Friday, January 21, 2011

Opinion: SQL Rally Abstract Process

I'm really enjoying the process that the SQL Rally is using to select speakers.
I've submitted abstracts to several SQL Saturdays and the PASS Summit but this has been the most interesting process so far. What I really liked about the SQL Rally submission process:
  • Blind submission
  • Two abstract limit
  • Community votes for the final slate of speakers.
The blind submission process eliminates being concerned about what others will do. Submit what you have, if it's worthy, it will be selected. If not, move on.      
The two abstract limit levels the playing field for less experienced speakers who haven't compiled as much content but have gained enough speaking experience at the local level to move up to the regional level.  I think this limit also has produced better abstracts.  I think the candidates spent more time sharpening their abstracts because they only had two chances to get a slot.
Finally, letting the PASS community vote was a great idea but stretching the voting out over a month is brilliant from a marketing perspective.  The organizers have developed a very community focused method of creating maximum interest in this event.  Well done!

I'd like to see all or parts of this process used for future PASS events.