The last day of SCaLE was bittersweet, as I didn’t want it to be over but I was also ready to head home.
After stopping by the booth I was eager to visit a session on OpenNMS presented by my friend Jeff Gehlbach.
Jeff has stepped up in the the presenter role I used to have, and he did a very good job of covering what network flows are, the different types and why they are important.
Back in the Exhibit Hall I was happy to learn that the AWS booth had won the “Most Memorable” award.
At 1:30pm we held a raffle for a pretty nice 3D printer. You had to be present to win and there was a lot of interest.
Then it was time to tear down the booth as the Exhibit Hall closed at 2pm.
This gave us time to get to the closing keynote by Internet pioneer Vint Cerf.
For someone who recently turned 79 he was a dynamic and entertaining speaker, and it was fun to listen to his stories on creating ARPANET, and how it grew into the public Internet we use today.
He also mentioned Jon Postel several times. I had an e-mail correspondence with Jon in the mid-1990s when I was trying to wrap my brain around the process for getting an “enterprise number” from IANA. I didn’t realize until after his untimely death who he was, and I’m still impressed at how much time he was willing to give a newbie like me.
While I enjoyed the presentation, I did regret that we ran out of time for details on his last slide, which concerned “unfinished business”.
I mean, I get it. Each of the six topics on the slide could be a talk on its own, but I was very curious to hear his thoughts on fixing things such as disinformation. I love living in a world with almost instant access to information and the ability to connect with others, but there are problems, too, and I’m not sure we have the solutions.
All in all I am extremely happy to have been able to attend SCaLE. I’m still not comfortable in crowds and I was a little put out that not everyone in attendance decided to honor the mask policy. I talked with the SCaLE staff and they told me they were doing all they could, but even when people were reminded to mask up they tended to remove them as soon as the staff member walked away.
I was especially unhappy when I saw sponsors going maskless. On the one hand I am happy for their support of SCaLE, but on the other when you are standing in front of your company logo showing a disregard for the safety of your potential customers, it sends a bad message.
I’m not bringing this up to start a debate on the efficacy of masks, as I realize that they provide varying degrees of protection depending on type and use, but if your staff isn’t willing to abide by the conference rules, perhaps you just shouldn’t be there.
Note that I did refrain from posting the pictures I took of specific sponsors since it really wouldn’t change anything. I must be getting soft in my old age.
In any case I hope this is a non-issue for SCaLE 20x in Pasadena next March. I’m not optimistic that the pandemic will be over but for me the risk was worth the benefit, and I can’t wait to return.