SCALE 18x this year was a little lighter in attendance but still a great time. It did seem as though the organizers were trying to push attendance more towards the weekend by not having many sessions on the first day. This made the few sessions available crowded, especially the sole Kubernetes session “Kubernetes 101”. The k8s sessions, especially when interactivity is involved, are typically overflowing. This was no exception, people were stacked upon each other, vying for the limited number of accounts (75) setup. Accounts got hijacked, including the presenters! That will teach them to use sequential usernames while being under provisioned, heh. They even lost their presentation user and had to threaten the mass with no more fun until order was restored.
Also, as usual, the Wi-Fi was just not built to handle 100 or more simultaneous users trying to navigate some CLI and download a tiny code repo. This has been the same for the last several years that I have been in attendance. If you are upstairs, you can at least use your phone to get internet but when downstairs, the cell strength is mostly just a prayer.
Alternatives were sponsored workshops on Jenkins, (always a love-hate for people) and an interesting code study incorporating Joern. Sessions were a plenty Thursday, as well as for the entire event, for PostgreSQL.
All of this was considerably different than last year’s schedule being considerably more abundant on Day 1, so I was a little concerned that the latest cold was going to be a huge drag on this year’s attendance.
While there was clearly a drop, Friday was a significant improvement in number of people and increased sessions. Both buildings were utilized, the salespeople were bumping elbows, the conference floor was active (a few empty booths though), and people were milling about. More than double the sessions for the day and overall, arguably the best day to be at the event. Of course, the favorite, Kubernetes, and possibly a PostgreSQL overkill, mixed with MySQL, DevOps, and mentoring. Can’t leave out the sponsored sessions including a favorite of ours; Gitlab. There was even the 5th year show with Bad Voltage and free beer!
Saturday and Sunday were definitely loaded up with a wide variety of topics and attendance was good in the afternoon.
Considering how many events are shutting down or just cancelling, it was great to be able to get to go. Being able to see some friends, make new acquaintances, check the pulse of our industry, and get stickers, really closed my week on a high note.
What was there
The biggest trends this year are container management (dominated by Kubernetes) and managing pipelines. This hasn’t changed much the last few years. There definitely were a lot of sessions for PostgreSQL as well, but I didn’t see the interest to support it. Perhaps because there were so many sessions and I could be biased.
The exhibit hall had some usual big budget suspects like Disney, DataDog, and Facebook. Others like PostgreSQL, MakerbBot, and several more localized examples. Game night is hosted in there on Saturday, a great family event.
Overall, this still feels as grass roots as its origin. Sure, there are some bigger marketers in there, but this is a family friendly event that highlights thinking about the community. Like opensource, it’s a community event.
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