As I was flying from Dusseldorf to Nuremberg, I could see at least 4 nuclear reactors, quite a few windmills, and lots of solar panel installations (many on the roofs of houses and businesses and some empty fields with lots of solar panels in rows). I also noticed lots of large-scale greenhouses in the farm fields, I couldn't tell if these were permanent installations or just temporary structures built over top of farm fields. At least from the air, Germany looks very "green".
Once I got to Germany, the language barrier was not a problem at all. I'd been told that there were alot of English speakers in Germany, but it really seemed that everyone spoke English. It was funny too because most people would say "my English is not very good" and then they would go on to speak nearly flawless English.
Germany just felt very comfortable to me for some reason that's hard for me to articulate. And I guess the Germans thought so too, because they almost always would initially speak German to me, until I asked "Sprechen Sie Englisch?". The other people that came over with me from the States would usually get English right off the bat from the Germans they met.
We had several people also attending the conference from NI's Munich Office, and they were outstanding hosts, taking us to dinner each night and generally helping us out in any way.
I also found that business etiquette was a bit different:
- It's expected to wear a suit and tie, the US standard of a button up shirt and khakis doesn't cut it.
- Don't be late. You'll get some very disapproving stares if you aren't punctual.
And this should surprise no one: Germans know beer. Every beer I had there was excellent (and I had quite a few). Don't worry about getting something you won't like; just drink it and it will be good.Embedded World Exhibition Floor
The Exhibition part of Embedded World was crazy-huge, with 856 exhibitors and 26,000+ visitors. It took me a long time just to do a relatively quick walkthrough of the floor.
My presentation went really well. Almost every seat was filled; probably around 50 people. I got some good questions and some compliments after it was over. I also talked for a while with a couple of Intel guys that are heavily involved in the Yocto project.
The flight back was the only negative part of the whole trip. Coming in through Customs Stateside is no fun. 'Nuf said.