After an extended (to put it mildly) break from blogging, I’m back. One of the many reasons for less writing: more presentations!  (Another is violin lessons, but that’s another story.) Here is what I have upcoming in September. I hope you can join me for at least one!

With PASS Summit fast approaching, PASS is holding a 24 Hours of PASS Summit Preview Edition. Starting at 12:00 am UTC on Tuesday, September 9, there will be 24 one-hour sessions! I’m holding down hour 16, starting at 10 Sep 2014 03:00 GMT – that’s 10:00 pm US CDT. (I’m a morning person, so this should be interesting.)

Are Your Indexes Hurting You or Helping You?
Queries need your help! Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to make great decisions about what indexes are best for your workload. In this session, we'll review the difference between clustered and nonclustered indexes, show when to use included columns, understand what sargability means, and introduce statistics. You'll leave this session with the ability to confidently determine why, or why not, SQL Server uses your indexes when executing queries.

On Thursday, September 11, I’ll be presenting (remotely) for the Detroit SQL Server User Group. I’ve been asked to talk about…presenting! (Sense a theme with this blog yet?)

You CAN Give a Technical Presentation!
You're dreaming. In the dream, you're standing in front of a room full of dozens of people, presentation mouse in hand, about to present to them on (insert SQL Server feature here). You wake up in a cold sweat. You're either terrified – or excited and terrified. Are you ready to start presenting? Join Jes as she shares her secrets to building and giving successful technical presentations!

Then, I’m on a plane to Vegas to present at IT/Dev Connections! I’ll be there Tuesday, September 16 – Thursday, September 18. This is my first trip to this conference, and I’m really excited about it. I am most looking forward to the various technologies covered – I’ve even seen a session on Fiddler that I’m interested in! I’ll be presenting two sessions on Wednesday, September 17. My presentations:

Not So Secret: Get to Know SQL Server Agent
Secret agents have it all: fun code names, cool gadgets, and fast cars. SQL Server Agent has operators, jobs, and alerts. These features will turn your database server into a well-tuned machine that can warn you of errors, alert you to approaching problems, and run tasks on a schedule. Learn how to increase your automation capabilities and take your notifications to a new level.

Index Methods You're Not Using
Index methods in SQL Server can enhance the performance of your queries, but you probably aren't using them. Using examples, I'll show you how indexed views, filtered indexes, and compressed indexes work; how they can improve performance; and what situations each is best used in. If you have a solid knowledge of index basics and want to add to your collection, this is the session for you.

After that, my sights are set on PASS Summit in November – if you plan to be there, make sure to introduce yourself, say hi, and pick up a LessThanDot laptop sticker!