Structure Conference SF, Nov 14-15 2017 Is coming back to SF and so many of my ex-GigaOm friends are there and some of top data center executives

On the 2nd day is the following line up. 

9:30A Global Infrastructure for 2 Billion People

What can we say? Who in their right mind does not want to talk to the person in charge of the Facebooks infrastructure? When you have to deliver services to 2 Billion people and plan ahead for things like VR services and IoT, your job is to push vendor infrastructure to the edge of it’s envelope and when that does not go further you create your own solutions. Unique problems to Facebook? Not forever… one day these cutting edge problems unique to Facebook will be the problems of F500 companies as they catch up. So take notes. A regular contributor to the Structure community, this year Jay will talk about Facebook’s approach to connectivity and in-house designed data centers including some specifics on next-generation networking systems. Not to be missed. Speaker:
Jay Parikh
Head of Engineering and Infrastructure, FacebookModerated By:
Stacey Higginbotham, Editor, SKT Labs

9:50Google: In Search of The Perfect Infrastructure

Urs is in charge of one of the most spectacular and innovative cloud infrastructures on this planet. Urs has the reins on Google’s infrastructure and is deciding where it will go next. A company that through sheer need and brilliance of it’s team has defined and redefined cloud technologies as a competitive advantage since it’s first major funding round. There is much to be learned from Urs and in this fireside chat we look at how the past year is redefining Google’s infrastructure strategy for the coming years. Speaker:
Urs Hölzle
Senior VP, Technical Infrastructure & Google Fellow, GoogleModerated By:
Tom Krazit, Cloud Computing Editor, GeekWire

10:10Future Cloud Architectures: Microservices, Containers, Edge and "Lambda"

Adrian has worn many hats in his career. The most prominent was as CTO of Netflix, where it can be argued that he architected the 1st enterprise grade public cloud deployment that set the pattern and standard for future deployments. Now as the architect at the platform (AWS) on which Netflix’s infrastructure success was built, we sit him down to talk about how new trends in microservices, containers, edge computing and serverless “lambda” compute will affect enterprise deployments. Hear insights from his thinking and use them to shape your near term strategy. Speaker:
Adrian Cockcroft
VP of Cloud Architecture, Amazon Web ServicesModerated By:
Stacey Higginbotham, Editor, SKT Labs


If you read down this far, I have some discount passes for friends. Friends who have my e-mail can contact me and I’ll send a discount code to register. 

Tim O’Reilly bans Robert Scoble from his events for sexual harassment

Going to technical conferences is what we all do. What a few do that doesn’t belong at conferences is sexual harassment. 

ArsTechnica has a detailed article on Robert Scoble and his sexual harassment history

Below is the tweet thread of Tim O’Reilly banning Scoble from future events.


Scoble sat on the same floor I was on in a Microsoft building and I didn’t like him then, and now I would avoid him with all effort. 

CNN has an article for men on what they can do in response to the #MeToo movement.

Looking forward to another 7x24 Exchange Conference

I admit that I was a late attendee to 7x24 Exchange. I had been attending Uptime Symposium, Data Center Dynamics, Data Center World, Gartner Conferences, IBM, Open Compute, and some other conferences. And thanks to Lee Kirby who suggested I attend 7x24 Exchange I decided to look a bit at the conference. Then I met David Schirmacher who is the President of 7x24 Exchange. Lee Kirby is the President of Uptime Institute. So based on two smart people telling me to attend 7x24 Exchange I started and now I attend both the Fall and Spring event and I always find it is time well spent.

I checked out the attendee list to see who is going who I know and to check out who is attending who I should look to meet. This is part of being an open Conference that supports the interaction of its attendees. 

I am looking forward to see Robbie Bach’s keynote. Being ex-Microsoft and Robbie is too. Will be interesting what words of wisdom he has. 

See many of you at 7x24. I’ll be there. 

Two different ways of planning to attend a conference

Here is a post by Bill Kleyman on “How to get the most out of a Data Center Conference”

There is some good advice in it - check out the schedule, plan logistics, know the schedule, etc.  Out of the long post here is the closing.

”Finally, just make sure you enjoy yourself and make some new friends. Honestly, that’s the best part of the conference – learning something new and meeting up with dear friends and industry colleagues.” 

After reading the post I found that there is different way I use.

The perspective I use when attending a conference is a networking exercise. Most of you think of networking like social networking. I am referring to networking like it is an engineering exercise. As an engineer what is the current state of my network and how can I use the conference to improve my network.  

#1 is network with the conference staff. They can help you find people and get insight that is hard to get without a face-to-face conversation.  I always do this at DCD and 7x24 Exchange.

#2 are any of my friends going to the conference and what are their plans. Friends expand your ability to network at an event. 

#3 identify the particular people you are looking for at the conference. Those connections you want to reinforce and the new ones you want to make.

At the end of the conference if you have improved your network then it is a success.

7x24 Exchange Spring 2017 Keynote - Creative Problem Solving The Mars Lander Challenge

It has been 5 years since Curiosity landed on Mars and NASA is celebrating sharing videos like this one.

For the Spring 2017 7x24 Exchange Conference Adam Steltzner presented

Conference Keynote

The Right Kind of Crazy: A True Story of Teamwork, Leadership and High Stakes Innovation

I've been staring at my notes and thinking about the keynote for months and it just wasn't coming together. Adam's keynote was one of the highest rated keynotes given and I agree. Part of the reason why the presentation worked is because Adam was not super polished the way some presenters can be. He came across as an engineer who had a passion to solve the tough problem of landing a one ton vehicle on Mars.

After months of trying to write. Yes I kept on trying for months, but it didn't work and the words didn't flow. The story Adam was telling is of being creative in problem solving. How to land Curiosity on the Mars surface. What the team knew is trying to use what had worked in the past was not going to work for a 900kg payload.

Going over my notes here are some pointsAdam made which is why his presentation was so popular.

Adam described leadership as a service. In comparison to a project management approach which doesn't necessarily focus on leadership skills to rally the team to solve a difficult problem.

Adam would wake 2:30a. Run the risks is his head. Then figure out how it impacts the project.

Much of the data came from failure analysis of past efforts which may not of compromised past missions, but could be catastrophic for Curiosity.

To innovate and rise to the challenge in a mission critical environment Adam stressed to "separate the ideas from the people who hold them." Getting his team to accept the intense review of ideas was key to be creative.

Why did it all work?

Adam switched to "Hold on to the doubt!" Constantly accept that they may not be right.

"Planning is everything. The plan means nothing."

"The process of planning is preparation for the future."

"Falling in love with the plan bypasses the truth."

"Why do we do this?" Adam says this while staring at the image of Curiosity on Mars.

Adam's keynote is one of those that sticks with you and I know others will refer to his presentation. These are the type of keynotes that have lasting value and help all of us be better.