Different people learn different ways. Some by doing; some by listening/watching others; some by reading. But I believe human interaction is always important and rewarding, and that is why I am a proud and supportive member of PASS.
If you don’t already know, PASS is the Professional Association for SQL Server. Now over 15 years old, it is a worldwide organization run by and representing the SQL Server community. In addition to local chapters (like NOVASQL where I am a member), there are numerous virtual chapters as well for just about any area of focus you can think of regarding some aspect of SQL Server.
Through events like chapter monthly meetings, SQL Saturdays, and the annual PASS Summit, you get the opportunity to meet a lot of people who you will learn are really not that different from you. Some might be ahead of you on their career path, and others might be behind. But everyone is there because they enjoy SQL Server, community, and learning. I haven’t had many training opportunities in my career and had to learn the large majority on the job or on my own time (or both). Those evenings and weekends spent with my peers have been not only informative but also some of the best moments of my career.
Still not convinced? It’s all free, and many local chapter meetings include a free dinner. As many of my friends know, you had me at “pizza”.