I’m drafting this post at 39,000′ somewhere between Phoenix, AZ and Philadelphia, PA returning from attending Networking Field Day 4.
I was invited to attend Networking Field Day 4 as a delegate by Stephen Foskett of Gestalt IT. Tech Field Day is an independent Information Technology event and conference where industry leading bloggers and experts get together and hear presentations from vendors (sponsors) and discuss their product offerings and solutions. The events were streamed live over the Internet but if you missed them you can watch all of them from the Tech Field Day website.
Travel and Accommodations
The flight on Southwest Airlines from Philadelphia, PA to Phoenix, AZ and then on from Phoenix to San Jose, CA wasn’t too bad given that I’m 6’5″ and was flying for a total of 6 hours and 45 minutes. I haven’t flown in quite sometime but I was very impressed with the service of everyone at Southwest. The flights left on time and the cabin crew was very friendly. The airports in Philadelphia (PHL), Phoenix (PHX), and San Jose (SJC) weren’t too bad although PHX was quite crowded when I passed through on Tuesday and again on Saturday. The bar islands at each gate resembled the watering holes in South Africa where all the animals congregate only in this case there was a mass of humanity jockeying for power outlets which seemed to be in pretty short supply. The free wireless access at PHX was awesome but unfortunately the same couldn’t be said of PHL.
The accommodations at the DoubleTree by Hilton in San Jose, CA were really nice in my opinion. The rooms and suites at the DoubleTree were pretty spacious and nicely maintained. The staff was very friendly and helpful although the hotel wireless Internet (AT&T) left a lot to be desired. Thankfully I had access to a Verizon USB 3G modem which worked very well when I needed it.
- Anthony Burke @Pandom_
- Bob Plankers @Plankers
- Brent Salisbury @NetworkStatic
- Chris Marget @ChrisMarget
- Colin McNamara @ColinMcNamara
- Greg Ferro @EtherealMind
- Jeremy L. Gaddis @JLGaddis
- John Harrington @NetworkSherpa
- John Herbert @MrTugs
- Paul Stewart @PacketU
- Tom Hollingsworth @NetworkingNerd
There was a lot of diversity among the Tech Field Day delegates and they represented a large number of vertical markets and businesses including service providers, consultants, resellers, enterprise, healthcare and financial (I probably missed a few – I didn’t take notes while talking to everyone).
There were 6 sponsors in total and each presented one or more of their products and solutions;
- Brocade @BRCDComm
- Cisco Borderless @CiscoEnterprise
- Juniper @JuniperNetworks
- Opengear @Opengear
- Spirent @Spirent
- Statseeker @Statseeker
We traveled to Brocade’s offices, Cisco’s offices, Juniper’s offices and Spirent’s offices in the San Jose, CA valley. We met with Statseeker and Opengear on the sixth floor of Casino M8trix across the street from the DoubleTree. Yet another city turning to gambling to solve their financial woes although I really can’t cast stones because the Valley Forge Casino Resort is only a few miles down the road here in Pennsylvania. I’ll be posting about each of the sponsors over the next few weeks so look for those posts on my impressions and thoughts about each sponsor.
The biggest thing that struck me about Tech Field Day was the open and gracious demeanor of all the delegates and even the sponsors. I was curious to see how so many Type A personalities would get along not to mention that I was a first-time delegate. I was the FNG so I attempted to bite my tongue a bit – usually doesn’t work very well. There have been references made by a few that Tech Field Day delegates are an elitist bunch but that honestly wasn’t my experience. The delegates are highly diverse group from all over the world including Australia, England, Ireland and the United States. They work in different vertical markets and in different roles and come with differing experiences and skill sets. I’m happy to say that everyone was very social and very friendly to me.
I had the pleasure of attending a recording of the Packet Pushers Podcast with the other delegates. It was another great learning experience to see how so many different people can come together and “flap their chins” around the microphone. I was also treated to some insights from Greg Ferro on how he performs his research and what applications he employes in his daily activities. The Apple MacBook Pro he was using was probably the fastest laptop I’ve ever personally seen. Greg was moving between applications at a pace that made me dizzy and I consider myself a power user in terms of efficiency when using a personal computer. It was very cool to see and has inspired me to be more efficient in how I work and how I organize myself.
If anyone is curious there were 3 Windows 7 laptops and 9 Apple MacBooks in use among the delegates. Looking at the 15″ Apple MacBook Pro with the Retina display made me long for an upgrade as I waited minutes for my HP EliteBook 8440p to boot up, hibernate or shutdown.
Let me take this opportunity to thank Steve Foskett and Greg Ferraro for inviting me to Networking Field Day 4. I really enjoyed the experience and hope to keep in touch with all the Tech Field Day delegates.
As a disclaimer I received no compensation for my attendance of Networking Field Day 4 from Gestalt IT or any of the sponsors. Gestalt IT did provide my travel arrangements and hotel while in San Jose, CA.