I've been to a lot of Red Hat Summits. The conference has changed a lot over the years and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger. The really interesting thing to me is the energy level among all present. Closing in on my 10th year at Red Hat has exposed me to many different projects and products at the company. Some work and continue to grow, others not so much. It is interesting to see each year at the Summit.
The Summit this year was in San Francisco (a city and county known to the state of California to cause cancer, proposition 65 warning). Back in 1998 I started making regular trips to San Francisco when I was working for a small company called Walnut Creek CDROM. I worked on the Slackware Linux project and the timing of this work happened to be around the dot com bubble of the Bay Area. I moved out to California at the end of 1999 and left in the summer of 2001. It was a short but interesting time in my career.
I was 19 when I started working with Walnut Creek CDROM and I was 20 when I moved out there. Going back there now at the age of 35, I have a much different view of the place and industry. I moved out of California about 13 years ago and was last there for a conference 11 years ago. Some things have changed and some things hadn't. Here's what I noticed:
- You still see the silly looking mountain side sign for South San Francisco when leaving the airport.
- BART goes to the airport. When I lived out there the closest you could get was Daly City. Then you got on a samTrans bus.
- I didn't see the big giant YAHOO! billboard from the highway, but I may not have been close to it. (Oh, I guess this is why.)
- The Bay Bridge toll was $6. It was $2 when I lived out there.
- Starbucks density rivals Boston's Dunkin Donuts density.
- There are entirely too many Walgreens locations downtown. Replace the signs with Duane Reade and it'd feel like New York City in some locations.
- Proposition 65 warning signs on every. single. thing. ever.
- Cable cars still have a huge line for tourists.
- The Sony Metreon is now just a big giant Target. With a Starbucks. The theater is run by AMC.
- San Francisco still has a huge homeless population.
- Single use shopping bags now have a city-imposed 10 cent charge.
It being a work trip, I didn't have a lot of time to run around. At some point in the future, I imagine we'll head out there on a non-work trip. Karen has never been and would like to see it.