Feb 162016
 

Sticker_Mule-e1419622677292A few weeks ago a number of us embarked on this year’s SQL Cruise, this time to the Caribbean. It was absolutely amazing. Jes Borland, another cruiser and instructor, just posted a great post on what she learned on the cruise, and I thought I’d do the same.

  • Yes – Tim and Amy Ford put an incredible amount of work into the cruise, and it was wonderful watching it all come together. Just look at how happy they are when we all got together for the first time on board!

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  • You can, in fact, have a serious educational experience and extreme fun at the same time on a cruise ship, with learning at all hours of the day.
  • Jes Borland presented two amazing sessions, presented SQL Server wait statistics in an incredibly new way that everyone understood, and got me even more excited about Extended Events than I already was! And bowling with her and the rest of the group was fun too!

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  • You can’t escape SQL Server or Windows challenges, even on a cruise ship. I think they should have contracted any one of us for help while we were there.

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  • Grant Fritchey presented sessions on the SQL Server 2016 Query Store and on getting ramped up with Azure SQL DB. Now I have homework!

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  • SQL Cruisers are getting younger every year.

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  • Boats can get really large. They turn into ships at some point.

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  • Argenis Fernandez gave an incredible talk about how to hack SQL Server, and then proceeded to scare the entire class for the rest of our professional lives.
  • The “Office Hours” block each day brought out some of the most honest and personal discussions that I have ever heard at a tech event. Jes hit it perfectly when she said the “How do you do *it*” discussion was all about balance. Hearing each other’s stories, goals, and personal challenges helped us learn more about each other personally and professionally, and was probably the most heart-warming personal discussion I’ve had in years.
  • The itineraries planned for 2017 will be amazing, and I intend to be a part of this life-changing event again. Stay tuned!

You really should be a part of this event. The training is world-class. The friendships last a lifetime. The experience is unparalleled. I’ll see you there next year!

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Dec 072015
 

Want to get out of the winter blues and into some warmer weather for some deep SQL Server training? Join me on the next SQL Cruise to the Caribbean this January! This is my second SQL Cruise, and I’m really excited to go again. This trip sets sail to three different Caribbean islands with four full days of education while at sea. It’s seven great days of serious education mixed with fun.

What is the cruise all about?

It’s all about education.

First and foremost, it’s a real training class! The cruise is focused on world-class education. The speaker lineup this year is world-class (as always), and I’m truly honored to be a part of it. Grant Fritchey ( b | t ), Jason Hall ( b | t ), Jes Borland ( b | t ), and Amy Ford ( l ) will all be there, along with Tim Ford ( b | t ), the SQL Cruise coordinator. These high-level courses are guaranteed to help you grow as a technology professional, both from a technical and business standpoint. These sessions are fantastic! Just check out the topics!

Tim Ford – ‘A Picture Says 1000 Words: Visualizing Your SQL Server Metadata’

Grant Fritchey – ‘The Query Store and Query Tuning in SQL vNext’ & ‘Azure SQL Database for the Earthed DBA’

Jason Hall – ‘tempdb Parasites’ & ‘Ultimate Plan Explorer’

Jes Borland – ‘Everyday Extended Events’ & ‘Beyond CXPACKET: Understanding Wait Statistics’

and me – ‘Objective Stack Performance Analysis’ & ‘Advanced SQL Server Infrastructure Performance’

It’s all about family.

Over the last ten years, my relationship with the SQL Server community has really evolved from a casual observer to where I feel that I’m part of the community now. The networking and friendships made on these cruises lasts a lifetime, and I really cannot wait to make some new memories with this group of speakers and students. It’s going to be a great trip with everyone!

It’s about the cruise itself.

Norwegian Escape

We all work very hard. Being a database professional comes with a lot of stresses and challenges of the job because of the nature of what we do. You probably need a vacation. The cruise is on the Norwegian cruise lines‘ brand new ship – the Escape, which looks absolutely amazing. It’s a great way to get out of the winter cold and into some Caribbean sun and warmth!

Join us for learning and fun

Register for the cruise today. The Caribbean cruise is going to be here before you know it. Find the cruise that best suits your vacation time and book today!

The 2015 event was truly life-changing for me, and the memories and friendships last a lifetime! I can’t wait to see you all there!

SQL Cruise Caribbean 2015

SQL Cruise Caribbean 2015

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Feb 192015
 

Sticker_Mule-e1419622677292I just returned home from this year’s SQL Cruise in the Caribbean. WOW!

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This trip was our first SQL Cruise, but it certainly will not be the last. It confirmed that the SQL Cruise really is a serious advanced SQL Server training class. While at sea the days and nights were full of technical training and networking. While at port we went and enjoyed the breathtaking scenery of three different stops in the Caribbean – St. Maartin, St. Thomas, and Nassau.

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The technical leads, Kevin Kline, Grant Fritchey, Jes Borland, Jeff Lehmann, and myself presented at least two sessions each on very advanced topics during the trip. The personalized format helped attendees turn each session into an open conversation, and the wide variety of backgrounds of the attendees helped make the conversations diverse and insightful.

SQL Cruise Caribbean 2015 technical leads

SQL Cruise Caribbean 2015 technical leads

Everyone learned something from each of the training sessions. Everyone learned more from the time spent each with other not in the sessions, such as the office hours blocks, over meals, in the pools, or on shore. I know I will need the next week to go over my notes from the sessions! Plus, the one-on-one time allowed each attendee to bring up questions and topics not usually presented in groups, and we had plenty of time to chat and really dig into the unique technical challenges and questions that each attendee brought with them.

The time spent networking and at port was truly amazing. The stops in the Caribbean had some breathtaking views and great history, and even this pale nerd spent some time on the beaches.

Ever have a jumbo jet land 100 feet above your head?

Ever have a jumbo jet land 100 feet above your head?

I want to personally thank the sponsors for the cruise – Amazon Web Services, SQL Sentry, and Redgate. They provided some fantastic content (and very little actual marketing). Without your tools and services, our lives would be much more difficult!

Tim and Amy Ford from B-Side Consulting should also be singled out for their incredible job in handling every aspect of these classes. You both did a fantastic job!

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If you are at all interested in SQL Server, consider the SQL Cruise as your next premier training opportunity. The education was second-to-none, and the time outside of class spent networking and on excursions with the other folks created some friendships and memories that will last a lifetime! Check out sqlcruise.com for upcoming dates and locations! Feel free to contact me if you need me to talk to your boss about how the SQL Cruise can benefit your organization.

Jes needs to grow a bit!

Jes needs to grow a bit!

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Jan 122015
 

Want to get out of the winter blues and into some warmer weather for some deep SQL Server training? Join me on the next SQL Cruise to the Caribbean this February! This is my first SQL Cruise, and I’m really excited to go. This trip sets sail to three different Caribbean islands with four full days of education while at sea. It’s seven great days of serious education mixed with fun.

What is the cruise all about?

It’s all about education.

First and foremost, it’s a real training class! The cruise is focused on serious education. The speaker lineup this year is world-class, and I’m truly honored to be a part of it. Grant Fritchey ( b | t ), Kevin Kline ( b | t ), and Jes Borland ( b | t ) will all be there, along with Tim Ford ( b | t ), the SQL Cruise coordinator extraordinaire. These high-level courses are guaranteed to help you grow as a technology professional, both from a technical and business standpoint. I love to teach, and each session presented complements the others in ways where the teachers learn just as much as the attendees. These sessions are fantastic! Just check out the topics!

Grant Fritchey – ‘SQL Server Optimization Checklist’ & ‘Execution Plans: What Can You Do With Them’

Kevin Kline – ‘Top Tools for Tuning SQL Server’ & ‘Top Tier DBA: 7 Secrets of the World’s Best Database Administrators’

Jes Borland – ‘Understanding Restore Methods to Ensure Database Recovery’ & ‘The Efficient DBA: Automating Your Job’

and me – ‘Top Performing SQL Server Virtual Machines’ & ‘Infrastructure Tuning for SQL Server Performance’

201501-sql cruise sessionsThe commitment to education is first and foremost. We want to make sure the attendees get the most out of the trip, so office hours are also held where anyone can bring technical challenges that they are facing to us and get the issue worked through with all of the instructors. I’ve heard stories of folks solving technical challenges that their organization has been battling for months during these times, saving tens of thousands of dollars in the process. I look forward to helping to tackle your challenges!

It’s all about family.

Over the last five years, my relationship with the SQL Server community has really evolved from a casual observer to where I feel that I’m part of the community now. The networking and friendships made on these cruises lasts a lifetime, and I really cannot wait to make some new memories with this group of speakers and students. It’s going to be a great trip with everyone!

It’s about the cruise itself.

We all work very hard. Being a database professional comes with a lot of stresses and challenges of the job because of the nature of what we do. You probably need a vacation. The cruise is on the Norwegian cruise lines‘ ship the Getaway, which looks amazing. It’s a great way to get out of the winter cold and into some Caribbean sun and warmth!

Join us for learning and fun

Register for the cruise today. The Caribbean cruise is almost here, and the summer cruise in the Mediterranean is going to be here before you know it. Find the cruise that best suits your vacation time and book today!