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San Fran Trip


Day Fifteen!


Day Fourteen!


Day Thirteen!


Day Twelve!


Day Eleven!


Day Ten!


Day Nine!


Day Eight!


Day Seven!


Day Six!


Day Five!


Day Four!


Day Three!


Day Two!


Day One!


Trip Starts!



San Francisco Preparation


Day Fifteen

SanFran - > LA , Hollywood!, Hall Of Justice and Santa Monica Pier
San Francisco USA | 2/2/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Day Fifteen

By Dylan Turner on 2 Febuary, 2018

Today we got up early to fly out to Los Angeles. We arrived around 8am and travelled by bus to Hollywood. Hollywood was pretty cool, we visited Donald Trump's Star and looked at the items in the overprices tourist stores.

Above: Donald Trump's Star at Hollywood.

After finishing at Holywood we went to the Hall Of Justice. The Hall Of Justice acted as the HQ to law enforcement, and we got VIP access. We got a presentation from a cyber crime expert who explained about how they track down people who do account scams as well as tracking down those who do more serious crimes. We were also shown around the museum and the actual workspaces where they do their work. We also got to see the faraday cage where they access electronic items where they can't be accessed from the outside world.

Above: Hall Of Justice.

We were also extremely privilege to be able to go into the adjacent courts which were the largest state courts in the USA. We were very lucky to be able to go into the courtroom of Deborah S. Brazil who talked to us about her past as well as asked interesting questions of us. It was amazing to be able to talk to a judge who took the time to talk to us. Many people may not know that before she was a judge, she was a prosecutor who prosecuted the man who drugged Michale Jackson. It was an amazing experience and something I will never forget.

After our visit to the Hall of Justice and courtrooms we went to Santa Monica Pier, a famous tourist destination. It was pretty beautiful watching the sunset after exploring the pair and it's over prices souvenirs. It was a nice end to our time in America.

Above: Santa Monica Peir

Day Fourteen

Unity, Shopping and AusTrade landing pad San Francisco USA | 1/2/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Day Fourteen

By Dylan Turner on 1 Febuary, 2018

Today was our last day in San Francisco and we had an action-packed agenda. We started off by walking to Unity and had a quick tour of their offices in the city. Sadly we were unable to take many photos besides on the roof of the building. At Unity, we were talked to by several senior developers. We were also lucky enough to get to play with the Vive - we played "Super Hot" on the Vive in virtual reality which was lots of fun. It was super cool to be able to doge bullets and feel as if you were actually in the game

Above: Unity's cool tv display.

Following the conclusion of the visit to Unity, we had free time to shop around Union Square. It was pretty cool to check out the Lego store, visit the Ghirardelli chocolate store and chill out in Westfield. We also walked past the "Museum of Ice-Cream" which looked pretty cool

Above: Museum of Ice-Cream

After finishing our shopping we went to Austrade's Landing Pad in San Francisco. The landing pad is designed to give growing Australian businesses a chance to get into the international markets. Along with a 90 day subsidised office space the companies receive 1 on 1 talks with Austrade workers to help develop their companies as well as help deal with international problems such as taxation and legal issues. At the Austrade Landing Pad, we were lucky enough to talk to the manager and two of the owners of the companies currently there. They gave us industry insights as well as suggestions on how to start and how they all started. It was quite nice to end our time in San Francisco talking to Australians.

Day Thirteen

Oracle! San Francisco USA | 31/1/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Day Thirteen

By Dylan Turner on 31 January, 2018

Today we headded off to Oracle HQ. Upon arriving we were greeted by our host and had breakfast. After breakfast a senior Oracle marketing manager talked to us and showed us arround the Oracle Design Tech School

Above: Oracle Design Tech School

We also got presentations from the head of the Oracle research and development labs. They told us about how they were trying to innovate in the cloud space and about how they were trying to find products that their customers would want before they wanted it. His presentation was very interesting as he also discussed lots the R & D process. After this, we had lunch and went on a campus tour.

Above: Oracle's campus

During the tour, we were able to get close up photos with Oracles America's Cup winning yacht. It was amazing to see the 30m high yacht which came with the price tag of $100m - all paid for by Oracles owner - Larry Ellison. The history of the yacht was also interesting as in that years America's Cup Team New Zealand won the first 8 races. The competition that year was first to 9 wins. Oracle managed to win the next 9 races to beat the New Zeland team. It was also Ironic that the captain of the Oracle yacht was a New Zealander.

Above: Oracle's yacht

After the tour, we did a "Hackathon" using Oracles software to make an application in just over an hour. Later to conclude the tour we went to the Oracle conference center and visited the store.

Above: Oracle's main conference center

Day Twelve

Google!!! San Francisco USA | 30/1/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Day Twelve

By Dylan Turner on 30 January, 2018

Today we got up early to go to Google! We started off by visitng the Android Sculpture Garden and the Google Merchandise Store.

Above: Google Sculpture Garden

After finishing up at the store we headed off to meet our guide. We were then taken for a tour of the campus and had lunch at Cafe Charlie, the main cafe at Google HQ.

Above: Google campus

After having lunch we then went into a Machine Learning workshop where we learnt about and worked with Googles own Machine Learning engine, Tensor Flow. We learnt how to train the machine to recognize numbers by training it using a set of images. We also learnt how to make the machine do the work for us with parabolic equations, where the machine would train itself to make the parabola as close to the data points as possible, getting better each time until it cannot be any better.

Above: Google

The ML workshop was really interesting, being able to visualise the machine getting better by teaching itself. After the ML workshop, we went over to the GBike workshop where the Google bikes are made, maintained and tracked. It was really interesting to see how far away some of the google bikes were taken. Above: Google Store

We all had a great day at Google, and afterwards, we headed off to Lazer Quest to play four games of Lazer Tag. Just incase you were wondering I came first in 3/4 and third in the other game.

Day Eleven

NettApp and Elastic San Francisco USA | 29/1/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Day Eleven

By Dylan Turner on 29 January, 2018

Today we started off by travelling to NetApp HQ and having breakfast with their founder and CEO Dave Hitz. Dave gave an insightful presentation into NetApp as well as talking to us about the future plans for his company. It was really interesting how he spoke about what direction his company is trying to take to survive in the rapidly evolving Cloud world.

Above: NetApp HQ

We also had several talks with senior people in NetApp who provided really good industry insights. They told us a lot about how they are trying to evolve the company to avoid it dying due to the recent Cloud companies such as AWS driving them out of business. NetApp was really interesting, and hopefully, they will manage to survive against the big Cloud companies.

After visiting NetApp we went to Elastic. Elastic is a software company that specialises in data management and visualisation. They provide tools such as Elastic Search which is opensource which allows users to have a search engine that sorts through their data by the most relevant item.

Above: Elastic

At Elastic, they did "Lightning Talks" which involved around 6 talks by different people in the company who talked about their area of expertise and how they all came to the company. The talks were very interesting and provided us with lots of tips and tricks that could possibly help us in the future.

Above: NetApp HQ

After finishing up at Elastic we headed back to our hotel and ordered Uber Eats for dinner. After dinner, we started getting ready for tomorrows visit to Google!

Day Ten

Advanced Segway Tour and TWiT (This Week In Tech)
San Francisco USA | 28/1/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Day Ten

By Dylan Turner on 28 January, 2018

Today we started off with the Advanced Segway Tour. The advanced tour included going up 3 of the largest hills in the bay area as well as going down Lombard Street, the famous crooked street.

Above: Lombard Street

After completing the Segway tour, we went to TWiT (This Week in Tech). TWiT is a podcast run every week that discusses everything new in tech for the week, you can find their website Here. Their podcast is one of the most famous in the world with over 5 million views a month.

Above: TWiT Recording Studio

We were lucky enough to be able to talk to Leo, the presenter of TWiT as well as be in the live audience! We all had an awesome day and you can see the podcast Here.

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San Francisco Trip - Day Nine

By Dylan Turner on 27 January, 2018

Today we had a rather restful day by biking around the Golden Gate Bridge in the morning and having free time to explore the city in the afternoon. The bike tour of the Golden Gate Bridge was fun although my back wheel popped out whilst on the bridge.

In the afternoon we went for a walk along Fisherman's Warf, buying lunch and visiting some stores. We then walked to Union Square and explored for a while. After visiting the Square, we headed towards Gotts Roadside for dinner. We all had a rather relaxing day preparing for the rest of the company visits to come!

Day Eight

Amazon Seattle USA | 26/1/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Day Eight

By Dylan Turner on 26 January, 2018

Today we were off to Amazon to learn about their Web Services and visit the Amazon Fulfilment Center. After Arriving we were given breakfast and bussed off to the Fulfilment Center. At the Fulfilment Center, we got a tour of the whole building.

Amazon Lego Figure

Sadly we were unable to take any photos of the actual warehouse. Inside the warehouse was lots of conveyer belts which acted as a transport system for the boxed between different stages. There were also around 6000 Amazon Robots which brought the storage shelves from the storage area to the pickers who then filled orders by getting the items and placing them in tubs which were sent on the conveyer belts to the other sections. After being separated into individual orders they have then put down slides and packed into trucks. The whole system was super cool.

Above: Amazon Fulfilment Center

After our tour, we were shuttled back to the Amazon building and talked to by 3 speakers. The speakers talked about the different parts of AWS (amazon web services) and gave us an overview of the company. After the talks we went to the Amazon Go store which is a brand new "Supermarket" that is fully automated, you only need to have an account and grab an item off the shelf for it to be charged to you.

Above: Amazon Go Store

Day Seven

Microsoft San Francisco USA | 25/1/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Day Seven

By Dylan Turner on 25 January, 2018

Today after getting up at 4am to travel to Seattle we spent our day at Microsoft. Microsoft has a massive campus, with about 20 buildings and over 10,000 employees on campus.

Above: Microsoft

Once we got our badges we were shown around Microsoft's design area, where the designers came up with new designs to improve the UI of the Xbox shop, the Microsoft shop and all of their other platforms and products.

After our tour, we were shown to a couple of other places and talked to by the software engineers that work on Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality. Once the talks concluded we went to "The Commons" which is where they have cafes and food places where all the Microsoft employees go to get lunch.

Above: "The Commons"

Because we were able to see quite a few things at Microsoft that are still under development, such as new updates to certain software, we were unable to take many photos of the insides of buildings.

Microsoft Campus

We finished the day at the store which we all bought some souvenirs and visited the visitors centre which was pretty cool.

Day Six

Palantir and Space Systems Loral (SSL) San Francisco USA | 24/1/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Day Six

By Dylan Turner on 24 January, 2018

Today we were visiting two rather secretive companies, in both companies we were unable to take photos, and in Palantir, we had to sign a NDA (non-disclosure agreement). Because of this, I can't say too much or post any photos.

At Palantir, we were looked after very well, and lots of the information they shared and the things they told us were relevant and very interesting. The staff that was showing us around were awesome and we all had an amazing time.

After our visit to Palantir, we went to SSL. For those that don't know SSL manufactures satellites and currently has 80+ GEO Stationary satellites in operation. The trip to SSL was really interesting and we learnt lots about the manufacturing process and how they do things as a company.

Tomorrow we have some pretty awesome things in store!!

Day Five

Facebook and Apple! San Francisco USA | 23/1/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Day Five

By Dylan Turner on 23 January, 2018

Today we once again woke up early to get to Silicon Valley and to visit Facebook. Upon arrival we all checked in at Facebook HQ on our Facebook accounts. We were then greeted by some very senior software engineers.

Above: Facebook

The engineers were amazing and gave us inside knowledge about Facebook and the Valley in general. We were also lucky enough to meet the former White House Chiefs of Technology and get talks from very senior facebook software engineers.

After visiting Facebook we went to Apple (1 Inifinite Loop) and went to the Developer Relations Briefing Center. At the center we demonstrated our latest apps to an apple staff and visited the store.

Above: Apple (1 Infinite Loop)

After our trip to the 1 Infinite Loop campuses, we went over to Apple's new campus, Apple Park. Although not being allowed inside the actual building we went to the visitors centre and talked to a senior developer on the Photos App. He gave us useful insights into how Apple operates and other interesting information.

Above: Photo of Apple Park

Another cool thing was the Augmented Reality - Apple had made their own Augumented Reality app that would run and use the model of apple park and make it interactive by viewing it through an Ipad.

Above: Photo of Apple Park AR Model

Day Four

ServiceNow and Mozilla San Francisco USA | 22/1/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Day Four

By Dylan Turner on 22 January, 2018

Today we woke up early to get to Silicon Valley and to visit ServiceNow at 9. Upon arrival we were given some goodies (powerbank and fan), and we were presented to by some very senior engineers

Above: Service Now

After being briefed at ServiceNow about all of their services we had lunch and moved on to Mozilla. At Mozilla, we were given a tour of their Mountain View offices (which are so cool!), and checked out the ball pit.

Above: Ball pit at Mozilla

After our tour we went to work solving bugs on the Mozilla bug software called Bugzilla. We all managed to solve several bugs and submit patches to the repository!

Above: Photo of some bug fixing

Day Three!

Golden Gate Bridge, Computer History Museum and Bowling! San Francisco USA | 20/1/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Day Three

By Dylan Turner on 21 January, 2018

Today we started off by going to the Golden Gate Bridge for a group photo. After spending some time in the visitors center and getting photos we made our way to the Computer History Museum

Above: Photo of Golden Gate Bridge

The Computer History Museum was awesome, they had everything there from an Apple 1 to self driving cars. The displays were pretty interactive and it was a lovely building

Above: Photos of the Computer History Museum

In a surprise in the afternoon we went bowling! We booked out 4 lanes for 3 hours and played lots of games.

Above: Photo of the bowling.
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San Francisco Trip - Day Two

By Dylan Turner on 20 January, 2018

Today we started off by going on the 'basic' Segway tour of San Fran. After learning how to use them we were guided through the maze of streets, stopping at an Italian bakery for some focaccia and the arcade at Fisherman's Wharf.

Above: Photo of Golden Gate Bridge

In the afternoon we were scheduled to go on the Alcatraz Night Tour but due to the government shutdown, our tour was cancelled. Although we were disappointed we were able to do some sightseeing along Bay 39 at Fisherman's Wharf.

Above: Photo of Fisherman's Wharf

Whilst at Fisherman's Wharf we went and saw the Sea Lions, Tried our luck at some rigged claw machines and got some lunch.

Day One!

Visiting Qantas and Transit Between Sydney Australia and San Francisco USA | 19/1/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Day one

By Dylan Turner on 19 January, 2018

Today we visited the Qantas Jet Base! We were lucky enough to see the models where they practice emergency procedures with the crew.

Above: Photo of Qantas's Jet Base training facilities

We were also lucky enough to be able to go inside a flight simulator! The vision inside the simulator is amazing and extremely realistic!

Above: Photo of Qantas's flight simulator

Afterwards, we went to see the practice simulators which just have the computer screens and controls, but no movement or vision. These simulators are used to practice procedures and for pilots to get a feel of where everything is around the flight deck. After our visit at the Jet Base, we went to the food centre where all the food for Qantas flights that go into Sydney is prepared. They also prepare food for other airlines. The facility is pretty cool, and there are strict regulations to keep all the food safe.

After our visit to the Qantas facilities concluded, we boarded our plane and arrived at SFO International Airport. Before we exited the plane, we were invited up to the flight deck by the captain and we were able to get photos and see all the controls of the plane which was an awesome opportunity. Because of the timezone difference, we actually make up a day and although we left on the 19th, it is still the 19th in America. Stay tuned for more updates!

San Francisco Preparation

Preparing to visit Silicon Valley in San Francisco USA | 12/1/2018

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San Francisco Trip - Preparation

By Dylan Turner on 13 January, 2018

In preparation for the San Francisco trip I am about to embark on, I have setup a blog page that can be viewed here. The blog will include lots of updates from the trip which begins 19/1/2018. During the trip I will be visiting companies in San Francisco - Apple, Google, Facebook, seeing the Amazon robots in action at one of their packing warehouses, Oracle, fixing bugs at Mozilla and more as well as exploring San Francisco by bike and segway, doing an Alcatraz night tour and being on the This Week In Tech podcast.

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