Strata Conference, Big Data and … me

April 9, 2013

Strata Conference is the best place to understand Big Data.

I am dealing with Big Data these days. It is an interesting new area for me, which is always fun. As part of it, I had the opportunity to attend the Strata 2013 in Santa Clara – the “main event”.

I returned back with a lot of things that require processing. In a WebRTC conference, there’s typically 1 or 2 tracks. We’ll probably stretch it to 3 in one of this year’s conference. At Strata there were 10 tracks running in parallel, and I almost always wanted to be in more than one place.

Taken into proportion, the WebRTC gig we’re having? It’s miniscule.

Main takeaway from the conference? A plush elephant for my kid.

Big Data: Hortonwork's plush elephant

The real takeaways from this conference?

  • Big Data is almost all about Hadoop. You can yap all you want about other technologies and databases, but the mindshare is in Hadoop.
  • The industry is shifting from a NoSQL worldview to one where SQL is another interface to use – and it will be getting better in the next couple of years.
  • Hadoop is a pin drop soup. You get this thing that allows you to run Map Reduce jobs, but to really get it going you need to add so many ingredients…
  • I found a place for MongoDB! As a front end for real time APIs for visualization of stuff stored in Hadoop. I am sure there’s more to it than that, but that’s where I found it at Strata.
  • Hadoop is all about a shift from a traditional data warehouse to a place where an enterprise can run both its mission critical systems and its analytics and reporting capabilities over a single, coherent dataset. My bet is that the future will be in analytics that get embedded into the basic business processes of enterprises (sorry for the mouthful of marketing words in this sentence).
  • There’s a lot more for me to learn about Big Data

The best presentation from the conference that is publicly available belongs to Rajat Taneja, CTO of Electronic Arts. He gave it a few days before their Sim City fiasco, but it gave a very interesting view on how Electronic Arts have made Big Data (Hadoop) the center of their whole operation.


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  1. It’s funny I also attended a large conference a couple of times and got a database elephant: http://shop.kernelconcepts.de/images/postgresql-elephant.jpg

    The conference is FOSDEM:

    https://fosdem.org/2013/

    It’s even larger, they have almost 500 talks in 2 days. That translates to 12 days of talks. I heard this year they turned down more talks than they accepted. So they could probably have gone to 25 days or more.

    Funny thing is, the conference is free. The university in Brussels let’s them use their facilities in the weekend for free. They have sponsors for WiFi and so on. And they ask for a donation.

    The most important thing I got from the talk of Rajat is that he said: … right data at the right time, it’s much more important to have current data than latent data…

    And identity remains an important topic.

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