Fun stuff to do if you’re in San Francisco for the BUILD conference

Is there any tourist-y stuff to do in San Francisco?

I have to start by saying what’s fun for some people will not be fun for everyone. I’m not going to repeat all the San Francisco treats (such as Rice-a-Roni) for you; that’s what guidebooks are for. Everyone knows about Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences at the park, and of course the famous Golden Gate Bridge (the best view of which is from the north side of the bridge, from the battlements in the Marin Headlands). For people who like to shop, the Westfield Center is on Market and Powell St, and Union Square is two blocks up Powell.

There’s also the Letterman Center for the Digital Arts in the Presidio, home to Lucasfilm and ILM. (Take your picture with the Yoda fountain!). If you have a car, you can drive north on 101, and take the Lucas Valley Drive exit and go west to Nicasio, and drive by the entrance to Skywalker Ranch. (I’m not posting the # here, I don’t want the double-L’s coming after me (the Lucasfilm Lawyers)). (Did you notice I closed all of my parentheses correctly? Good to know that learning LISP was relevant to my life.) Oh, by the way, you can’t see anything from the entrance, and they have a lot of security cameras, so don’t try climbing over the fence and running for the main house. (Don’t ask.)

Any tech events going on around \\build?

So let’s talk about fun things to do if you’re a tech person coming to \\build – you know, the parties, the events happening at the same time, where you can see people you haven’t seen since the last conference or MVP summit? Here’s a list I managed to cobble together. If you know of any I’ve missed, please add them in the comments so I can go to them, too. Be sure to check the event pages themselves in case there are any changes after I post this.

Monday, 21 June

  • Microsoft .NET client-side development futures / panel discussion. Microsoft offices, SF, 6:30 p.m.
    Discuss Microsoft .NET client-side development and the future thereof with Laurent Bugion and Ward Bell (both are Silverlight MVPs). There will also be 1 or 2 guys from Xamarin joining in. More info here.
  • Preparing applications for production environments. Microsoft offices, Mountain View, 6:30 p.m.
    You need a car to get from SF to this meetup in Silicon Valley about preparing applications for production environments. More info here.

Tuesday, 22 June

  • Vittorio Bertocci speaking about Identity/AD/ACS and Windows Azure. Microsoft offices, SF, 6:30 p.m. 
    Come see Vittorio Bertocci, a superstar from Microsoft who is the expert in Identity/AD/ACS in Windows Azure! He’s always entertaining and informative, and great at answering questions. This event is kindly being sponsored by AppDynamics, so there will be pizza and drinks; please sign up ahead of time so we get enough pizza! More info here.
  • Bay Area F# User Group meetup. Microsoft offices, SF, 6:30 p.m.
    Meetup of the Bay Area F# user group. More info here.
  • Xamarin Welcome Party 7:00-midnight
    This is conveniently about a block from the Microsoft offices, and I suspect their numbers will coincidentally increase at about the time the two meetups end. More info here.

Wednesday, 23 June

  • Glenn Block speaking about scriptcs. Github HQ, SF, 7:00 p.m.
    Come see Glenn Block from Microsoft talk about scriptcs at the second SF .NET User Group (yes, there’s two, don’t ask). Github is on 4th St; I hear they are letting in the first 55 people who have RSVP’d to the meetup. More info here.
  • \\Build Welcome Reception
    If the pattern of the past few \\build conferences holds, the \\build welcome reception will be Wednesday night. I’ll post more information when I find out if I’m right or now.

Thursday, 24 June

  • Deep Fried Bytes party. Thirsty Bear Brewing Co., South of Market 8:00-10:00 p.m.
    To get tickets to this, you have to track down Chris Woodruff or Keith Elder at the \\build conference. More info here.
  • \\Build Attendee Party
    This is another educated guess. If the pattern holds, there will be an Attendee party on Thursday night. I’ll post details here when/if I get them!

How do I find the Microsoft office in San Francisco?

Several of these events are at the Microsoft offices in San Francisco. They are very generous with their space, and we who run the meetups and user groups really appreciate their support, especially that of Bruno Terkaly with DPE for hosting all of our SF meetups.

The office is about two blocks from the Moscone Center, where the \\build conference is being held, on Market Street where Powell runs into Market. Of course, they don’t have a big sign on the street that says Microsoft, you have to be “in the know” to find it. Fortunately, Microsoft Research (apparently in the same location) has a very nice page here that shows you where it is.

Is Rice-a-Roni really the San Francisco Treat they claim it is?

Yes it is. Do you have the Rice-a-Roni song in your head yet?

5 Responses to “Fun stuff to do if you’re in San Francisco for the BUILD conference”

  1. Peter Kellner Says:

    very nice! thanks Robin

  2. Adam Tuliper (@AdamTuliper) Says:

    The dates above are off 🙂 Thanks for the content!

  3. mbharrin Says:

    The Computer History Museum is worth a visit, but it’s in Mountain View, not San Francisco. You can take Caltrain and then a bus or taxi to get there.

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