It's day 3 of my week long Tokyo adventure. Day 2 kind of disappeared into the ether with meetings and prep for meetings and forum posts and the like, so no blog post for day 2, even though it was quite a good day.

Today though, day 3, has been outstanding so far. I just got back from an awesome customer visit with some really cool engineers. We talked geek, we white-boarded, we wrote some code and pontificated about possible solutions to problems they're having as well as future solutions they want to put in was hawesome.  It was cool to see a powerful presence in Japan using BIG-IP extensively as well as leveraging iRules. They totally "get it" and that's way cool. We talked about how to implement a couple more iRules and likely some iControl code as well to keep them pushing the envelope, which is right where they want to be, and that's what I like to see as well.

Not only did I feel totally "in my element" talking about coding and applications and general geekery like I love to do, but I was really surprised at how little of an issue the language barrier was.  No, I'm not talking about perl vs php, I'm talking about the fact that they spoke Japanese (I know, not shocking since I'm in Tokyo) and as much as I wish I did, I don't speak a lick of it.  Of course, I had a fantastic interpreter by way of a colleague here from the Japan office (three, actually), but once we got past the introductions and broke out the white-board I was amazed at how much I understood.

interpreter_symbol_textSure, the details and full info had to be interpreted - I'm no mind reader* - but the general gist of what they wanted to accomplish and the code that would be required to do so was pretty obvious from drawings, notation and some mockup code. I of course immediately thought of the puns about not needing an interpreter for this language, performance gains of un-interpreted languages, etc. etc.  Luckily I made my saving throw, even at a -4 to avoid over-geeking, and kept my mouth shut, avoiding looking like an idiot.

I'm not saying I could have done it without Joe, Toshihiro and the gang there to back me up and translate, but I was pleasantly surprised how clear the technical aspects of things became once we started discussing things. It just goes to show that geek is a word-wide language.

Other than that visit I've been keeping busy while here with general DC work - forum posts, behind the scenes IT kinda stuff, team coordination, etc. - and talking with / presenting to the awesome folks here in the Japan office. I'm really glad I got the opportunity to come out here and have had an absolutely great time so far. Everyone is polite, bright, and great to talk to whether it's about F5's path to world domination, the proper way to optimize a DNS inspection iRule on GTM, or which beer goes best with tempura (jury is still out, more research is required). I also found out that Toshihiro, one of the local marketing gurus, is taking my Top5 and translating it for local distribution.  Way cool! I'm going to work with him to get that added to the Japan specific section of DevCentral, since it's translated anyway. That way people will be able to dig through old editions, like on my personal DC page now.

I've only got one more full day here and as much as I'm excited to get home, part of me wishes I had more time to hang out and explore this rich, crazy, bustling, enjoyable town.

More tomorrow after the DCJ user group meeting. If you're coming, I'll see you there!




* - Could I even have understood them if I COULD read minds? Would it all be in Japanese? Inquiring minds want to know.