Wednesday Oct 10, 2007

CEC Day One & Two Recap

So, CEC is actually almost over. It's been a whirlwind of sessions, meet-ups with folks, filling my head with new stuff. And, of course in the midst of all of the CEC excitement, there's still the need to keep up with what customers back home need.

So, what was exciting from days one and two? Lots!

 

  • Jon Haslam and Simon Ritter gave a great talk and demo about using DTrace along with Java. I am absolutely not a developer; never even written "Hello World" in Java. But, this really helped me understand how DTrace and Java are two great tastes that go great together. And with the newer JVMs, it really is a case of "Hey, you got your DTrace in my Java!", "No, you got your Java in my DTrace!" This all comes at a great time -- I have to do a presentation on Wednesday in Florida on exactly this topic.
  • Matt Ingenthron and Shanti gave a great talk about the various working parts and commonly used components and tools in a modern web infrastructure. Really helped me figure out how the pieces fit together.
  • Tim Cook had a great talk comparing the various file system offerings from Sun and others for OLTP workloads on large systems. He gave us some handy, simple, best practices for each and worked to bust some commonly held myths and misconceptions.
  • Tim Bray shared his perspective on what really is important about a Web 2.0 world, about how the things in that world can really matter to an enterprise. He talked about the fact that, end the end, time to market and managability are the overwhelming priorities for enterprises in selecting tools and techniques for application development and deployment. I am really inspired to go out and finally learn more about Ruby and Rails as a result.
Of course, there were more. These are just some of the highlights that come to mind quickly. As always, CEC was a great trip and well worth the effort (but I still dislike Las Vegas - a lot). And like Juan Antonio Samaranch at the Olypics, this CEC is about to be declared over, realized to be the best yet, and we will agree to meet again next year. I, for one am looking forward to it. Time to start working on a topic for my presentation!

Monday Oct 08, 2007

CEC2007 - Early Day One - Initial Impressions

So, it's the first day of CEC, Sun's Customer Engineering Conference. This year, there are about 4000 of us hanging out at Paris & Bally's hotels in Las Vegas. Systems Engineers, folks from Sun's various practices, Service & Support engineers, architects, folks from headquarters engineering are all here. But, we also have a huge number of our partners - resellers, OEMs, developers, etc.

Last night was our Networking Reception. Great to see folks again that I had not seen in a while and to meet lots of new faces.

Today, we start with opening sessions from Hal Stern, Dan Berg, Jim Baty, and a host of others. Then, we get into, for me, the guts of CEC - the breakout sessions. There are over 240 sessions, selected from a pool of over 700 submissions. I'm talking (Tuesday, 6PM, Versailles ballroom 3 & 4) on Dynamic Resource Pools in Solaris 10. I'll post my slides after the talk. If you are at the conference, come on over. I understand my talk will also be available in Second Life. I'm still trying to figure out how all of that works, though.

Here are some of my initial + and - observations from CEC so far:

  • Plus - Paris is great. Very lovely hotel. The look really captures all that you might remember and love from Paris.
  • Plus - I scored a deluxe room - corner room, view of the Bellagio fountains, windows on two walls.
  • Plus - Check-in logistics. Got through even the really long materials line in less than 10 minutes.
  • Plus - Networking Reception - Food was good and plentiful. Double plus for the desserts. Great to see folks. Last year, I missed the reception since I got in late.
  • Plus / Minus - In-room network. Fastest hotel network I have had in as long as I can recall. But it costs $13/day.
  • Minus - Room for meals was really, really, really crowded for breakfast. I can only imagine as folks try to rush through for lunch. And no sodas. Last year, folks finally got it that geeks often take their caffeine in a carbonated form.
  • Minus - Having the agenda only on-line via schedule builder has made it sort of inconvenient to select sessions, alter you plans, and pick new things on the fly. Same as last year. Sometimes paper really is useful.
  • Minus - Smoke - Las Vegas is smoky. Seems that they are managing it better now than in years past, but in these days of smoke-free public spaces, it's really noticeable.
  • Big Minus - For me, Las Vegas is absolutely not my top choice for a venue. For me, this is a very uncomfortable place. Maybe I'm just a stick in the mud or a prude or old in my thinking, but this town is just about too many things that really make me uncomfortable.

All in all, though I am excited about a great conference and expect to be really tired when I get home!

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