I’m off to SQL Server Connections next week and looking forward to the conference. This is my first time attending, but I have wanted to go for some time. This is one of the few events that is not specifically focused on one technology. In fact, it’s actually 7 conferences in one, co-locating events on ASP.NET, Silverlight, SQL Server, Visual Studio, Sharepoint, Windows, and Exchange.
It seems that more and more of us working in information technology are called upon to work with a variety of products and platforms. While you might primarily be a DBA that deals with T-SQL or SQL Server administration, you probably are called upon to use other skills as well. You might need to help with Windows security, or Exchange administration, or even do some .NET development. As wide as the SQL Server platform is, it seems that often we have the need for skills with other technologies.
Even if you don’t actually work in other areas because of regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley, understanding those other technologies can really help your career. You might better understand how to integrate SQL Server into your environment or better secure an application. You might even be able to offer ideas that help a co-worker in their job troubleshoot a problem.
I’ve felt that the most talented people in IT usually have a varied background and understand a wide variety of technologies. They bring that wide view of the forest to bear on a problem, and often find a solution because they can think laterally and are not tied down to the boundaries of a specific product.