I don't tend to find that anything about me gets described as "Fabulous". It's not a word I ever use myself, so I was slightly amused to see it here.
It's going to be an interesting week (in May, Monday 14th to Saturday 19th), in which I have two stints in classrooms (the three day course in downtown Chicago and this pre-con), plus two presentations at the main SQLSaturday event. I'll be in a room freshly vacated by Jes Borland (I suspect you'll probably be still able to smell the 'squee'), and from the look of things, I'll be delivering a solid 2.5 hours of material, with an intermission of 15 minutes. Mind you, with people in the other rooms like Argenis, Ted and Erin, I'm not sure I'll have much of a crowd. It might be more like "An Intimate Afternoon with Rob Farley" with whoever's left.
The course will be the highlight of my week. I love teaching this course – it's a great time to be able to get people in a room for a few days and go through ways to make queries better. More effective. It has "Advanced T-SQL" in the title, but I really try to focus on the "Effectiveness" aspect. Yes, we'll look at a bunch of advanced features, and your T-SQL arsenal will grow, but the idea is to arm you with the information you need to be able to have more effective T-SQL. Advanced is only better when it's more effective. It's going to be a really fun few days, as I stretch your thinking and make you look at T-SQL in a new way.
The pre-con is going to be very different. We'll be going through the syllabus of the new 70-461 exam, teaching you about all the ins and outs of the various features, leaving you in a position to be able to confidently take the exam. I've sat this exam in beta, but of course I can't use any inside knowledge I gained from that to teach this. There's a lot of stuff to get through. Each of the four sections has four or five bullet points underneath, and even more sub-points under that. We'll be pushing through a lot of things, and a lot of the more basic stuff will certainly be skimmed through – but we'll be looking deeper into a lot of the new things, and making sure that you get all the concepts on the exam. I can't offer a proper guarantee that you'll pass – some people just take exams badly. But as we'll also be looking at a bunch of exam technique aspects, I think you'll be fine.
The two sessions that I'm doing at the SQLSaturday #119 are two of my favourite talks.
One of them is on SARGability. I remember doing this talk with a bunch of MVPs in the room (and a certain cloudy Microsoft employee), and even they said "Ooh – I didn't know that" afterwards. SARGability – the ability to use indexes effectively – is such a significant aspect of querying, and a pet topic of mine (as regular readers will realise). SQL Server even provides a bunch of methods you can use to improve the SARGability, even if you can't tweak the queries themselves. Very cool stuff. And did I mention I won't have slides?
The other is on Analytic Functions (a talk which I'm currently doing around Australia and New Zealand at SQLSaturday 135, 136, 138, 139 and 140). There are eight new Analytic Functions in SQL 2012, plus some new enhancements to the OVER clause. I'll be running through these, and I'm sure you'll leave the room with new ideas to try to enhance your reporting and data analysis.
See you there?