Open Sourcing Anti-harassment Tools
I went to a few different talks, but the one that I felt like I got the most out of was Randi Harper's. I wasn't expecting near as many people to show up as did, but after a group of people took over the OSCON hashtag as part of a campaign against her, I think a lot of people wanted to hear more about this. Randi spent a little bit of time talking about her own experiences recently and what her non-profit, Online Abuse Prevention Initiative, is doing.
Then she started talking about the technology that currently exists to help people deal with harassment. She explained about using the metadata that Twitter provides to create a curated list of people that you probably want to block. She also talked about the problems she's run into while creating this technology, as well as the mistakes she made.
At the end there was a fairly long Q&A session with her, and everyone was being extremely cordial. The fact that there are people, even if it's a small number for now, that are willing to have this conversation gives me a lot of hope for the future of both technology and gaming.
The booth right next to us was the Pyladies. This is a group focused on teaching girls and women Python, as well as being a place for these girls and women to hang out and share their experiences. I had my first interaction with them at PyCon when I helped with their fundraising auction. I hadn't gotten a chance to meet any of the women that were there so I introduced myself. The two that were at their booth the most were Thursday and Georgia. They gave me some advice about some places around town that I should go which unfortunately I didn't end up having time for. They were both extremely nice, and I hope I'm able to keep in touch with them.
Rootbeer - SAP
Not long after the floor first opened SJ told me that one of the booths had root beer. At the time I had a cup of tea so I wasn't that interested, but after finishing my tea I went over there. Before I asked for a glass, I asked the guy pouring how good it was. After my first glass I had decided it was awesome and that I'd have to come back later for more. I ended up going back a few more times and standing around talking with not only the guy pouring, Butch, but also some of the other guys that work at SAP. It sounds like it could be an interesting company to work for so I'm going to take a look at the openings.
At the end of the first full day there were a couple guys walking by with the Curse logo on their shirts. Without Curse WoW Diabetes would have maybe seen a few people outside of my friends. So I stopped them and was asking a little about the company. It seems like it could be a pretty cool place to work, but unfortunately they don't have any openings that my skill set fits. It's definitely something that I'll keep my eye on in the future.
While Cisco isn't a game company, they do have a ton of different software engineer opportunities as well as security positions. The recruiter that I met also said that for their entry level positions you don't have to know a lot about security, you just have to have a basic understanding and they'll teach you the rest. Security positions are in major supply even in the gaming industry, so if I can learn more about it it may be how I'm able to break into the industry.
Across the pathway from the FOSS @ Magic booth was a booth for the Internet Archive. I'm really not sure how I hadn't heard of this before, but they basically collect data. They scrape websites, copy physical books into a digital format, and even create emulators to allow people to play old games. They're also hiring for some different positions, so I will be finding out if there's anything open for me there.
Salt & Straw
Salt & Straw is an ice cream place that does weird flavors. They also offer a flight of ice cream. This is a smaller amount of ice cream than a normal scoop in four separate bowls. I decided to go this route since they had so many different flavors. Roasted Strawberry & White Chocolate, Arbequina Olive Oil, Stumptown Coffee & Burnside Bourbon, and Cinnamon Snickerdoodle were the flavors that I chose. The Cinnamon Snickerdoodle was by far my favorite, and had chunks of snickerdoodle cookie in it. The Arbequina Olive Oil was a sort of creamy vanilla flavor. The Stumptown Coffee didn't taster very good to me, which I'm guessing is an indication that I probably wouldn't like it's namesakes coffee either.
Burgerville was a little burger place right across the street from our hotel. Since the first day we were there we were setting things up, this is where we ended up eating. I got a plain burger with their special sauce and a side of onion rings. Normally onion rings are made with a single layer of onion, these were made with 3 or 4 which was interesting, but still good. The burger wasn't as good as I was hoping, I think the sauce was mustard based and I really don't like mustard.
Frank's Noodle House
Thursday after the conference we didn't think we had enough time to go too far from the hotel to eat as we thought one of us had an earlier flight than the rest. We ended up going to a small Noodle place that was about 5 minutes away by taxi. There were some pretty good Yelp reviews, but we didn't realize it was a place that had been on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives until we got there. We ended up ordering family style and just getting a bunch of different things for people to try. We got a couple of different chicken dishes and a couple of beef dishes. Everything was delicious and I hope to go back the next time I'm in the area.
The Loop is a doughnut covered in Froot Loops. It has some sort of a creamy icing on it that tasted a lot like milk.
The No Name
The No Name has chocolate icing on it, then a layer of Rice Krispies, and finally it's drizzled with peanut butter. I didn't like this one as much as the Loop but it was still delicious.
Things I missed
Powell's is a used bookstore out in Portland. I've been told the biggest location takes up an entire city block and is 5 stories high. Unfortunately I didn't hear about this place until Wednesday and we already had plans for that night. We left out on Thursday so there wasn't much time for me to try and go, but I will definitely make my way there the next time I'm in Portland.
Blue Star Doughnuts
Blue Star is another doughnut shop like Voodoo. According to most of the locals, they're actually better but I didn't get to try. Unlike Voodoo they're not open late at night when we had time to go get doughnuts, so this is something I'll have to try for myself the next time I go out there.