Really enjoyed the 826LA panel last night. I'm generally kind of sick of panels, because it's either really basic advice I've heard a million times (like "write every day" and "try to get a job on a show"), or it's really upper level stuff I can't relate to (like "ugh, it's so hard when your quote drops from a million to half a million"). This panel was a nice medium, since the panelists treated us like we were beginners, but we knew what we were talking about.
When asked if new writers should try specs or pilots, Carter said he didn't think it really mattered. You just have to "make people laugh." Putting your stuff on the Internet might also be a good idea; he said that he hasn't hired anyone off a YouTube clip yet, but you never know.
He also stressed that with writing pilots, you should go for a show you're passionate about - and something that can generate 100 stories you'll want to write.