I’ve been now almost a week home and still hadn’t blogged properly about San Francisco! This might be a bit boring to some, but I thought I at least needed to write this all up somewhere, just for posterity’s sake.
The first two days in San Francisco I went to the PayPal X Developer conference, the reason why we got flown out in the first place. We decided to enter the hackday they were running during it with something completely new (unlike some of the other teams that just entered some product they already had with an added PayPal feature to it). The idea was to make an Affiliation app where PayPal sellers who already used the PayPal “Buy It Now” button could easily turn it into an affiliation button and we’d do all the affiliate tracking and money splitting magic for you.
Again another evening and morning of hard work (although most kudos go to Cristiano and Caius who were doing all the difficult stuff, and Dom for coming up with the idea, I just helped out where I could) and we finished a rough version of the product. We already knew there wouldn’t be a lot of entries and we were right: only 15 entries, 4 of which would win $1000… During the final keynote we found out: we WON! Yay! $1000 shopping money (well, split 4 ways so $500 shopping money for me!).
The third and fourth days we visited a couple of the big tech companies in the area: Apple, Yahoo, PayPal, eBay, Google and Mozilla. I ended up getting tshirts at Apple, Google and Mozilla, although I was pretty annoyed that Yahoo’s “code like a girl” tee was only available from size XL or higher! It was pretty fun having a look at the different campuses these companies had and comparing them. And it was great catching up with people who I hadn’t seen for ages.
The final three days we spent sightseeing and shopping. Of course with our luck, on Saturday when we did most of our sightseeing it was rainy and wet. We started that day with a ride in the cable car; Cristiano, Dom and Caius got to hang outside on the car, while I got a great spot standing behind the driver. It’s pretty cool to see how they have to operate those vehicles. Plus I had the perfect spot to snap photos!
We got out at Lombard street, the “crookedest street in the world” (it’s pretty twisty, but is that really THE crookedest street?). After taking the obligatory tourist snaps, we walked towards the bay to see Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. I can see that it could be interesting on a nice, warm summer day, but it all seemed pretty dreary and miserable that day. After that, Cristiano and I took the bus to the Palace of Fine Arts. It wasn’t as impressive as it I thought it would be, although we couldn’t walk actually in it, cause of renovation works. We then started a stroll along the beach to see the Golden Gate bridge, but actually ended up walking completely to the bridge. Pretty glad that we did, cause the view there was awesome!
On Sunday and Monday I mainly did shopping (shoes, books, clothes and makeup!), but we did take some time out to do one of those guided the tours. We chose Ride The Ducks, an amphibian bus that gave a tour part on land and part on water. I wasn’t too sure about it when we started, but the tour was hilarious! Our “Captain” was awesome, giving cool facts about the sights we saw, but also mixing it up with hilarious and silly jokes. I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to go in the water near the Golden Gate, but it was still awesome to do.
I’m kind of annoyed with the amount of photos I took during the entire trip: only 240 for the whole 7 days! And most of them aren’t even that good (I ended up uploading about 70 of them). I’m really regretting not having taken more photos. Also: I always hate it when people take photos of their food, but I kind of wish I did in some cases. I ate sooo much during this week, and there were some great restaurants we went to (I think that deserves it’s own blog post though).
My trip to San Francisco was awesome, and I’m still so chuffed that we got to go! Thanks again to PayPal!