I've been a little busy lately, and most of it is due to conferences. I present at quite a few of them around the world, and lately I've heard from a few of my DBA friends that they aren't always able to get to conferences lately.
Most of them cite the economy, but some folks are in the middle of projects that won't let them break away. I certainly understand this - conferences aren't cheap for a company and can take an even heavier toll on the project front because of the time.
But I think that conferences are important, and I think you should fight to get to one at least every couple of years. They are a great place to get away and learn, and meet other folks that can help you with a problem down the line.
But if you can't get to a conference, there are alternatives. There are "on-line" conferences, and there are lots of podcasts and webcasts from the vendors. And of course you always have this site and Safari Books online. There are always ways to learn.
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