Day 1 of my trip to California was very interesting we woke up very early to begin our first jam packed day. Peter Harrison our chaperone for the trip drove us first to Colovore his data centre where we were given a tour of the premises and a chance to see the servers the Palisadoes projects are housed on.
The drive around town showed the offices of many tech giants, a mixture of multiple cultures and lots of sun! Our first official meeting was with Mae Chan Director of Technical Project Management at Facebook who we had lunch with on the Facebook premises.
We spoke briefly about Calico and our respective roles within Palisadoes, project management and internship opportunities which exist for students. (So much more that I didn’t know existed). I remember thinking this feels like a university campus! So many fresh faced teenagers and young persons like myself starting their first day of internship. After a quick tour of the office compound and pictures we were off to do some more exploring. A few dozen photos later and we were outside the offices of Comcast Communication to meet with Khem Raj (Embedded Linux Engineer) and Tennyson Williams (Senior Project Manager).
Here we were introduced to Comcast and their conglomerate of offerings. We were especially impressed with the use of the Raspberry Pi to do streaming from YouTube and the open source tools used to do it. This showed us potential new projects which we could implement for the next year of Calico.
Among the best experiences of my life so far. Day 2 was considerably more hectic but nonetheless satisfying. We left again very early in the morning (you will see this is the recurring theme throughout the trip) and took the train into San Francisco. First impressions of San Francisco were there are so many buildings! So many people living on sharply inclined hills throughout the city. We walked through the city along the coast, saw the Golden Gate, Alcatraz, China Town, City Lights book shop, Mozilla’s head office before making our way to meet Cat Allan (Science Outreach and Open Source Program Manager) and Stefanie Taylor for lunch at Google.
We spoke about how far the Calico Challenge has come in its now two years, successes and issues we’d like to approve. We were given further advice on how to make the challenge better based on experiences from the Google Summer of Code which Calico is modelled from. I got so many cookies to take home with me in my goodie bag 😉. We ended our first day at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
The next set of meeting we had started Day 3 when we visited Therma where we were given a tour of the facility, saw the robots they use to laser giant sheets of metal and pipes. I remember thinking I had no clue so much when into the creation of pipes and venting.
Received the most epic card holder with my name engraved on it. I remember thinking this place is beautiful.
Art hanging on every way, the cafeteria painted like ancient Greece, they even have a giant replica of David! We got a brief tour of Netflix’s head office took pictures with their many Emmy’s and lastly visited visited Cisco for an exclusive presentation from Larkland Morley and his team.
There was a great deal of sightseeing that was done, we saw what feels like everything from Muir Woods, wine tasting, the breath taking Lake Tahoe, the Castro, walked up and down Lombard Street, Monterey and its Aquarium.
Overall impressions of the Silicon Valley and San Francisco was how dynamic and fast paced everything was amazing cuisines (hands down favourite was Thai 3 cup chicken and shaved ice). Tech professionals were accommodating inviting and offered lots of meaningful advice not just tech wise but on life on a whole. The drive along the 17 mile drive was especially fun especially spotting whales breach and getting to feel the cold Pacific Ocean. I want to thank Peter and his wonderful family for adopting us for the time there. Only through Peter’s expert planning would we have been able to see and experience so much in our short visit. Shout out to Meraki a Cisco start up where I finally got to get my ice cream from Cisco 😊. Among the best experiences of my life so far.