Why didn’t anyone tell me?!)

I would immediately reach out to the community to find out what more PASS could be doing to help out. But I wouldn’t just reach out to full time DBAs – I’d also reach out to developers, IT Pros, network admins. All of these people could benefit from PASS and, likewise, we could benefit from their knowledge and viewpoints as well. It sounds corny, I know, but I spent a lot of my early career as a developer, so I know all to well how things can look from the other side.

What do you think PASS is doing right to improve the day-to-day lives of database administrators?

I think PASS does a great job of aggregating some of the best SQL Server training on earth into a single conference.

What do you think PASS could do better, and how?

Well, I think this goes hand-in-hand with what I said earlier: PASS is more than just a 3 day training junket. It’s a massively distributed community with a wealth of knowledge and expertise spread across tens of thousands of members. There’s so much that we can do to grow our current members as technical professionals, speakers, and writers. And these are things that don’t need to happen at the conference, they can happen every day of the year by pairing people with mentors to develop their SQL, professional, speaking, or writing skills.

Sum up your goals for PASS in 140 characters or less:

I want to make PASS the best community experience possible.

Thanks for your time!  Readers – you can learn more about Jeremiah and why he’s running at his web site.

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