Strata Conf Santa Clara 2014

I started this blog nearly a year ago, after Strata 2013 feeling super excited about Strata and data science stuff. It created an urge for me to do more data stuff and to blog about things. In the first blog post I  mentioned that I would’ve loved to see Monica Rogati’s talk but I don’t think it was never released for free. However, this year I actually was able to fulfill a bunch of dreams by participating Strata, seeing Rogati’s talk, seeing Rodney Mullen and having so many great discussions with amazing people.


It all started with DashingD3js newsletter’s competition for 2-day Strata ticket. I participated, stating I wanted to see Perry Samson, Shrinat Perera, Justin Langseth and Hadley Wickham to keep it compact but still diverse set of talks. Week later, I heard that I had won the tickets and felt so happy to finally participate Strata.

I’ve been somewhat of a Rodney Mullen fan since around 2000 when Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 was published and boy was I excited when I heard that he’d be at Strata. I had no idea what to expect but 10 minutes of skate videos was definitely not bad start for a conference. I love the way Mullen gives the presentation. He seems so excited about everything and that really comes across to the audience.

pjsamsonAs an education enthusiast, Perry Samson’s Mining Student Notes was one of the talks I really eagerly waited before the conference. Back home, I used to TA programming classes at university and we had our own teaching platform and working on Capstone project on edutech, I had grown great interest on educational technology and how to adapt it with classroom environments. Even better than the topic and the product was Samson’s presentation. He was a great combination of hilarious presentation style and informative grip.

I also had the pleasure to discuss about edutech and LectureTools with Samson after the talk. One thing I’m always bit worried with good technological solutions is that teachers are not always wanting to do the extra work to redo their teaching materials and learn new technologies. And if there is no pressure or encouragement from the employer towards adopting new things, we are bit stuck with only small number of early adopter teachers using these technologies and critical mass not even thinking about them.

On the exhibition area, I collected all the free stuff I could find and ended up with a pile of t-shirts, couple of books and a cool sumo wrestler figure.



But to continue with the conference, the highlight of the day was Monica Rogati’s talk Bedtime Stories. After buying my first Android phone, I started to track my own sleeping in order to find out the problem spots and I was really interested to hear what she had to say. I had no idea that Jawbone sold a product called Up which tracks your movements, sleeping and eating. It is something I probably will buy in near future in order to learn more from my daily routines without having to think about it.


The talk itself gave cool insights on how people sleep in the world and how different events affect our sleeping routines. Super Bowl seems to only cause less sleep if the game is interesting: this year’s game was not and so people did go to sleep way earlier than the previous year. I also had the change to talk to Monica but stuttered and got mixed up with all the things I was supposed to tell so the conversation was not too fruitful. Too shame.

On more entertaining side, I got quite okay time on SoftLayer’s Server Challenge II (video not from Strata), won a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 from Intel’s draw and tried Google Glass for the first time.





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