It is the morning after the week before. I have taken my first step into a larger world by the awesomeness that is Gestalt IT’s Network Field Day 4. I am the last delegate remaining at the SJC Doubletree Hilton and I write this with a Venti Starbucks. Waving goodbye to Greg Ferro after a great chat this morning made me realize something important; you are what you make yourself.

Delegates of NFD4 at Juniper HQ


My flight was great. Being a first time international traveler I have a newly minted passport, over packed suitcase, and every conceivable piece of travel advice including USA fun facts. I flew United Airlines and left Tuesday October 9 at 12:15pm. I flew Melbourne to Sydney then Sydney to San Francisco. My seat, 40A, was clean, spacious and a great view. The flight was relatively empty so I got to enjoy lounging about. The crew were friendly, fed and watered me. The total flight time was 15 hours 40 minutes and I arrived 11:15am Tuesday October 9. Doctor Who right there!


Treated like a Rock-star  a personal car awaited me. I was whisked away in a Black Sedan Limo. The driver was friendly, pointed out the tech sites. With wifi in the car itself, I was able to tweet and email my safe arrival to my family and friends. I also started broadcasting my arrival.


SJC Doubletree Hilton was nice. This old girl has been around for a while. Clean, Large, and having everything I need to feel right at home. The staff were happy to do anything, very friendly, and accommodating.  I received a hot double choc cookie on arrival. Only in America!


  • Juniper
  • Cisco Borderless
  • Opengear
  • Spirent
  • Brocade
  • Statseeker


What can I say? This group of people are the who’s who of Networking right now and I cannot begin to feel how much their knowledge eclipsed mine. I felt very honored to be in a room with them let alone conversing with. From CCIEs of many disciplines, Financial networking experts, JNCIE’s, multi-tenant global DC experts and voice gurus, our group was phenomenal  There was even a lonesysadmin! 🙂 These people are who I strive to be and I have learnt so much over the course of a few days. Where else can you stay up until 4am drinking beer and discussing network war stories! I feel smarter and have gained some fantastic life lessons. Thank you gang!


This country is cool. Tipping is weird but I get it. Anchor Steam beer is delicious! The night life of San Francisco is very hipster. I have a Dell so I felt very out of place. My IRC/Twitter friend Rob Gilreath was in the area for work and took me around. San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge and surrounds. We cut across the mountains from San Jose City and went via Half Moon Bay to get there; it was very beautiful. Hipster Sushi was had at Blow fish Sushi. There were definitely some interesting characters there.


Now this is awesome. A mini highlight of the trip. After the second day, Greg Ferro and some of the delegates raided Stephen Foskett’s suite and we recorded a packet-pushers wrap up episode. This was my first podcast I was a part of and it was a very exciting experience. I fear this is the reason I spoke so fast. Apologies to anyone listening if It was hard listening to me; I was a kid in a candy shop level of ecstatic.


Beers with architects/delegates, meetings with vendors, special tours, hardcore networking discussions over breakfast, and late nights arguing the latest posturing in Silicon Valley. This is a very small glimpse into what happens at Tech Field Days. All I can say is that I am a very lucky man. Lucky to be in such an industry. Lucky to be a part of such a diverse and dynamic industry that has some AMAZING people working in it.

A special thank you once again MUST go out to Stephen Foskett and Claire Chaplais for putting this on and extending an invitation to myself. Without their hard work there would be nothing.

7 thoughts on “All quiet at the Doubletree

  1. A great insight from someone who’s like a blank canvas ready to receive every experience. Big ups for being invited I hope you get another chance. Sounds like you had an absolute blast.

    1. Thanks mate. Yeah it was a blank canvas experience. I know what is marketing hype and what is genuine innovation. I ran on excitement, tech, adrenalin, and not much sleep. I feel that may have came off in the questions and packetpushers episode done by myself where I spoke a little too fast 🙂

  2. Nothing better than meeting and chatting with people in the industry. It’s the best way to learn. Hopefully I’ll be invited next time! I think you need a bit more SP-centric folk in the mix 😀

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