My boss gave me the go-ahead to attend KYA! Yippee!!! The only issue is that I need to be careful about not over-extending my requests for training expenses so as to not leave myself high and dry should anything of importance come along towards the end of the year.
But, I think it'll be fine. Not many tech conventions come to Toronto (and I doubt they'll pay for me to attend one in Vegas), and the timing and subject matter of this conference is quite relevant to projects and changes that will be coming down the pipe.
In other IT work news, my employer is also going to be paying for me to get my CompTIA Server+ certification, and a SharePoint 2010 cert. I'm not sure of what our needs will be in regards to SharePoint, but I've ordered some training materials on administering it that will help bring me up to date before I book an exam.
Speaking of certifications, at present I've got my diploma from the Computer Systems Technician program at Algonquin college, and my CompTIA A+, Network+, and Security+ certs. It took me about a year after graduating from my program before I was ready to start looking into getting certs, not least of all because I wasn't 100% sure if I wanted to work in IT or go back to marketing and fundraising for non-profits.
I'm obviously glad I did wind up going forth into this industry. I'm still able to assist various causes I believe in by offering up my time and energy as a volunteer, I have the benefit of getting paid better so as to be able to deal with this AD (after-divorce) debt, and I was frankly rather emotionally burnt out. Working and volunteering for rape crisis centres is already tough enough on people who have a stable homelife (whomever those people are - not sure I've ever met them). Add on extra stressors and it can be right unfuckingmanageable.
Back to certs, I quite like the format of the CompTIA exams and feel like I've gotten the swing of them. Although, in hindsight, I think it would have been more beneficial for me to have gotten my Server+ certification before I wrote my Network+, but I'm not sure I would have passed. There are a lot of self-study resources available for people looking to get their A+, Network+, Security+, and Project+ certs, but I've been having a heck of a time finding good ones for Server+. The one I did wind up ordering is more set up for use in the classroom. Without access to a server as I have now, I'm not sure I would've gotten enough from the reading material alone to pass the first time around.
Long story short, yay for continuing education and growing of teh brains!