Saturday, March 7, 2009

Trip to Google

We had an absolute blast on the trip to the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA. Last week I had the pleasure of traveling out to Google's headquarters with the winning team of the Juicy Ideas Competition.  Ryan Klinger, Spencer Price, Andrew Drake and Justin Henry from Appalachain State University won the competition in the Western North Carolina region and at the national level.  The team was able to take a tour of Google headquarters, get shuffled around in a limo, and present their winning idea at a Google TechTalk.  The weekend was absolutely amazing and lots of thank yous and props go to Mary Radomile, Susie Vaks and Matt Dunne of Google, Pam Lewis of AdvantageWest and Dale Carroll, now with the State of North Carolina as Deputy Secretary.
I am happy to say that the we also had a couple of meetings that were focused on the development of next years competition.  I am excited that we have started the process again and I know it will be just as fun next year.  Get ready, because it is going to be bigger and include many more schools nationwide.  So, if you think you have the next Juicy Idea that will change the way that we live and do business, watch for the announcement of the competition at your local college campus.
Because DigitalChalk was working on the technology behind the competition and putting that on Google's AppEngine platform, it was especially interesting to get to speak with Pete Koomen, one of two product managers working on the platform.  We were able to discuss what the experience was with the platform this year and what will make it even better next year.  At one point, during the registration for the competition, we were experiencing 25 hits/second on the AppEngine site for the competition and the platform handled it with grace.  Pete was able to share some of the experiences that they have had in the past year on the platform and some of what is coming in the future.  We had a great discussion on the future of cloud computing and what might be some ways to help make a common platform across the different cloud providers.  I will be looking at implementing some of what we talked about and releasing it to the open source community if I am successful.  Needless to say, I am very excited about the competition next year and I can't wait to see what new ideas we see!

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