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Following on from yesterday’s post, I wanted to encourage the DBA’s to demonstrate your influencing skills by persuading your managers to support your careers by sending you to TechED EMEA for IT Professionals, 3-7 November 2008 in Barcelona.

If you haven’t been before it’s like an intensive summer school for IT professionals.  You get to learn from the experts in formal sessions, hands-on-labs, instructor led labs and my favourite, the chalk talks.    Networking is also a big part of the week, with Microsoft staff, industry experts, the other vendors and 5,000 like minded delegates.

Even if you’re deep into your subject (and I am assuming that this is SQL Server as you are reading my blog), then you would probably benefit form pitching up to sessions on Security, SharePoint or Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V virtualization.

So how do you convince your manager to let you go, as it’s a week out of the office and you need to get there, eat and pay for the conference?

  • As I said you’re worth it. Any IT professional needs to spend at least 10 days a year on technical training, in the same way as accountants and lawyers have career professional development (CPD) objectives.
  • You simply won’t get this kind of experience anywhere else except the American equivalent.
  • You get loads of useful stuff from us and the other vendors, and I don’t mean usb memory stick and T-shirts, I mean resource kits, recordings of all the sessions, the decks and so on.
  • It is not any more expensive than a weeks training in the UK in London or Birmingham, and that’s one of the main reasons it’s in Barcelona. The hotels cost the same or less,  the food is the same price and the flights will cost less then rail travel to either of these destinations unless you live in one of these cities.  If you can sign up before 26 September you will save €300 off the price, and it might also be good to book flights and hotels in the same way.

If you can’t persuade them, then consider an influencing skills course before the next TechED comes round, or maybe it’s time to review your future with a company that can’t afford to reward it’s most valuable member of staff , the DBA!

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