Back in January, I sent a proposal to speak at StreamConf 2016 based on some pretty amazing results I got when streaming data using AWS Lambdas and other fun stuff (more on that to come in future posts). Fast-forward to today, a week early for the conference and getting some prep-work done, I find myself having traveled up and down none other than the Financial District of San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
What prep-work means to me
To most, preparing to speak at a conference means chugging down caffeine while arranging keynote/powerpoint slides a night before d-day. Nothing wrong with that really, I’ve been there myself more than once. But, as a true Gorilla at heart, I could not let the opportunity to make this presentation as memorable as possible pass me by.
In this sense, prep-work means getting to know the environment where I will be sharing knowledge and getting to know the audience.
The Environment of StreamConf 2016
StreamConf 2016 will be held at Bently Reserve, 301 Battery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111
So, first stop, then, is ground-zero.
As I arrived, I found an awe-inspiring building featuring its own Ionic Colonnade and surrounded by art-deco architecture. This place definitely exudes sober elegance.
In exploring a little further I found the interior just as majestic as the exterior and consistent with its palette. This, in turn, guided a few changes in the design of my presentation in order to stand-out, not by generating contrast in tone and colors, but by working on top of what is already a mesmerizing atmosphere.
Now, putting aside Bently Reserve’s own merits, the setting of the conference itself, the Financial District, has its own set of geeky Easter eggs.
As we drive around I notice this little gem on the side of a building:
How quaint, Pinterest! What other tech offices could I find?
In completing the scavenger hunt for tech logos, I found myself also transitioning into the getting to know my audience part of the prep-work.
The Audience of StreamConf 2016
In driving back and forth in the Financial District, I found myself stopping every once in awhile for coffee at Starbucks’, plural that is, as I could find one on almost every block. Coffee shops lit up with shiny laptop screens, most filled to the brim with Grande-Latte-fueled lines of code. Chatting away with several tech-minded individuals I find that I’m surrounded by pure entrepreneurial drive.
At Hyde & Beach Starbucks (one of, if not the largest in North America) for example, I met one of the co-founders of Keplr, a shiny new ProductHunt-featured startup that helps enterprises and individuals build APIs out of data sets through the magic of cloud automation. Later in the week, I met with some Stanford colleagues at Coupa Cafe, the birthplace and testing ground of Palo Alto startups featured in Forbes Magazine, where products such as Stripe were born.
Surrounded by brilliant minds exchanging knowledge regarding genomics, cloud infrastructures, automated algorithm generation (to name a few subjects), all contributing to incite innovation, it was then I realized with this sort of crowd I can rest-assured that my talk will be received by individuals that will turn the magic of data streaming into amazing new products and services.
StreamConf, I’ll see you tomorrow!
Stay tuned for my next blog post where I will share more about my experience at StreamConf 2016!
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