I'm in my hotel room at the Holiday Inn Downtown Rochester looking forward to the beginning of tomorrow's conference. This will be a great opportunity to meet folks (face to face rather than just at mangolassi.it) and learn. Of particular interest will be the sessions around VoIP and FreePBX, which directly helps with a major project I have going on at work.
The rest of the conference is going to stoke the inner flame of wanting to learn. This flame hasn't been extinguished, but it's nice to give it a breath of life every once in a while. Becoming a part of this community has bar-none been the best thing that has occurred to date in my IT career (notwithstanding landing my first IT position -- thanks A Closer Look!). I've told folks that I've learned more about IT as a profession in the last nine months (since involving myself with MangoLassi) than I have in the previous three years. This isn't a slight on my previous three years of learning, but rather, a compliment to how relevant everything is that I've learned from the MangoLassi community.
Those who know me well, know that I wish to "learn all t3h thingz!" Unfortunately, a lifetime isn't enough time to learn everything. I've pondered and toyed around with ideas as to where I want to focus my next phase of learning. I believe that path is going to be toward RHEL administration. I've become quite interested in learning how to administer systems with OSes based on Linux. I've also learned and realized just how much of the world's IT infrastructure depends on it. Of course in six months I might have found another interesting path of learning, but I think this one (the RHEL path) will be quite beneficial. This, of course, doesn't mean I have no interest in running Windows-based systems; however, I have a feeling the concepts and such I'll learn following the Linux path will transfer greatly to Windows administration.
Ending this stream of consciousness: My goal is to do a post for each day at MangoCon. It'll serve me well to summarize the information which I've acquired as a means to process it. It'll serve you, my audience, by receiving one real, actual human's opinion of the conference, which you can use to help decide if you want to participate in the future.