Santa Clara Chronicles [personal]
Note: This is a not an Excel tips post. It is a diary of one of the most awesome conferences I have ever attended.
I just finished attending PASS Business Analytics conference in Santa Clara (USA) and am now heading back home to India. And it has been one of the most fun, uplifting and educational experiences of my life. I met so many remarkable people in this trip.
Just to name a few, I met Dan Fylstra (one of the pioneers of VisiCalc & founder of Solver), Bob Phillips, Ken Puls, Jordan Goldmeier, Oz Du Soliel, Rick Grantham, Szilvia Juhasz, Zack Baresse, Kevin Jones, Avi Singh, Chris Webb, Rob Collie, Bill Jelen, Scott Senkeresty, Matt Allington, Jon Acampora, Marco Russo & Jen Stirrup.
I also felt fortunate to meet many of Chandoo.org fans, followers, customers & supporters who attended the conference. It was non stop fun for 3 days.
As if meeting all these great people, sharing a conversation, beer, snack, moment or ride (in a cramped backseat with 2 other Excel MVPs) with them was not enough, I also got to attend few of the amazing sessions at PASS BA.
- I learned CUBE formulas from Bob Phillips
- Introduction to R from Jen Stirrup
- Power Query trickery from Chris Webb
- Charting best practices from Jordan
- Keynote presentations by Mico & Carlo
I wish I had the time to attend more sessions. But I was busy teaching a few or meeting people.
All in all, in one word, PASS Business Conference has been AWESOME.
Couple of funny & interesting experiences from the conference:
5 MVPs in a car
At the end of day 3 (April 22nd), a bunch of us were sitting at the hotel lobby bar and chatting. When I asked Ken (Excelguru) what they are doing for dinner, Ken said Zack is taking him for dinner. Then Zack looked at me and said, “why don’t you tag along?”
By then we were 4 people – Ken, Zack, Wessex Bob & myself.
We all agreed to head back to rooms, fresh up & meet downstairs in 20 minutes.
When we all came down, Jordan was also at the bar area. So we asked him to join us.
Jordan, Bob & I shared the backseat and lots of laughs all the way to some upscale sea food restaurant in another suburb of San Francisco.
Here is a selfies from backseat of Zack’s car.
Bob, Jordan & Chandoo
We meet Kevin Jones there and we all share really amazing food, insightful (often hilarious) conversation. As Ken recently quit his job to be self-employed, we all shared our words of wisdom with him.
But the night is not over yet
We reached the hotel at 9:30. I find Rob, Scott, Matt, few members from Microsoft Excel & Power BI teams all having drinks at the lobby bar. So I joined them for more laughs, conversation & selfies.
Here is a pic with Rob, Scott, Matt & Ken
Chandoo, Rob, Matt, Scott & Ken
By the time I head to my room it was 11:30 PM.
Dany’s Recalc or Die stricker
Dany Hoter from Excel team has this cool laptop sticker.
Almost all the Excel MVPs at the conference in one epic pic
And here it is:
Zack, Jon, Bob, Ken, Chris, Marco, Gregory
Cat, Oz, Chandoo, Rick & Szilvia
My first impressions of everyone
This is the first time I met so many Excel MVPs & bloggers. Here is the first thought that came to me when I saw them.
- Ken: He is big!!! and he talks fast
- Oz: What a hat! and whats with the Sriracha hot sauce?!?
- Rick: he means business
- Dan Fylstra: Wow, he is so cool & down to earth
- Scott: Boy his laughter is really loud
- Avi: small packet of energy & enthusiasm
- Bob: funny and awesomely English
Thank you PASS & everyone who showed up
Thanks a lot to the PASS team for inviting me to this conference. I had an awesome time.
Also thanks to everyone from Chandoo.org community who signed up for this event & made it even more awesome. Thank you.
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