Tech Outbound Alaska SQL Cruise and the Beardless Pirates of SentryOne


Depart & Return from Seattle, Washington, August 4 - August 11, 2018

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The Tech Outbound learning event will be fun. The brand new NCL Bliss departs from Seattle, WA with stops in Alaska cities of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. We'll train on a variety of topics while watching glaciers and snow-peaked mountains pass outside our classroom windows. And when we're not in class, we'll be enjoying all of the activities at our ports of call. What will you do - a glacier tour? Bear sightings? Or a leisure day of shopping and exploring? We'll spend two days passing through the majestic Inside Passage, and a final stop in Victoria on Vancouver Island, one of my favorite places on this itinerary. Learn while at sea! Network, explore, and relax in the evenings and at our ports of call. So much learning and so much fun are close at hand!


Glaciers of the Inside Passage



My good friend Jason Hall, VP of Product here at SentryOne, has put me to the test. Jason has set some tough weight-loss goals for himself. But he wanted to up the stakes, both in terms of accountability and a bit of social media fun. How, you ask? To quote from his blog:

If I can somehow exceed the 56 pound goal, and get to 60 pounds, everyone at Tech Outbound in August will be greeted by a beardless Kevin Kline. That's right. Just 4 pounds over the goal, and both me and Kevin will be shaving our beards for the event.

In case you were wondering, I was still in my 20's when I decided to ditch the clean-shaven look. Here's a picture of me around Thanksgiving 1994, the last time I kept a clean-shaven face. (Aside: this is evidence that my beard was NOT the result of my hair falling off my scalp and taking root on my face. Naysayers, beware! The goatee came first, then the full beard. Then the bald <sob sob>).


KEKline growing his first beard, 1994, with Emily, now 25-yrs old.


Now to make it a little more fun, and to give me at least a glimmer of a chance of getting out of Jason's shearing, I'll up the ante yet again. Let's add an hurdle of social media challenge to the Ozzy-style sheep shearing that Jason has planned for me.

I need 40 social media amplifications, either Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, comments on my blog, etc. mentioning #TechOutbound and/or #SQLCruise with either a vote for #Bearded or #Beardless. If 40 of you call for the equivalent of "Off with his head!!!", the beard comes off! What say you?


Stay tuned as we build our offerings for this event. Expected topics include but are not limited to: R, Data Science Fundamentals, Intelligent Apps, SQL on Linux, Security, Performance Tuning, PowerShell, Python, DevOps, T-SQL Coding for Application Developers, Big Data, and more.



L to R: Itzik Ben Gan, Jes Borland, Buck Woody, Tim Ford, and Jason Hall


The speaker line-up for this year's Tech Outbound Alaska SQL Cruise is essentially the best that the industry has to offer:

  • Itzik Ben-Gan is THE foremost authority on Transact-SQL coding best practices. (And I can say that with reasonable surety since I wrote the industry's first book on Transact-SQL programming). Itzik's many books and hundreds of articles on Transact-SQL, from introductory to post-doctoral, came after mine and are significantly better. The man has greater fluency in Transact-SQL than most people do with their native, spoken language.
  • Jes Borland is a long-time teacher, speaker, and Microsoft MVP who now serves as Premier Field Engineer for Microsoft. Jes' presentation style is both lively and entertaining - one of the best in the business. And her long experience in the trenches makes her one of the best mentors and advisers you might ever meet.
  • Buck Woody, inimitable as ever, teaches Microsoft Machine Learning and Data Science topics in between his comedy stand-up. (JK! It's just that his sessions are so funny and fun). He's authored hundreds of articles and several books over the years. He's worn a beard about as long as I have, has worked at NASA as I have, and has maintained his sanity as I have not. Both witty and wise, Buck's sessions are not to be missed.
  • Tim Ford is a slacker, working only three full-time jobs concurrently. ;-) First, he is the organizer of the SQLCruises and Tech Outbound. Second, he is the VP of Marketing for And finally, he has a full-time job as a senior database engineer at a California-based SaaS company.
  • Jason Hall is the scurvy knave who will drive me into the depths of friendly embarrassment that I mentioned earlier. He is the VP of Product at SentryOne, my co-worker, and my good friend. Jason was instrumental in creating every product made by SentryOne. Jason writes and speaks only on occasion - because he's working long hours bringing to life the best products in our industry.

 Will you join us? I hope you will!Let's connect on social media. Details below. Cheers!


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Kevin (@kekline) serves as Principal Program Manager at SentryOne. He is a founder and former president of PASS and the author of popular IT books like SQL in a Nutshell. Kevin is a renowned database expert, software industry veteran, Microsoft SQL Server MVP, and long-time blogger at SentryOne. As a noted leader in the SQL Server community, Kevin blogs about Microsoft Data Platform features and best practices, SQL Server trends, and professional development for data professionals.