Last week I attended KubeCon/Cloud Native Con in Seattle, WA as a guest of The Linux Foundation. This post lists the various gifts and hospitality I received that may influence my opinion of the event, the companies, and the people who provided them.
Travel and Accommodation
The Linux Foundation paid for my accommodation at the Sheraton for the week, and will reimburse the cost of my flights once I invoice them. I purchased an upgrade to premium economy on Qantas using my own frequent flyer points.
I paid for my own car parking, tolls, and travel insurance.
Food and Drink
Monday 7 November
I drove to the airport and had breakfast in the Qantas international lounge which included one of the best coffees I’ve ever had made there. It was so good I had to go back for a second one and say thank you in person to the barista who made it.
Lunch/Dinner was on the plane as we made our way over the ocean to LAX.
Second breakfast on Monday was on the plane as we flew into LAX.
I had a snack of Starbucks ‘coffee’ and a pastry in the Alaska Airlines Boardroom lounge at LAX (more on this below) before my connecting Alaska Airlines flights to SEA. This ended up being lunch as well.
There is no airport shuttle to the Sheraton from SEA-TAC as it turns out. All the courtesy shuttle phones at SEA were broken, so I discovered that I hadn’t finalised payment for phone credit on my US cell phone account and had to do it there and then so I could call the hotel and find this out. Then I made my way to the taxi area and ended up getting an UberPool which was roughly the same price as a shuttle would have been.
Dinner on Monday night was a quite tasty burger and a couple of local Porter ales in the hotel bar that I paid for. I made it as far as 9pm before falling asleep.
Tuesday 8 November
Breakfast was at the conference at the pancake breakfast put on by The New Stack.
Lunch was a buffet at a press and analyst event put on by the Linux Foundation. I had a Coke Zero and some really quite nice Mac ‘n’ Cheese thing. I was craving comfort food this week for some reason, I assume because I was a bit tired.
Dinner was at the conference party at the Seattle Art Museum. I had mashed potato and a beef stew thing that was somehow exactly what I felt like eating once I’d had some. Quite a few of us went back for seconds. I also had a few classes of middling grade red wine as I watched the car crash of the US election happening on the TVs in the venue. Strap yourselves in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Wednesday 9 November
Breakfast was at the conference again, but I skipped the pancake breakfast and had fruit and pastries with ordinary coffee while I checked out the booths.
Lunch was a boxed lunch at the conference: a turkey club sandwich, potato salad, some chips, and an apple.
Dinner was at the post-event party, which was hors d’oeuvres of various really tasty things. Crab cakes and tiny cubes of grilled skirt steak and the like. Everything was amazingly tasty.
I left to do a couple of phone calls mid-evening because time zones and then came back down to see if anything was still happening.The bar had been opened to keep people at the venue because of a shooting nearby(!) so I had a gin and tonic. A few people headed down the street to the after-after-party at the Hard Rock Cafe, and I joined them and had a beer and some fun conversations about containers being used in production.
The little group I found myself in then ended up at a karaoke bar doing “comfort karaoke” at 1am and I got to hear people I’d just met murder some classic songs. For the record, I did not sing, though there may have been some dancing to Wu Tang Clan.
Thursday 10 November
Breakfast was coffee in my room after a bit of a sleep in (8am! woo!) while I read and wrote email, and started making inroads in some government policy papers and other fairly dull things I’d been putting off.
For lunch I headed out briefly and grabbed a ham sandwich at a local place I forget the name of while I stopped by a few Pokéstops and tried to catch a few exotic Pokémon for my son. It’s been surprisingly hard to get PokémonGo to sync with GPS when in airports because I seem to mostly be underground or in the middle of the things and it can’t find a signal. And then it thinks I’m in the wrong place briefly before telling me I’m going too fast.
Dinner was hotel room service of chicken and basil penne because I didn’t feel like wandering around town and wanted to just veg out in front of a movie and decompress a bit. I always feel a bit over-peopled after a few days of intense conversations with lots of new people at a conference, and the long days of day- and night-shift that tends to happen. Plus the election results and associated commentary were getting to me a bit, so I enjoyed the dystopian vision of The Terminator briefly before having a relatively early night.
Friday 11 November
Breakfast was coffee in my room as I did some briefings and worked. I was planning to have a decent lunch at the airport lounge rather than shell out for expensive hotel food again. Two coffees was a mistake as I got a bit jittery after the second one. Clearly avoiding American coffee and then having a lot of it isn’t a wise plan.
I got an UberPool to the airport, which was a mistake, because it took ages to arrive and cost only a few cents less than what a taxi would have cost. The main benefit is the lower risk of having my credit card number skimmed (again) and having to replace my card (again), which is a hassle.
I paid for lounge access to the Alaska Board Room lounge in Seattle because I was on an American Eagle flight and there isn’t a Oneworld alliance lounge in Seattle. Alaska Airlines sometimes honours Oneworld status, but it’s complicated and they didn’t in this direction. I got a 50% discount (US$20) because the desk person was feeling generous. I’m not sure if it was worth it because the food options were pretty minimal and the wifi was woeful.
Dinner was on the plane, as was breakfast as I arrived on Sunday back in Australia. Another Saturday sacrificed in the name of international travel.
- A KubeCon 2016 t-shirt given to all conference attendees.
- A wooden handled bottle opener from Tectonic.
- A Weaveworks t-shirt, black with the logo on it.
- A project Calico plush cat toy. It has joined Blue Cow in the menagerie.
- A Supergiant.io squishy spaceman, and a LEGO spacewoman.
- An Intel Snap t-shirt, green with the tortoise logo on it.
So many stickers! There was a sticker exchange table at the conference where you could pick up stickers from whomever. I only took a very small number compared to what was on offer, but I did pick a bunch up from vendor stands. I have a new Dell XPS15 to decorate, after all.
- The Cloud Native Computing Foundation logo.
- The Ansible logo, as a hexagon sticker.
- Unik, with a cute unicorn on it.
- IBM Bluemix. This one doesn’t feel like vinyl, more like paper with a plastic backing, so it may not survive a laptop lid well.
- A couple of Kubernetes icons, as hexagon stickers.
- A couple of Prometheus icons.
- The OpenShift logo, as a hexagon sticker.
- The ManageIQ.org logo and URL.
- The Google Cloud Platform logo, as a hexagon sticker.
- The supergiant.io logo and name.
- An Intel Snap framework tortoise logo thing.
- A CoreOS Rocket logo.