This begs the question; what’s your career worth to you?
Reading blogs and articles may keep you in the loop with what’s happening in our industry, but it those alone are not enough. You need exposure, hands on, and networking.
Microsoft TechEd is a good forum to learn what Microsoft and their partners are up to.
You’ll join Microsoft’s Platinum, Gold, and Certfied Partners as everyone converges for the four day event to pimp their goods, share information, and keep up with where technology is moving.
If you’re in a normal IT job then there is a good chance that you’re locked into the same products & versions at your work. You may be slow to adapt and that can spell trouble for your IT knowledge.
Remember, it’s what you know that keeps you in the green.
If your company won’t pony up the cash to pay for you to attend, try telling them that you’ll pay the registration, transportation and lodging costs, but ask that they still pay you for your time when you’re out there. Let them know that your attendance will benefit them.
Your company will probably be impressed that you’re willing to pay the registration and expenses. I’ve been a contractor to many organizations and while I have always paid my own way to conferences, I’ve never been denied payment for my time. If I’m batting a thousand in this game then I’m sure that others are too.
Take advantage of early bird registration and plan to attend:
December 31, 2009 ($1,895)
February 28, 2010 ($1,995)
March 1, 2010 ($2,195)
You and your career are both worth it.