This is one of my regular disclosure posts. You can read more of them here. This one is about Pure Accelerate 2018.
Pure Accelerate 2018 was my last stop on the Justin US Summer Conference Tour 2018 after ZertoCON.
Flights and Accommodation
Pure Storage paid for my red-eye flight from Boston to San Francisco, and for my flight back to Australia.
Pure also paid for my accommodation in San Francisco, at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis hotel for three nights.
Tuesday 22 May 2018
I arrived in San Francisco after midnight due to a 1.5 hour delay in my carefully timed flight. I had originally figured that this flight would allow me to get juuuust enough sleep to be functional in time for the keynote in the morning. Alas, it was not to be.
I made it to the hotel about 2:30am, and happily my badge was waiting for me which would save time in the morning. I chose sleep over breakfast and the shuttle bus, which was the correct call.
Wednesday 23 May 2018
I walked down Mission Street to the conference, arriving around 9:30am and managed to sneak into the keynote upstairs near the analyst briefing area. Things were running long, so I managed to catch the last couple of speakers, though I did miss the confetti release that had happened earlier.
The rest of the day was spent in the press and analyst room in back-to-back briefings.
Morning tea was buffet coffee, and a small pastry thing.
Lunch was a buffet of ravioli pasta, salad, and a piece of chicken breast. There was also a selection of small dessert things, I believe I had one of the cheesecake square things.
In the evening we were ferried from the hotel to a VIP reception held at International Smoke. There was a buffet with fresh oysters and BBQ ribs, and both were excellent. There were also some special cocktails for the evening. I had a couple of the gin-and-tonic variant, which was basically a gin-and-tonic with some juniper berries and flowers scattered into it for some reason. It looked pretty but was fairly impractical because you needed to drink around all the bits floating in your glass.
There were some specially chosen customers about, so I had some interested conversations with people about what they actually used Pure for. I was chasing up some quotes for a piece on storage for CRN (it’s available online now, so you can read it here) which meant I was frantically scurrying a bit early on since I was hard up against deadline.
I also managed to catch a few Pure executives before they headed off to the customer appreciation party. It was nice to meet CFO Tim Ritters and congratulate him on putting out consistently nice financials.
I skipped the party, and headed back to the hotel with a few other analysts. We had an impromptu gathering in the downstairs bar and I had a good chat with my colleagues in the industry. A couple of us repaired upstairs to the View Lounge for a nightcap before turning in. I paid for my own drinks, as well as those of a few others.
Thursday 24 May 2018
I caught the 8am shuttle bus to the conference and grabbed a coffee from the media area before getting a seat near the stage in the reserved media seating.
The guest talks by Jez Humble and AI researcher Dr. Kate Darling were some of the best conference presentations I’ve seen in ages. I really recommend Dr. Darling’s work in particular. Her analogy of AI systems being more like pets than humans is a really interesting and useful framing.
I managed to snag an autographed copy of Jez’s latest book Accelerate by getting lucky and turning up right at the end of his signing session when the queue had abated.
Before lunch, I took a spin around the show floor to see what vendors were displaying.
Lunch was a selection of boxed lunches. I chose a noodle and tofu one.
That was the end of the conference proper, and we were left to our own devices for the rest of the day.
For dinner I caught up with some tech friends at the Thirsty Bear Brewing Company. I had a burger and a beer, and then we headed back to the hotel where I had an early night.
- A Pure Accelerate conference bag. The printed ‘st’ had already peeled off, so mine said Pure Orage which I found very amusing.
- A Pure branded Ember mug. It’s a smart mug, which would supposedly keep your beverage at a specific temperature, but to change the temperature from its default meant installing an app, and the app wanted all kinds of nefarious permissions, so I didn’t bother. The mug was also not microwave or dishwasher safe, so it seemed terribly impractical to me, let alone the security and maintenance issues of having to keep patching a coffee mug. My wife decided to sell it, so I’ll have to ask her what she got for it in the end.
- A copy of Accelerate signed by Jez Humble.
- A plastic Nvidia branded pen that has this cool triangle mesh effect.
- An Nvidia branded, credit-card sized metal tool thing with screwdriver and bottle opener type tools cut out of it. Checked bag only, though, because it has a box cutter bit.