Paul Andrew leads the SharePoint Developer Readiness effort at Microsoft. He recently wrote an excellent blog entry about how to get started with SharePoint Development. It's actionable, direct and super helpful. So check out the article and keep a pulse on Paul's blog if SharePoint Development is important to you.
Incidentally, Paul owns our SharePoint presence at TechEd this year in Orlando. Speaking of TechEd, I will be at TechEd IT Professional delivering a session on Search Server 2008. This year I'm only doing one session and planning to spend more time with customers and partners.