TechCrunch Takeaways: Inside the Enterprise Software Domain
Enterprise software is ferociously competitive business, though not a domain easily accessible to students wanting to learn more. That’s why I decided to attend TechCrunch Sessions: Enterprise 2019, which dug into the global enterprise trends and companies on the cutting edge.
As a new Master of Science in Business Analytics (MSBA) student, this was my first experience to volunteer at an event like this in San Francisco. I was grateful that the Graduate School of Management’s sponsorship of the event opened up this opportunity. I strangely had the assumption that only students or interns volunteer for events like this one. As you can expect, that wasn’t the case.
Instead, our volunteer group was diverse. We partnered with other UC Davis students, and I met students from UC Berkeley. I also spoke with a housewife, and had deeper conversations with a software engineer from Workday, Inc. and a local business entrepreneur. Their wisdom—regardless of occupation, or whether it was their day-job, side-job or internship—proved beneficial and I quickly knew I had made a good decision to attend this event.
THE VIEW FROM VOLUNTEERING
Suiting up and volunteering for an all-day event like this is no easy task. We were assigned seven-hour shifts that involved lots of standing, direction and vigilance. Our volunteer group was so energetic and enthusiastic that time flew by in a blink.
I helped attendees check-in, and in the process, I met a few UC Davis MSBA alumni when they recognized the MSBA program on my name badge. It was nice to make those connections right off the bat. From that moment on, I realized that I am not on this journey through school alone. I am a part of a strong network now.
The main stage event featured talks from leaders at Apple, Salesforce, Microsoft, Google, Adobe, Box and more. Meanwhile, an expo hall hosted many new Bay Area start-ups that demonstrated their new solutions.
A few notables from the expo hall:
“Anybody you meet here could be somebody, someday.” – Jacqueline Huang MSBA 20
- Codestream helps developers directly review computer code in their own integrated development environment while still using traditional tools like Slack and JIRA, among others.
- Otter.ai uses AI power to transfer audio recordings to visual notes. They were also the official provider of the conference’s main transcripts. It was a great way to demo their product.
- Origami Labs Limited is a startup founded in 2015. Their product, tabbed oflo, is wearable tech that delivers screen-free, voice and gesture-based services.
These startups showed there’s always something new to be created–as long as there’s a strong market and value.
My favorite talk was with Fly.com, which aims to find the cheapest flights available for customers using predictive models—it’s something I am interested in studying during my MSBA curriculum. I’ve always been really interested in the tourism industry and I had interned at Egencia, a business-to-business online travel agency. At the conference, I was able to talk in depth with attendees about the ultra-competitive airline industry, the challenges the industry faces due to the rise of new data formats and how the smaller players handle those changes.
Interestingly, the chief technology officer of Fly.com was impressed to learn I was a business analytics student from UC Davis. It didn’t take long before he asked if I was looking for an internship and offered to connect me on Facebook and LinkedIn—it seems like this program is paying dividends already.
CROSSING THE FINISH LINE
As the event came to a close, I felt like I had just run a marathon. I had met so many interesting people, learned a great deal of information and was offered a potential internship—I was out of breath.
When I got home, I reflected on my time. It was fascinating to see the world’s newest products come to fruition, and it just goes to show you—if you can think it, you can do it.
There are lots of companies putting that mantra to work in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, the global hotbed of big data and tech innovation. And I’m happy to be a student in the thick of it.