DFD1 was relatively light on corporate largesse in terms of volume, but as you’d know by now, I like to keep track of what I’m given that can (and does!) influence my thinking about whoever gave me the gift.
I’ve written about this before, and I don’t try for totally unbiased journalism because it’s a myth. As human beings, we cannot be totally objective, and study after study keeps showing us all the weird ways our brains lie to us about what’s really going on. Instead, I try keep my audience (you) informed of what would influence my opinion so you can decide for yourself if what I’m writing is unduly biased by who gives me stuff. Or pays me to do things.
And so, onwards to the disclosure list!
My journey to DFD1 was paid for by Tech Field Day, which was the return flights, hotel accommodation, travel around San Francisco and the Bay Area, food, and booze.
PivotNine (my company) paid for travel insurance, which came in very handy, though I have yet to file the claim for the extra expenses I incurred having to stay in Sydney for a night. I’ll let you know how that goes.
PivotNine pays for my incidental expenses when travelling to these things because I consider it work related expenses; it’s partly business development, partly education and training, and partly just part of the advisory service I provide to private clients. Going to these events keeps me well informed of what’s going on in the industry, so I can tell our clients what to pay attention to, and what to ignore.
For example, I took a car into San Jose for some meetings on the Tuesday that were not part of the event, so that was a PivotNine expense. I had an interesting conversation about Uber with the driver on the way.
Food and Drink
- Dinner on the first evening was at the hotel, the Westin at San Francisco Airport, which was quite a nice hotel. I honestly can’t remember what I had for mains; I vaguely recall it being some sort of generic chicken dish, but I distinctly remember the appetisers. There was some sort of broad bean thing with a hairy pod that I tried to eat whole, and rapidly discovered you’re supposed to break the beans out of the pod to eat them. C-.
However, there was some nice blue cheese that made up for it.
Dessert was a chocolate mousse thing that was delicious. We also shared a round of musk sticks, much to John Troyer’s dismay.
- Breakfast on day 1 was at the hotel to accompany a briefing on the event to all of us. Mostly the usual bain-marie fare, but there were pancakes with syrup and that was mighty tasty. This was a decidedly leisurely beginning to the event (despite the 8am start) because we had lots of time before the limo left for the first presentation at Cloudera.
- Lunch was Thai food, sponsored by Cloudera. It was quite tasty! If I sound surprised, it’s because we have really good Thai food in Australia, and I’ve been to Thailand and had authentic stuff. We eat a lot of Asian food in Australia (well, I and my immediate circle do) so we’re used to what good Asian food should taste like. There was actually decent heat in the beef mince thing, though the Pad Thai was a little disappointing. Cloudera also had both regular and diet Dr Pepper in their fridge! Regular readers will know of my love for Dr Pepper.
- The evening of day 1 was at the offices of MemSQL, where there was wine and a keg of local beer (that you pumped yourself! Into plastic cups like in the movies! I’d never done that before) and a catered dinner thing for staff and visitors of a Mediterranean selection. I had a beer with too much froth, and a few small plastic cups of red wine.
- We stopped into In-n-Out burger on the way back to the hotel, mostly for the experience, I think. I tried some of the fries, including the ‘animal fries’ secret menu item, which was like a disgusting version of poutine created by someone who had heard poutine described by a friend of someone who saw a video of it that one time. Gross.
- Day 2 breakfast was at HGST, and was a generic continental breakfast style affair.
- Lunch was at SanDisk. Thai again, and also nicely tasty. I’m quite happy to have Thai food frequently as it’s tasty and not completely bad for you.
- Dinner was at Trader Vic’s, paid for by Tech Field Day. Quite a few Mai Tai’s were consumed, along with various appetisers (crumbed shrimp/prawns, spring rolls, that sort of thing) and I had a delicious rack-of-lamb on Singapore noodles dish for main. Dessert was a rum baba, which I’d never had before, but it was a bit average to be honest.
- That was all the main DFD1 food and drink, though I had dinner with Stephen Foskett on the evening of flying out at a nice little vegetarian place near the airport. I had a veggie burger and a Bloody Mary, and both were excellent.
This was a relatively little schwag this event, with one enormous exception.
- SanDisk gave every attendee a 400GB SAS Lightning Enterprise Class SSD. Wow.
One went unassigned by the end of the event, I assume because Joey D’Antoni couldn’t make it, which I ended up claiming by right of conquest. Or rather, it was in one of the various leftovers bags at the end of the event, so I snagged it lest it go to waste. Essentially, Blue Bear and I both got one, so SanDisk were extremely generous, for which we are both grateful.
- A 2200 mAh HGST branded Power Bank.
- Nothing specific, though I did snag some Cloudera branded mints.
- Nothing that I recall.
- A “Keep Calm and Query On” MemSQL branded t-shirt.
- A MemSQL sticker for my laptop.