I enjoy Las Vegas and am glad to be heading back to present at the Spring SQL Server Connections conference in March. If you wear a number of hats at your job, and deal with a variety of platforms in the Microsoft technology stack, this is a great event to attend. There are nine conferences taking place at the same time, in the same place, and you get the chance to see sessions from Mark Minasi on Windows, Scott Hillier on Sharepoint, Miguel Castro on Visual Studio, and more along with your SQL Server sessions.
I know you can't attend every session, and you can't see all the content that week, but the sessions are recorded and attendees can get DVDs of the content. I love that, and it means I can pop in and out of sessions, checking out the content and topics, and mark those in a program that I want to watch later. It also means that I can focus on the important parts of the conference: meeting people.
When I'm looking to learn, I try to make time to talk to the people that can teach me something or answer a question I have. I can always email someone later, but the chance to have a meaningful conversation is worth the time spent at events.
I like going to Las Vegas, but not for the reasons that many people go. I don't gamble, having bet exactly $0 on my last two trips. I don't stay out too late, or attend the shows. I go because the weather is great, it's close to home, and I get the chance to network and bond with people in this amazing SQL Server community.
Ask your boss for some training money, and come join me this March in Las Vegas.
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