Blogging Conferences

Can’t ESCape Wanting To Go

Horrible pun in the title, my apologies.

However, the exciting news is that I will be attending ESC Silicon Valley in a few weeks! I just worked out the details for my trip and will be there from Tuesday, May 3rd until Thursday May 5th.

I’ve been to ESC Chicago and ESC Boston in the past year, but the Silicon Valley version seems to have more seminars, a bigger show floor and more going on in general. That’s to be expected in relation to the relative number of attendees that will likely be there. And of course each time they have a different ESC, some of the courses and people speaking seems to change at least a little to keep up with new technology.

This is exciting for me personally because I’ve never been to Silicon Valley before. Even more puzzling, I’ve never been to the Bay Area or even California before. I’m such a homebody. But I’m looking forward to seeing what’s out there, enjoying the beautiful weather and hopefully seeing some of the local sites.

How did I get the chance to go? Element 14 is sending me as part of their Roving Reporter program. I’ll have video, audio and written updates from the show floor each day. I’m also planning on sitting in for Brian Fuller’s live streaming and interviews from the conference. And of course no trade show would be complete if I didn’t try and record an episode of The Amp Hour with Dave!

My co-conspirator for the recently completed 555 contestJeri Ellsworth–will be there also. Jeri is a keynote speaker on Thursday morning of ESC and will also be a roving reporter. We’ll try and show the conference from an engineer’s perspective and have some fun.

If you know of any must-see places in San Jose, I’d love to hear about them. And if you’re going to be around the conference, let me know! I’d love to hang out and talk or even grab a beer. There’s at least one beer-themed event called “Beer and Boards” which will probably be a good time to hang out and talk about nerdy stuff.

I’ll try and post links here (and definitely on my Twitter account) to the stuff I produce for Element 14. I’m really looking forward to seeing what this Silicon Valley thing is all about!

By Chris Gammell

Chris Gammell is an engineer who talks more than most other engineers. He also writes, makes videos and a couple podcasts. While analog electronics happen to be his primary interests, he also dablles in FPGAs and system level design.

7 replies on “Can’t ESCape Wanting To Go”

If you're coming to Silicon Valley, you must check out the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center – Super super super cool. And then of course, there are lots of great places to go for fun. There is this awesome German bar in RWC (the one where the engineer lost the iPhone and became famous!)

ESC is draining, and three days isn't much, but here is a list:
Stores: HSC (, WeirdStuff (, Fry's, Central Computers, Santana Row (only if you need something for your SO)
Things to drive by: NatSemi (before the logos change), Maxim, Google, Facebook, Intel, AMD, Applied Materials, Nvidia, ebay, Yahoo, Cisco, HP garage, Google garage

The new Computer History Museum is great, but you really need a whole day there.

Yelp is great in the Bay Area; use it to find food, I'd skip the ESC food.

I've been going to ESC for a number of years now. I keep planning on going to the computer museum (a block away from the convention center) but the timing has never quite worked out. I'm been to too many shows and get tired of them, but I still like ESC. Ditto on skipping the ESC food though. Once I was in a tradeshow trance and picked up the old, cold, display hamburger. The sad thing is that when I started eating it, I didn't think something was wrong with it, I just thought "Hmmm. Bad food as usual."

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