The seventh annual OpsStars Conference & Awards is quickly approaching, convening Wednesday, September 21 and Thursday, September 22. Like previous, pre-pandemic editions, this year’s conference takes place in conjunction with the last two days of Dreamforce, just two blocks away.
OpsStars organizers are expecting a large turnout of attendees from the Operations professional community, and a great many are expected to travel to San Francisco for the event. However, whether you’re from out of town or local, a veteran attendee of OpsStars and Dreamforce or a rookie setting off on a new adventure, your OpsStars 2022 Survival Guide is presented below to help you make the most of your experience.
If you’re traveling into town, skip the rental car counter
Don’t even think about getting a rental car. Seriously, where do you think you’re going to go? Bay Area traffic has a reputation, and it’s not a good one. Besides, the city is home to both Uber and Lyft, and the trains, BART and CalTrans, can get you almost anywhere you want to be.
If you absolutely insist on getting a rental car, never, ever leave anything in it. While things are getting better in San Francisco, just a few months ago the most recognizable “landmarks” in the city were small piles of busted automobile safety glass scattered literally throughout the city as residual reminders of the frequent car break-ins. In fact, wherever you park, do yourself a favor and leave your doors unlocked. You might even consider leaving the windows rolled down. Seriously.
Drive off in a new Tesla
Make sure you enter LeanData’s contest to drive off in a new Tesla Model 3. Entry for the drawing is simple: Just register for a demo of LeanData at the company’s Dreamforce booth, or register for a demo of LeanData or one of the other wonderful OpsStars sponsors at OpsStars. On the afternoon of September 22, Evan Liang, co-founder and chief executive officer of LeanData, will announce the winner. Wouldn’t it be cool if it was you?
Get your morning coffee at Philz Coffee or Blue Bottle
C’mon, why get your morning coffee (or tea) at the same national chain you have back home? Live a little, and live like a local, by visiting one — or both — local institutions, Philz Coffee and Blue Bottle Coffee. Philz’ coffees are custom-blended by a dude named Phil, and each cup is hand-brewed, allowing you to customize to your preferences. Blue Bottle works directly with farmers around the world to source the best tasting, most sustainable coffees they can find. Then, they roast and serve just for you.
Wear comfortable shoes
You’re going to be on your feet most of the day, every day. Plus, even though OpsStars is just two blocks away from Dreamforce, you’re going to make that “commute” a couple of times a day. Then, of course, you’ll need to walk around downtown to get to places. After all, you won’t have a car, right? Pro tip: Bring two different pairs of shoes, and alternate days with them.
Map out your OpsStars & Dreamforce schedule
Check out the OpsStars Conference & Awards agenda and put the sessions that interest you most into your calendar. Ensure you devote some time to network with your fellow Ops professionals. Then, go to the Dreamforce agenda and fill in the remainder of your day. Keep in mind, the Dreamforce sessions are available to stream from Salesforce+, so you can rest assured you’ll not miss a thing.
Dress in layers
San Francisco is famous for allowing you to wear your entire wardrobe in a single day, from coats and scarves in the morning, to short sleeves in the afternoon, to a jacket and a hat at night. Additionally, the Bay area is quite renown for its microclimate, where temperatures can be dramatically different just miles apart. While it might be sunny and hot downtown around the Moscone Center, it might be foggy, windy and chilly just a short distance away at Ghirardelli Square. The hoodie is the proper uniform for the Bay area tech community for a reason. It’s advisable to keep some sort of light jacket with you.
Visit the LeanData lounge at OpsStars
Aside from its booth at Dreamforce, LeanData will also very much be on site at OpsStars. Stop by and visit the LeanData lounge. It is a nice place to chill out, relax, grab some snacks and drinks, and while you recharge yourself, you can recharge your mobile phone and other personal electronics.
Grab a meal at Belden Place
No question, San Francisco is a great eating town. One of my favorite places to go is Belden Place, a narrow alley in the financial district, about a five-minute walk from OpsStars and Dreamforce, depending on your luck at lights at crosswalks. The pandemic took a lot out of the place that once was so hip and happening, and its tents have taken away some of the charm of its past umbrellas. Still, there are different restaurants with different cuisines for every taste. I’d recommend Cafe Tiramisu to make you feel like you’re in Italy. And, I’d recommend Belden Place — are you ready for this? — for a late, long lunch! Your boss never has to know.
See the sights
San Francisco is a wonderfully photogenic city. So, whether you’re a native or a visitor, set some time aside, ahead of or behind OpsStars and Dreamforce, to see the sights. Here’s some main attractions:
- Bask in the day’s glory at the rooftop Salesforce Park
- Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge
- If you don’t walk across the Golden Gate, go to either Baker Beach or Crissy Field for a perfect photo
- Visit Ghirardelli Square and the nearby marina
- Coit Tower itself is pretty cool; as a bonus, it offers a 360-degree view of the city
- Explore the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (Tuesday, Thursday and/or Saturday); if it’s not market day, the plaza’s many shops and restaurants make for great exploring too
- Bring a bite to eat and linger in the Alamo Square Park across from the “Painted Ladies” houses
- Around the weekend? You could do worse than Marin, Napa and/or Sonoma counties