Thursday, October 1, 2015

Strata Sessions and Events


The choices of session at Stata Hadoop (NYC) this year were plentiful. I was not surprised by the number of talks around getting value out of data (analysis) but I was also happy with the number of talks that fall in my admin category or otherwise discuss how the services work. I would have preferred a few more categorized with security tag. The developer talks on the newly announced projects - RecordService and Kudu specifically - should have been in much bigger rooms. People had to be turned away.

Lack of food options for those with allergies

The Strata Hadoop conference sponsors provide food through the venue for lunch and expo socials. There was a distinct lack of allergen labels on food and limited choices. For a registration that asked about food allergies or preferences, there was not much choice for gluten free,kosher, or vegan. There were some vegetarian options.

The morning keynote area had some fruit (apples, oranges, bananas) with the supplied coffee. Other breaks that I saw did not have anything I could eat - lots of pastries in the morning and some rich and sugary treats in the afternoon. The evening Booth Crawl event was as expected with mostly beer and wine but the food was also not at all allergy friendly. Mostly I saw pasta, cheese plates, and Mexican style chips and dip. I did find a bag a chips to eat and I saw a hotdog stand (but didn't risk it). I also found a corner with some mixed drinks.

The first lunch had some options but not well marked, I had to find a supervisor and ask what I could eat and that was pretty limited. OSCON did a much better job in Portland by providing a separate serving area in addition to clear labeling of gluten free and vegan options (I'm still waiting for dairy free labeling to reach similar frequency). Lunch on the second day was a complete disappointment. It was soup and sandwiches and even the salad had croutons. No gluten free options at all. What is the point of asking people if they want GF at registration if the information is just ignored anyway?

Off site events

I did not make it to Data Dash.  It was a rain or shine event and it was raining but more importantly it was dark. I really am solar powered - early morning and late night events are most often slept through.  There was also the issue of timing. To make it to the event and back to the hotel for a shower, I would not have made it to the keynotes.  I am glad I attended that set of keynotes.

Data after Dark - High Line Hop was a combination of an off-site evening party and a pub crawl.  At other conferences I have attended these two events are separate with the pub crawl following the evening event. That means the pup crawls usually start well after my body gives up and send me "home" to sleep. Since it was a main event, each sponsors provided some combination of drinks, food,and swag. Also at each event was a wristband - collect enough to turn in at the main conference the next day for a hoodie. Initially I was told, get all 7 but later I saw a sign that said get 5 of the 7. I actually popped into all the venues. I am sure it would have been more fun if I was here with a crowd of people I already knew - or if I had any of that type of social skills at all. Still, after a nice walk to the area along the High Line, it was an opportunity to see the inside of some popular NYC hostpots:

The three bars at The Park are interconnected. I entered the Red Room first and found it to be kinda dark. . There are also several small changes in levels so that means step down in the dark.  Seems like a bad combo for bar.  Of these three, it was also the most crowded with everyone hanging right around the bar area at the entrance. After winding through Red Room, The Garden is open and light. This feels like a really nice place to hang out on nice evening. There was also some food provided but it was more pasta so not for me. Finally, there is a steep metal stairs up to The Penthouse which is back into a darker venue, though not as dark as the Red Room. There were some fancy looking deserts provided here.

After exiting The Park venues, I headed next door to Avenue. This venue has a couple of floors. I did not go upstairs but was told there was a second bar up there in addition to some seating. It was very loud and I scrammed fast.

Originally I was going to pop into the 4 that were together, then stop by the Cloudera sponsored venue and head out.  I'm glad I decided to keep exploring. I made a quick walk through Gaslight. I think this would be cool if I could eat pizza. I stayed a while at Catch NYC. This venue was sponsored by Bloomberg and was the "classy" venue. It was also the least populated while I was there. The had some food out but it all appeared to have dairy. We were upstairs and could watch the kitchen at work. I saw a few plates headed downstairs. I think it might be a place that could cater to my needs for a sit down meal.  The music here was also a bit loud but I sat and watched the world go by for a bit.

Finally, I headed to Tao. Very crowded, very loud, very bar scene.I wandered through and then tried to squeeze back out. Another group came in, saw the crowd,and turned around breaking a path back out for all of us.  I suggested they try Catch if they wanted a bit more room.

Overall, I logged many steps and my legs were very tired.


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