2015.06.13 – BSDCan Day Two

Oh man we were soooooo tired. We stayed up far too late last night but it was too much fun so who cares?! Andrew and I went to a breakfast place we had been wanting to try last year but were unable. They have vegan pancakes. They didn’t open until 10:00 though so we ended up missing the first talk. The pancakes were awful! Oh well 🙂

I tried to stay awake for the talks but it was tough. We had a fire alarm midway through the day though and that woke me up! After the conference was over we all headed to a restaurant/brewery for the after party. They were great about hooking us up with vegan options even though it was a pre-planned menu. We had a ton of fun eating great food and talking to everyone. We had a flight the next day though so we decided to head out at 22:00. We started making the rounds to say goodbye to our friends but were made to sit down with a whole table of OpenBSD people. That meant we didn’t get out of there until about midnight! It was worth it. We had a great week.

Today I learned that trying to make a tech environment inclusive by promoting the idea of not seeing gender has the effect of driving away women and minorities.

2015.06.12 – BSDCan Day One

Andrew and I grabbed a quick breakfast of oatmeal from a nearby shitty coffee shop. We were in a hurry though because we wanted to make sure we had seats to see the keynote speaker. Stephen Bourne was the guy who wrote /bin/sh. He was so interesting and so funny. It was a great talk.

We watched several other very good talks, lunch was provided and then more talks. Andrew went to another talk while I stayed out in the hall. I happened to see Dr. Bourne walking alone so took the opportunity to approach him and tell him how much I liked his keynote. He was happy to hear it and joked that it was probably really boring.

After the talks Andrew and I walked in the rain to an Ethiopian restaurant. The food was once again yummy! We were a bit damp from our rain walk so we stopped by the apartment and threw our sweatshirts in the dryer for a while and then headed to the Royal Oak to see if anyone was hanging out. The place was packed and there was Stephen Bourne sitting at a table with a bunch of other people. He waved us over and they made room for us to sit with them. I spent the next five or so hours talking Dr. Bourne’s ear off and encouraging him to tell me stories. We were also sitting with Kirk McKusick and Mike Karels. I didn’t know them before today but they were right there in the beginnings of Unix. Their stories are amazing! The thing that really struck me though is that they know what they did was cool and fun but they were completely down to earth and friendly. I had the best time.

Today I learned so many things. Kirk McKusick designed a display that was used on the space shuttle. It had something to do with radar and the space shuttle docking mechanism. I’m not entirely sure. There were so many interesting stories.

2015.06.11 – Off to Ottawa

We were up early and on our way to the airport. It was an uneventful trip and we very easily found our way to our apartment. As luck would have it the venue was in a different building this year so we were in an ideal place.

We got settled in and wandered over to the dorms to meet other BSDCan attendees. There were eight of us and we went to a yummy Indian place. I had WAY more food than I could come close to finishing but it was delicious. We hung out for a bit at the Royal Oak which is the bar where everyone seems to migrate to. It’s also where attendees pick up their badges. We were pretty tired after our long day though so didn’t stay out horribly late.

Today I learned about this very nifty website, What is Code?

2015.06.10 – YAPCNA Day 3

Today is Andrew’s talk and it’s first thing in the morning! We were up and ready early so we could head to the room and get him all set up. I sat up front so I could take pictures of him. He was nervous and wasn’t feeling that great but he did such a good job anyway! I found out afterward that Larry Wall sat through his talk! He’s the guy that wrote Perl.

There are so many Perl luminaries at this conference. It’s interesting to see people practically fall over when they see these people who have paved the way just standing there chatting with everyone. The famous people don’t think they are so famous though and it’s really endearing. Andrew works with a couple of them and I had no idea they were a big deal in the Perl community. Graham Barr and Tom Christiansen are two of them. Really nice, smart people.

In the evening Andrew and I met James who is an ooooooold friend of mine and his wife Elisa for dinner. He was actually my first boyfriend when I was 15. Damn we are so old now 🙂 It was great to see them and to catch up on life. The food we had was so awful though. But we had a nice time so that’s ok. We went straight to bed since we had an early flight to Ottawa in the morning.

Today I learned that The Martian is a really good book!


2015.06.09 – YAPCNA Day 2

Today was much like yesterday. Lots of talks for half the day, lunch at Bud’s, helping Lauren with programming in the afternoon, dinner at a Himalayan place that was really good. Lots of fun social time!

Today I learned that I can’t keep track of much while at this conference. It’s a whirlwind!

2015.06.08 – YAPCNA Day One

I spent the first half of the day attending talks with Andrew and the second half of the day helping Lauren with Python. She’s doing a fantastic job on her lessons and is really picking it up. I also read through a lot of stuff for Urban Airship. I have so much to learn!

Today I learned that Salt Lake City is a lot more vegan friendly than I had anticipated.

2015.06.07 – Learning Some Perl

Today I was in an all day Zero to Perl class taught by Sawyer. He was filling in since the original teacher had some health issues. He was fantastic though. We learned a TON of stuff and I was following along really well right up to the last exercise. Then I got completely lost and couldn’t do anything. Sawyer was wonderful and sat down with me and walked me through the whole thing. I definitely have some studying to do though.

After class Andrew and I went to the Anti-arrival Dinner. The Arrival Dinner had a much larger group so we chose the other. Our group was about 18 people and we were going to the Himalayan Kitchen. It was a short walk from the hotel. They were expecting us so we had a huge table in the back. They had so many vegan options! Our food was fantastic and our conversations even better. We had a really nice time.

Today I learned that Perl is really damned cool. I had never messed with it until now which is funny considering Andrew has been a Perl dev for the last 15 plus years.

2015.06.06 – Travel Day

Today was spent traveling from PDX to Salt Lake City. The flight was uneventful. Salt Lake is really beautiful and clean and the weather is perfect. It’s not Portland but I will enjoy the visit for sure.

We took the light rail which is a LOT like our light rail at home. It took us from the airport pretty much to the front of our hotel. Nice! We were staying at the Little America Hotel so I had zero expectations but holy cow it’s nice! Our room is giant and beautiful and we have a balcony. We got our stuff unpacked and decided to find some food. I found a vegan sandwich shop, Bud’s about a mile away. I didn’t want to walk so we waited for the train, got on the wrong one and ended up walking there anyway. Oh well 🙂

The sandwiches were bomb! I had a vegan chicken pesto and Andrew had a vegan barbacoa. Mine was the best 🙂

Bud's Sandwich Shop

After lunch we stopped at the store and got the things we always forget, body wash and a shower poof. We also got bandaids because of course wearing a new pair of shoes on a trip where I will be walking a lot is a great idea.

We hung out in our room for a while. I set up more stuff for work and read over various documents and it was time for dinner before I knew it. We picked a vegan dinner place that looked pretty good. I had plenty of bandaids so we walked. Of course we went the wrong way for a few blocks and let me tell you, Salt Lake has the biggest blocks in the US and the most confusing street names. I’m not even kidding. We got back on track and found Zest Kitchen and Bar. Our food was fantastic. I had stuffed baked mushrooms and some grilled brussels sprouts. Andrew had some sort of curry with sticky rice. It was great but I’d definitely pick the sandwich shop over this place. We finished dinner and headed to the door only to see that the skies had opened and all of the water was falling down. Wow, it was a LOT. Too much to walk the short distance back so we summoned a Lyft. They showed up right away and got us quickly back to the hotel. We were done and ready for bed.

Today I learned that it’s Utah Pride this weekend. Yay!

2015.06.05 – I Cannot Believe This Day Has Arrived

This is it. My first day on the job at Urban Airship. I am a Professional Services Engineer and I work at Urban Airship. Me. Wow. It’s surreal. I am so fortunate and thankful and elated, nervous, excited! I’m pretty much ready to dive in and fill my head with lots of new information. Here I go!

Wayne dropped me off because he’s wonderful. I was to be there at 09:00 but arrived a bit early so talked to Wayne a bit before going in. He wished me luck and in I went. The woman at the reception desk remembered me and was happy to welcome me back. We talked for a bit while I waited for someone to come down and get me. I am horrible with names on a good day but even worse when I am nervous so I am sad to say I do not remember who came to get me. She was really nice though and I think her name was Andrea. Anyway, we decided I could skip the full tour since I had been there before and we went straight to the benefit and onboarding paperwork. That was a pretty quick process. She gave me my laptop and my badge and then someone else came in from IT and now that I think about it her name was most likely Andrea. Yeah, I suck at names. Andrea or not Andrea helped me get all the programs set up. It was easy because they just re-enabled the accounts I had before and thanks to my laziness I still had my login/password info stored in my password manager. Easy! But still a shit ton of things to set up.

John, my boss came to get me and take me to my desk. The pods take up the entire third floor of the Vestas building in the Pearl and they encompass the perimeter while meeting rooms are mostly in the center. Most of the walls are glass and it’s pretty much an open office setting but with different teams in separate areas. I was totally used to how to get to CE where I had interned but it was kind of cheating since it was right next to the elevators. My new desk is on the opposite side of the building. I get to sit next to John which will be handy since I will have 325,600,987 questions to ask him. He had my new keyboard, trackpad, giant monitor and the obligatory Nerf gun and ammo already set up for me. This pod was going to be different than the CE pod for sure!

I’m picky about my keyboard and John was nice enough to order me a CODE 87-key with Cherry MX clears. It’s sweet! He helped me get a few things set up and then we had a meeting to attend. I didn’t understand anything people were talking about but I’ll get there. After the meeting we went back to our desks and I set up more stuff. John took me to lunch at a Thai place across the street. We sat outside in the beautiful weather and talked about this and that. He’s really nice! He has a very calm, laid back demeanor. He seems to believe in me and my abilities and that makes me want to work extra hard to get up to speed quickly. That and the very interesting schedule we both have for the next month or so. Yes, today was my first day and tomorrow I get on a plane and head for Salt Lake City, Utah for YAPCNA and then to Ottawa, Canada for BSDCan. I’ll be gone for a week and then when I get back it will be John’s first week of his three week vacation! But that’s not all. I’m back for a week before we fly back to Pittsburgh for another week and then I’m back for two weeks and leave again for two weeks to go to Calgary, Canada for two weeks. Sheesh, it’s intense but I plan on working as much as possible while I’m gone. It will be interesting.

After lunch we went over more things. So, so many things. So many things. It was apparently the finals of a table tennis tournament at UA and John was in it so he left a couple of times to play. Lots of people welcomed me back. They were happy to see me and I was happy to see them too! I met a lot of new people as well and wow, the names. I have no idea. I stayed until about 17:30 when Jordan called to let me know he and Wayne were downstairs waiting for me. I packed up my stuff quickly and headed down. My head was sufficiently stuffed full of new information and I had a LOT to go over. It was a great first day.

Today I learned so, so many things.

2015.06.04 – PLUG

Today I pretty much read a book until it was time to get my hair cut. Wayne dropped me off at the salon downtown at 16:00 and Andrew walked up to meet me once he was done at work.

My friend Frankie does my hair and this time I asked him to put some dark purple underneath in the back so it would really only be seen if I put my hair up in a ponytail. He did it but I can’t really see it at all. Oh well.

Andrew and I had about an hour before we had to be at the monthly PLUG meeting so we hustled over to Veggie Grill for some dinner. They had their delicious street corn so we both got that and some burgers. Yum!

We made it to the meeting just in time but as luck would have it they were having technical difficulties so ended up starting about 15 minutes late. The talk was really interesting. The speaker, John Hawley works at Intel and gave a talk about open source hardware.

Today I learned that the Raspberry Pi is NOT open hardware! Arduino, BeagleBone, and the Minnowboard by Intel are.