Last year I had the opportunity to attend the first RailsConf and had a great time. This year it's back with a much bigger venue and support from O'Reilly. Alas the timing is not so good as I'll be helping the folks at Savoy prepare for HMS Pinafore, but I'll be able to tune into many podcasts and whatnot. If you are thinking of attending and can't make up your mind I would thoroughly recommend attending RailsConf 2007. It'll give you a great opportunity to network with a great bunch of people who are highly skilled, yet open to newbies.
The second half of the year is open for conferences and the like so maybe OSCON would be fun. Microsoft are running their PDC, but I'm not sure I'd get as much from that as I have done previously. I'll have to have a think about it...
With a little help from Mike Volodarksy's tutorial I'm up and running with RubyOnRails using a native FastCGI implementation. This is a big deal because it'll mean that Microsoft will provide a supported way of running Rails applications. In addition, PHP applications will be able to run with greater performance and reliability thanks to the work that Zend and other PHP devs have put into improving their Windows story.
This is a good job since I'm doing more work with these open source technologies at the moment since Microsoft have done little to improve the ASP.NET platform. For .NET developers, MonoRail is the only usable framework for development. Additions such as ASP.NET AJAX do little to make the platform better for the applications I am working on. The problem with AJAX is that it's not an end in itself. You need to have a reason to use it and a design to match, or you end up on the road to poor performance and usability.