As much as I want to go to PDC2010 this year, I already have plenty of opportunities to interact with Microsoft and have been on campus a number of times this year already. I feel that PDC2008 was the start of something magical for me (it was my first Microsoft
Conference and it introduced me to Windows Azure). I think one of the criterion for your selection should be that this person have never attended a Microsoft Conference before. Hopefully it will be as much of a catalyst for their career growth as PDC08 was
Re: Car show metaphor. A car show is a consumer event. We are not consumers. Think of PDC and TechEd a our equivalent to a Surgeon's convention. When there is a new procedure, it takes learning and training in order to become with the new procedure. What
we do is more akin to surgery than driving a car.
BTW when the horseless carriage (aka car) was first introduced, you best believe that it required new kinds of roads and new "stables" and learning a new way to drive their carriage.
WRT this entire thread...if you expect your application to just work after dragging and dropping a bunch of widgets on a form, what are you adding to the procedure to justify your salary? Yet you have the nerve to complain that your job is being given away
to offshore developers and H1-B. Guess what? If you do something that makes your contribution more valuable that a $15 dollar an hour developer, you just might make yourselve a little less expendable.
If you don't care enough about your career to invest the time, effort, and *GASP* money to advance your career on your own, why should your employer and/or clients care?