At the end of January to the beginning of February 2015, I was lucky enough to spend a week out in Salt Lake City. A few of us were in town for Pluralsight’s Author Summit – an event where Pluralsight brought in their authors from all around the world to meet each other, collaborate and learn. A few days later was ng-conf, Angular’s largest conference.
In between, I had another 2 days to kill, where I toured the town.
From the Plane
Even from the plane the views of Rockys are jaw-dropping.
Grand America Hotel
The Code School crew settled down in the Grand America hotel - a luxurious and beautiful hotel right on the tram track and easily accessible from the airport.
The rooms at the hotel were amazing – if you’re staying in SLC, I’d definitely recommend staying here.
Pluralsight Authors Summit
The Pluralsight Author Summit kicked off soon after we arrived. The idea behind the event is to energize and offer inspiration to Pluralsight Authors – and it definitely worked for me. I left feeling inspired to create amazing content.
The format of the event involved 2 days of barcamp-like talks over almost a dozen rooms. These talks could be presentations, but were much more often discussions about anything authors were interested in.
In addition to these events during the day, Pluralsight also organized a number of impressive social events. On the first night, they held a party at the Pluralsight office. The next night, there was an entire casino setup at the hotel, complete with fake-gambling and prizes. To wrap up on the last day, we took a SKI TRIP to Park City. This event was waay too much fun to be considered work.
Park City Ski Trip
On the last day of the Author Summit, authors were given the option to do something different. They could choose their own adventure: skiing, snow boarding or bobsledding. Gregg, Carlos and I decided to hit the slopes of Park City for the day.
I’d completely forgotten how much fun skiing is. It also made me want to get in better shape just to be able to last longer and dig deeper on the slopes. We stuck mostly to blue and green slopes, which were plenty challenging while still being fun.
Salt Lake City
After the Author Summit, I had a few days of exploring the town. Salt Lake City might not be the largest town, but all of the food I tried was amazing. I took the opportunity to eat all the things.
Getting around in the city the first day was a little interesting. One day there were 3 inches of snow, and the next it was green grass.
What goes better with snow and coldness than a new stew, some Belgian fries and a warm waffle? I trekked through the snow for Bruges Waffles and it paid off.
Feeling energized by the Author summit, I downloaded a few Pluralsight courses and headed to Beerhive to grab a beer and learn some Tableau.
One of the places I knew I wanted to try was Takashi Sushi, a wildly popular sushi place in downtown Salt Lake City. Even before they opened there was a line down the block for tables on a Tuesday night.
Luckily I was dining alone, so grabbing a spot at the sushi bar wasn’t any trouble. I sat down and enjoyed an amazing omakase meal - chatting with the chef and letting him shape what I ate. This made for some amazing arctic char, fatty tuna, scallops and more – with a little sake added of course.
After a few days between events, a few other co-workers from Code School joined me for ng-conf, which was directly across the street from author summit hotel.
Ng-conf itself was another great event. I wasn’t expecting too much going into it, which helped it exceed expectations on the organization level. The content of the conference wasn’t amazing unfortunately – but did inspire me to do a little more Angular dev.
This was a 1-track conference with variable length talks - something I hadn’t tried before, but worked out well. With a few minute break between talks, there was a little time to recover before jumping into the next talk.
There were a few great high points to the conference – free girl scout cookies for everyone, constant giveaways, a Kawehi concert, a game night where were played some Concept and a Magic: The Gathering draft, as well as a team dinner.
Salt Lake City is a beautiful town – especially in winter. There’s a wide selection of good food, with some good bars local brews as well. Park City isn’t far outside the city, and worth a trip. Cocktails are limited in their alcohol content, making for very small portions – think half a cocktail. There are other odd rules around drinks – how many you can order at once, ABV of beer.
I’m hoping to go back again sometime – perhaps for a ski trip?