A couple of weeks ago, I asked those of you who are going to BrainShare this year, which sessions you are looking forward to. And to those who aren't going, I wanted to know why not?None of the dozen or so responses I got mentioned any particular sessions. In fact, most of the responses were about why people aren't going to BrainShare and that's too bad.Some very longtime NetWare network managers, it seems, have never been able to get their bean counters to cough up the funds necessary for the pilgrimage to Salt Lake City. Others feel that they need to spend their funds learning more about the dominant operating systems of the day. As one correspondent put it:"I'd love to go again, but finances just don't permit. Fifteen years has been quite a ride, but here in [the reader's hometown] Novell has just about played out. There's still quite a bit around town but the systems are stable and like any self-fulfilling prophecy, management refuses to consider Novell technology because 'Netware is going away.' Existing systems are stable and may continue for years, but there simply isn't enough business left to make a career out of NetWare consulting in this town anymore."While it's probably true that the number of NetWare sites is slowly diminishing, you should think about the implications. First, those sites continuing to run NetWare are finding fewer and fewer places to turn to for support. Secondly, those deciding to move on from NetWare to a different network\/server operating system will most likely need experienced migration specialists to implement a move to a different platform.Either way, there's business out there for NetWare knowledgeable people, but the competition for that business may intensify. One of the better differentiators you can have is the timeliness of your knowledge. Information gathered today could be immensely more valuable than the experience you gathered a dozen years ago migrating from NetWare 3 to NetWare 4.Don't misunderstand my point, though; older knowledge is valuable to help you understand what your customers, clients and employers have in place today. The more timely information concerns what they might have in place tomorrow and how to get from point A to point B.BrainShare isn't Novell's only educational venue; it's Advanced Technical Training is, arguably, a better way to learn a particular technology in-depth. There are also the certification study courses as well as the free online seminars. But BrainShare is a unique experience that goes beyond mere education. There's also the benefit of rubbing shoulders with a few thousand of your peers - others who support Novell technologies on their networks. It's nice to know that you aren't alone. Additionally, you can see and hear about Novell technologies you aren't currently using as well as see what's new (or improved) in third party services, applications and tools.BrainShare isn't cheap. But it is good value. If you'd like help in convincing those who hold your purse strings, check Novell's "Six Reasons to Attend BrainShare" then print out the ones that apply to your situation and make sure the right people see them.