Don’t run with that saw after you’ve sharpened it…

OK, what does that mean?  So I’ve just returned off a great week at Tech Ed 2010.  It was a fantastic week getting to meet with customers, community influencers, product group folks, partners and peers, but probably the most refreshing thing about the week was the dedicated time to focus on technical learning.  With all the technological distractions both use daily and we ultimately live with, it was refreshing to spend the week immersed on going deep on a few select topics with the benefit of turning off the distractions.  The extra focus on my choice technical areas (Windows Phone, Exchange 2010 SP1, Office Communications Server “14” and SharePoint 2010) allowed me to more fully comprehend the content and be more attentive to the sessions.   I’m blessed to work for a company that sees value in taking this dedicated training time to “sharpen the saw” and it was great to see the other 10, 499 folks at Tech Ed 2010. 

I’d encourage everyone to take some dedicated time each year to “sharpen the saw” and focus your attention on keeping up with the technology changes in your career, regardless of whether or not your company allows you to do it or not.  Showing a commitment to being a student of your technology(/ies) and dedicating time like this shows you are a student of your career which shows your employer, client, peers, etc. your dedication to constant improvement and growth.  God knows technology changes come fast and furious so if you don’t keep up, it might be hard to get caught back up if you wait to long to take that much needed training time.

I found the time I spent at Tech Ed 2010 surprisingly refreshing and the best part of it is that I return a better educated, focused employee that is more valuable to the company than when I left, so this is clearly a win-win.  This is just my reminder to my readers that you too need to “sharpen the saw.”