Since VMworld scheduled events on Sunday this year, I felt compelled to fly out yesterday which allowed me some time to kill earlier today. I ended up heading to the Golden Gate Bridge for a little sightseeing before registration opened. That was awesome. Ever since I was a little kid, I remembered being fascinated with modern marvels of engineering and how these incredible structures were built. I recall reading about the Golden Gate Bridge and being so amazed. During my two previous trips to San Francisco, I missed out on the opportunity of seeing the bridge since I never had enough time to head across town and was unable to see it from afar because of the fog. Today was a beautiful day and I had the time and boy did I take advantage. It was awesome. Seeing the bridge for the first time was breathtaking. I took the time to hike across, catch the view of the San Fran skyline and Alcatraz, hike up the hill to Battery Spencer in Sausalito for a stunning view and then make the return hike. It was a lifelong dream fulfilled – to hike across the Golden Gate Bridge. Very cool.
Then it was time to get serious… I had to get back to Moscone to hit registration and get rolling with the activities. My plan was to register, then hit the Hands on Labs and then get to the Welcome Reception which was starting at 4PM. Boy, it was exciting approaching the Moscone Center – I could feel the energy – excitement abounded for what was in store for the week. Registration was easy, but by the time I got checked in and received my conference bag, the line for the Hands on Labs was a dreadful 3 hours long. I figured that everyone else must have had the same idea and jumped in line since there were no other events going on. What I did not realize at the time was that there were technical difficulties with the labs which caused quite a delay for most people who tried to get in that afternoon. So, I figured I’d poke around a little and grab some food before heading back to enjoy the Welcome Reception.
The Welcome Reception was typical but fun. I did have a chance to run into and chat with Chris Gebhardt from NetApp who introduced me to Nick Howell. I also got to spend some time chatting with the folks at Commvault (and even walked away with a nice raffle prize!). I made sure I also spent some time at the Dell, Cisco and Intel booths and of course, browsed the VMware booth. I always love the opportunity to speak with their product experts and see quick demos of their solutions.
Once the Welcome Reception was over I hopped over to the labs again and managed to make it through half a lab before dropping out and running across the street to join the highly touted VMunderground party at Jillian’s. This was the must-attend unofficial event organized by Theron Conrey, Sean Clark and Brian Knudtson. This was the event that sold out in 7 minutes when tickets went on sale. And this was the event attended by a veritable Who’s Who of the community: Scott Lowe, Duncan Epping, Frank Denneman, Mike Laverick, John Troyer, Chris Kusek, Greg Shields, the vBrownbag crew, and many, many others. Great time there, met a couple folks and finally got to say, I experienced the VMunderground. Well done guys.
All in all it was a great warm up day to the official events that really get rolling tomorrow!