I’m excited and privileged to announce that I’ll be a Technical Lead on Tech Outbound Alaska this August! Tim and Amy Ford have been putting together high-quality SQL Cruise events since 2010. I’ve attended three, and each one has been better than the last. (Make sure to read about my experiences on SQL Cruise Caribbean 2015 and SQL Cruise Caribbean 2016!)

At the core of Tech Outbound is technical training. I’ll be leading discussions on three main topics this year – SQL Server enhancements, Azure Managed Instances, and Azure Cosmos DB. Yes, I’m expanding beyond SQL Server, because we are more than SQL Server professionals – we are data professionals.

Here is a preview of my topics:

Cosmos DB: The Future of Data... Now!
The opportunity for getting in on the ground floor of new technologies happens once in a blue moon. In 2017, Microsoft introduced Cosmos DB, a "globally distributed, multi-model database service". It offers multiple APIs, multiple consistency models, automatic indexing, and guaranteed performance. This revolutionary database system is changing how developers store and work with their data. I'll cover the features, use cases, and case studies for Cosmos DB. Gain a competitive edge by learning about this emerging technology... now!

Advantages of Azure Managed Instances for You and Your Company
SQL Server Database Administrators have been told for years that their jobs are changing and the biggest contributor may be the newly announced Azure Managed Instances. Azure SQL Database provides for automatic backups, built-in high availability, and easy scaling. SQL Server on-premises is your current option for native backup and restore, cross-database queries and transactions, SQL Server Agent, and more. With Azure Managed Instances, you get both! In this class, you'll learn what this Azure PaaS offering supports; how to migrate existing instances and databases; and how to tune, scale, and troubleshoot them. Maintain your technical advantage by attending this session aboard Tech Outbound SQL Cruise.

SQL Server: The Intelligent Database
You need a data platform that can accelerate the decisions for your business to maintain advantages over the competition. Microsoft is developing many new features, and improving existing capabilities within SQL Server, to create an intelligent database. Automatic tuning, adaptive query processing, and operational analytics are transforming the relational database you know, while new features are continually introduced into Azure SQL Database. Join me to gain an insider's perspective on investments being made to make your SQL Server databases smarter: enabling your company gain an intelligent edge.

In addition, you’ll also get to hear from other fantastic speakers – Buck Woody, also of Microsoft; Tim Ford, organizing and teaching; Jason Hall of Sentry One (who previously gave one of my all-time favorite SQL Cruise sessions on tempdb); Itzik Ben-Gan, which has me geeked out; and Kevin Kline of Sentry One, who has always been one of my favorite instructors.

Why should you consider this conference on a ship?

My favorite part of Tech Outbound training is how in-depth the classes are. Sessions can last two or more hours, with discussion continuing after formal classroom time over a drink, dinner, or an excursion. Office Hours are set up a few times during the week to have conversations in a more casual setting – and this is where I’ve had some of my best conversations.

You don’t merely have topic experts speaking at you, you have discussions with them and your fellow attendees all week. Everyone learns from everyone else.

In addition, the networking is fantastic – I’ve made dear friends on these cruises. I’ve also had delightful vacation fun – hiking to glaciers, taking rum distillery tours, ziplining in tropical canopies overlooking the ocean, and great dinners.

Join us!

Tech Outbound Alaska runs from August 4 to August 11, 2018. The cruise departs from and returns to Seattle, Washington. We’ll be sailing on Norwegian Cruise Line’s brand new Alaskan flagship, the NCL Bliss. Alaskan stops are in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. Enjoy training as we pass glaciers and remote mountain peaks. A glacier tour, two days at sea through the majestic Inside Passage, and a final stop in Victoria on Vancouver Island also are on tap.

To get started, go to and follow instructions – the process is really easy! Please post on Twitter using #TechOutbound and tag @TechOutbound – and me @grrl_geek!