The First Date with Silicon Valley.
Category : Tools
I’m writing this on the plane on my way to San Francisco. Am I excited? Sure I am – this is my first visit to the US! It may seem pretty strange – I’ve been working in software for the last 15 years – most of the time on projects involving the American market. And still I never traveled for work. I even had a planned trip once, got a visa issued, but the project then fell through… On the other hand – this makes enough sense as I’ve spent most of my career working on infrastructure. And in this field (as in many others) there’s increasingly less need to be in a specifi place to do your work. As an example – I just spent 4 very productive hours in Frankfurt airport – sending mails, fixing bugs, talking to a customer and preparing a talk proposal for the upcoming DevOps Days TLV (BTW – the call for papers is still open until September 1st). And I could’ve done this anywhere else provided there’s WiFi or mobile data connection. I could actually continue working on the plane, but it turns out United are charging 17$ for the WiFi and I decided I’d rather finish the book I’m reading and write this blog post. By the way – when I flew Norwegian Air to Stockholm last year – they provided WiFi free of charge. And they’re a budget carrier!
So, what am I expecting from my trip to the States? I’m trying to go easy on expectations, but I do feel positive about America. Nowadays it seems like the whole world (outside of US that is) is pretty much separated into 2 camps – those who like it and those who hate it. For example – I just spent a magic vacation in the Baltic states (Latvia and Lithuania) – and the majority of the locals I talked to are quite angry at and even scared of “Americans”. They feel like the US are trying to influence their countries’ politics and economy and are wary of a possible military conflict with Russia breaking out on their lands. They could be right for all I know – after the Ukrainian situation nothing will surprise me.
So when I say ‘I like America’ – I don’t mean to say I’m justifying the US international politics or military interventions. What I like is the fact that it’s a multinational state ( and this is very much felt already on the plane – with both the crew and the travellers coming from the widest possible range of origins). I like the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that’s so much a part of American culture. And I’m happy that I’m visiting the Silicon Valley on this first trip – as it’s the symbol of all these things that I like. At least that’s how I imagine this. Still need to see it with my own eyes.
Let’s see how I feel after I come back.