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CloudNow Awards, Perl 6 and the PPIE’s role in SF public transit

September felt a bit quiet for me event-wise. I had to cancel a speaking engagement I was looking forward to when I realized it landed on Yom Kippur (oops) and the only other event I had on my schedule related to work was the award ceremony for CloudNOW‘s top women in Cloud award.

There I was able to visit with my HP friends who were hosting a booth and giving away HP cloud goodies. They were also promoting a scholarship program for women in college who want to work on an open source project, and I was able to chime in as a former mentor for the program.

After networking, the event had several talks, including one by friend and now colleague at HP, Allison Randal. She gave a great talk about value and history of software and where we’re going with cloud and open source.

Allison Randal on the evolution of the value of software

One of the hosts also took time to do a short interview with Isis Anchalee, the engineer who started the #ILookLikeAnEngineer hashtag that went viral promoting people who don’t traditionally “look like” engineers, and highlighting the fact that assumptions are often wrong (here’s mine). I was really impressed with the talent and accomplishments of all the women I met throughout the event. People say I juggle a lot, they should have a chat with some of the women who won these awards!

I kicked off October this week by going to a Perl 6 talk by Larry Wall. I was recovering from a migraine and a workout with my trainer earlier in the day, but I forced myself to go out to this event anyway. I’m glad I did. I strategically wore my FOSDEM shirt, figuring that even though I’d be too shy there may be someone who found it interesting enough to strike up a conversation. Success! I had a great chat with an open sourcey systems fellow who was greatly interested in the surge of money being poured into the open source ecosystem. I could talk about that for hours.

The presentation itself was full of wit and humor, and I learned a lot about Perl 6 that I never bothered to look into. As the alpha and beta releases have been trickling out this year, it was nice to learn that they hope to have their 6.Christmas release ready, well, by Christmas.

Taking a bit of a turn away from technology on computers, tonight I spent the evening at the California Historical Society, which is just a block or so away from where we live. They were hosting a lecture on City Rising for the 21st Century: San Francisco Public Transit 1915, now, tomorrow. The “City Rising” bit comes from the celebration of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) that happened 100 years ago, in 1915, here in San Francisco. As a technology and history lover I’ve always been fascinated by these World’s Fairs, so getting to learn about the one here has been fun. Several months back we bought Laura Ackley’s San Francisco’s Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 and I finished reading it a few weeks ago. I just recently picked up the giant Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition which has several contributors and pages of full color reproductions of art that was showcased at the fair. And I was excited to learn that the de Young museum is opening an exhibit of the same name as that giant book on October 17th that will have several of the actual pieces that were at the expo 100 years ago.

The lecture and panel tonight drew from both my fascination with the PPIE AND general interest in local transit. I went to the Fair, Please! exhibit at the Market Street Railway museum and picked up a copy of the Bay Area Electric Railroad Association Journal from Spring 2007 that had an article by Grant Ute on transit at the fair. So it was a delight to see Grant tonight and have him do the introductory talk for the event. I should have brought the Journal and my copy of San Francisco’s Municipal Railway as he was signing things, alas!

The talk and panel were thoroughly enjoyable. Once the panel moved on from progress and changes made and made possible by transit changes surrounding the PPIE, topics ranged from the removal of (or refusal to build) elevated highways in San Francisco and how it’s created a beautiful transit and walk-friendly city, policies around the promotion of public transit and how funding has changed over the years.

I love things on rails, it was a good evening.

This concludes local events for a while. I’m doing a quick jaunt to Las Vegas to spend a day with MJ on Friday-Saturday. Then on Tuesday I’m flying off to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing where I’ll be talking about the open source continuous integration system we use in OpenStack (talk details on this page). Directly from Houston I’m flying to Tokyo where I’ll meet MJ for a week of touristing in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto before the OpenStack Summit in Tokyo. I’m finally back home on October 31st, for a week, and then I’m off to speak at LISA’15. Phew!