Putting our Butts to Work for Your Elastic{ON} Comfort

So, after doing our inaugural Elastic{ON} conference last year, then a 12-city global tour (raising over $150,000 for charity) we learned a lot. Two big things were:

  • Attendees LOVED the AMA (Ask Me Anything) booth with our technical staff. So, for Elastic{ON} 2016 (San Francisco, Feb 17-19) we'll make it ridiculously big, have every single technical resource come to the conference and we'll have longer hours!
  • Attendees HATED the chairs. Maybe "hated" is an understatement, but we want everyone to know how serious we are taking it. We are upgrading and testing all the chairs.


Behold, the collection of candidate chairs we had sent to the Elastic Mountain View offices for us to put to the test. We didn't even have the cheap seats sent to our office. All of these cost considerably more than typical default conference chairs. Unfortunately, our budget couldn't support the killer reclining/massaging Lazy Boys we would have all loved.

We didn't just look at these and sit in them for a minute, we spent an entire day in them.

Here's the status:

Chair 1 and 2 ELIMINATED. Reason: Flimsy and Crackitis


We've (well some of us) eliminated these chairs (which were the same but different colors) really quickly. We sat in them and although they nicely cradled our bums, when we started rocking in them we quickly came to the conclusion that there was some risk of the legs (of the chair) just snapping off. Then we noticed that the clear chairs gave a perfect view of well, our butts. Upon sitting in the chair, someone in back of me (not to be named) said "I'm getting crackitis. Are you going to repair some plumbing Scott?" That was enough for me. Even so, Jason, our other tester persevered and logged this:

Jason's report — "Captain's Log 0830"

  • 8:30: Begin testing chair. Sort of like it. Contours to body.
  • 9:55: Lower back kinda hurts.
  • 10:25: Hips/thighs hurting, shifting no longer helps.
  • 10:40: Got up from chair, had horrible cramp.
  • 10:55-11:00: Got up and took a good walk around the office. Sat back down and realized that I truly loathe this chair.
Then I came back from lunch to this:


Chair 3 ELIMINATED. Reason: Digs into back


At first this one felt like a nice cupped hand under us. It provided some lower back support and looked sort of cool, but when we leaned back, it just hurt. #3 is done, not much more to say.

Chairs 4-6 in contention. Reason: Provides full back support and good padding.

These are all very similar chairs in structure but have different fabric, so we are doing more rigorous testing. We want to know how slippery they are, how they deal with extra moisture and overall, how comfy they are.

Chair 5 — White faux leather. Nice and cool to sit in but a little slippery. If we put our butt near the front end we might just fall right off. We need to figure out the absorbent power of this chair.


Chairs 4 & 6 — Grey and Blue. These have got the best ratings from our folks. I'm torn a little between the two of these. Like the white fake leather chair, they feel good on the entire back. At this point, the color seems to be more of the debate in the office versus the feel. I have a great comeback for those that prefer based on color. That is "hey, you don't get to make a call unless you log at least 5 hours in this chair." Sadly, many people don't take me up on it. But, for those that do, here's their commentary:

"You know I think the blue is better looking, but if I close my eyes, they both seem almost identical. When I feel the chairs, the blue fabric is a bit softer and the darker color might hide spill and stains more."

"Scott, why are you making me sit in this chair? I hate you."

"Here's the deal, if you sit in any chair long enough it's going to hurt… Well, except a massage chair, where someone is rubbing your back with medium pressure, and there is soft, tranquil music in the background... Wait, what were we talking about?"

"Scott, do you have to say 'butt' so much? Tuchus, caboose and toosh are perfectly good alternatives!"

Final conclusion — It's going to be either 4, 5, or 6. We'll make it a mystery. But, we realized that it's important to take breaks and stretch every so often. So, we'll be trying to suggest small stretch breaks and we encourage you to just stand up once in awhile (apologize to the person behind you) and strike your best yoga pose.

We hope to see you at Elastic{ON} 2016 in San Francisco!