Airflow Summit Day 1

Airflow summit main stage

Airflow summit main stage

I woke up at 8 am.

I walked to the street car station that goes into downtown Toronto.

It wasn't clear that there was a station; it wasn't until I saw the streetcar stopped, and people would get on and off, that I realized that was it.

The streetcars are nice, they're like mini trains. And it was only $1 per ride.

Toronto is such a diverse city, a quick scan of the crowd, I can find people of different ethnicity.

I got off at Bay St, and walked towards the Marriott.

Breakfast was croissants, I sat down beside the guy I held the door for into the hotel.

He went to Oregon State, and works at AWS. He came to the US the same year I was born.

We went into the main hall, and the summit kicked off.

I wrote notes, and started gathering potential people I could message for a job. The talks were at the big hall till 11 a.m.

After that the sessions were split into 4 ballrooms.

In between were breaks, I went to each sponsor booth and had a good chat with the people there, and got nice swags. Google put the most effort in their swags.

I found the Taiwanese guy who is now working in Paris, asked him about his life there, mentioned that you're forced to take PTOs, so senior employees sometimes leave for the whole summer.

During lunch, I sat beside also a Taiwanese guy, he's paid to work on open-source projects, he's worked in Singapore and Japan, but settled back Taiwan.

The thing about these airflow talks is I haven't faced those problems before, so a person like me listening is not able to appreciate their solutions as much as a senior data engineer who's experienced the challenges that come up with scale.

I got bored from the talks, went out and talked to a sales guy at the Snowflake booth.

We talked about snowflake vs databricks at first, then sports, then US cities, US vs Canada, and I thanked him for his interesting thoughts.

I went for the last talk, and talked to someone sitting beside me. He's worked multiple companies, including Apple, and is now at a startup in Texas. He's a head of data, and likes that he can take ownership of the data stack.

I left the Marriott 6:30 p.m. and went to the BMV bookstore. I browsed the literature section, then the philosophy section, and bought "The Conquest of Happiness" by Bertrand Russell. It seemed like the most practical book there for my life as a lost 21 year old.

I stopped by a canadian gift store, got some chocolates for friends.

Then I saw a mini HMart packed in between two stores, I squeezed into the store and found kimbap, and bought it for lunch the next day.

Next stop was IKEA. I went in and ordered 6 beef meatballs and a $1 hot dog on the screens. I saw the packaged almond cake in the freezer, and was reminded of eating it back in Malaysia.

It was close to 8, I travelled back to the Eaten Centre Mall.

I arrived at Yonge-Dundas Square, and took some pictures. It's like a mini times square.

I went into UNIQLO first thing to buy a t-shirt.

Then I went underground and got pocket hand sanitizers at BABW. The handpicked apple scent was nice.

I got hungry and went in search for food.

I came across a sushi store, with a big sale sign. The lady mentioned it was buy one get one free, I did some quick filtering to look for what I could eat, and I only saw two boxes of cali roll. I bought it and went down to the food court to feast.

Unfortunately it was laced with wasabi, so I couldn't eat it. I dumped one, and kept the other in hopes I could give it to someone.

I passed by SzeChuan house, and they were also selling their food at a discount. I bought a two big boxes of fried rice and bean sprouts, at only 10 CAD. What a steal.

I ate a little bit of it, but decided I should go back to my airbnb and eat it there.

I booked a Lyft, and waited for it to arrive inside because I had no internet.

As I walked out to find the driver, I was apparently on the wrong street.

As I frantically tried to find the car, there was a drum performance going on, people and cars in all directions, a protest that just started, and it was chaotic.

I finally found the car, and got in.

The driver asked me what the protest was about, I said I didn't know.

First impressions, downtown Toronto is really packed. I don't quite understand why all the stores are small. The sidewalks are smaller too.

I liked seeing the streetcar going in every direction. Although getting on and off is pretty unsafe, as there's no platform, you're literally stepping onto the road.

I saw groups of chinese and korean people hanging out as I walked Yonge Street, I thought about what my life would be like if I grew up here or if I went to school here.

It made me think about how much a place shapes you.