switching from high octane to diesel mechanics

I can’t help but think that this next week is going to be like switching from high octane to diesel mechanics – technically speaking. Or maybe it’s a more appropriate metaphor to say I’m moving from the edge to the core.

I’ve finished up with WWDC 2008, where I spent the week with some incredible developers. Steve Weller has a great set of shots up on SmugMug of these folks. Fraser, Deric, Gus, Blake, Daniel, Brent, and so many more. They all work on or with the folks who make Macintosh desktop (and now iPhone/iPod) software. They tune, tweak, and polish like mad fiends – the quality and time effort involved is just incredible.

I spend a week back in Seattle at home base (I’ve got a few things to nail down and a few others to pick up), and then I’m out again – this time for a shorter period of time – attending the O’Reilly Velocity conference. Where everything at WWDC (for me, anyway) was about programming the devices on the edge, Velocity is all about the engines at the core. The “giant diesels” that keep everything out here on the edge fed with data.

I’m not sure what exactly to expect at Velocity – it’s a fairly new conference setup. I really liked the focus of the conference though – it’s about the “how” in dealing with web performance and scaling for internet operations. It’s something I’ve been involved with for a goodly number of years – the most recent few a bit more on the engineering side of the house. Although I’ve worked far more deeply in both operations and engineering, I tend to migrate to an area somewhere in the middle. Pretty much what my current job is all about. I’m coming away from WWDC with at least two key topics to go back and evangelize to my comrades in Seattle, and I rather expect I’ll be coming back from Velocity with another couple – albeit very different in topic, scope, and audience.

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