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Key Takeaway Points and Lessons Learned from QCon New York 2012

Posted by Abel Avram on Jul 17, 2012 | NOTICE: The next QCon is in London Mar 2-6, Join us!

QCon New York 2012 was the first event of its kind to take place on the US east cost, bringing together over 400 team leads, architects, project managers, and engineering directors.   Over 100 practitioner-speakers presented 75 technical sessions and 13 in-depth tutorials over the course of five days.     

The increasing popularity of cross-platform mobile development, NoSQL, Big Data, and cloud computing was reflected in some of the track themes at QCon New York this year.  NASA’s cloud computing architecture; NoSQL & Grids in the finance sector, and Big Data architectures at NYTimes, Twitter, Facebook, and Netflix were a just a handful of the many real-world talks presented at the event.     

This article summarizes the key takeaways and highlights from QCon New York 2012 as blogged and tweeted by attendees.  Over the course of the coming months, InfoQ will be publishing most of the conference sesssions online, including 29 video interviews that were recorded by the InfoQ editorial team. The publishing schedule can be found on the QCon New York web site.    

You can also see numerous attendee-taken photos of QCon New York on Flickr

Tutorials

Keynotes

Architectures You've Always Wondered About

Battle of the Clouds!

Big Data Paradigms

Building Strong Teams: The Origins of Success

Concurrency in the Large

Java - Still Alive and Well

Mobile Architectures

Programmable Web

Software Architecture Improvements

Taming HTML5 and JS

The Agile Individual

Solutions Track: In-Memory Databases, Hardware Acceleration, Big Data

Opinions about QCon

Takeaways

Conclusion

Tutorial

Building Real-Time Web Apps with HTML5 WebSocket Workshop by Richard Clark

Ganesh Prasad attended this tutorial:

I attended a number of other talks and tutorials. The most memorable for me were the ones by Kaazing on HTML5 WebSockets. Richard Clark's half-day tutorial was quite good, but since the contents were compressed into 3 hours from a full-day workshop, we couldn't do justice to all the examples. But WebSocket technology is definitely something I need to play with and understand.

REST in Practice: A Tutorial on Web-based Distributed Systems by Jim Webber

Ganesh Prasad attended this tutorial:

… A link looks like this:

<link rel="logical-action" uri="/some-resource"/>

I didn't understand how the descriptive "logical-action" in the link relation above was made meaningful to the client. After all, URIs are meant to be opaque in the sense that clients are not expected to understand their internal patterns and "hack" them to make future requests. Clients need to be guided purely by link relations (the "rel" attribute).

This finally became clear to me yesterday when I attended Jim Webber's excellent full-day tutorial on REST at QCon New York. …

I learnt that IANA has published a standard list of link relations that servers can use to describe the "next steps" that a client can perform, and since these are by definition "well-understood" descriptions, clients do not need prior negotiation with the server to learn what they mean!

The last piece of the jigsaw puzzle has now fallen into place in my head….

I can now see that REST has done a lot to standardize the development of applications in a SOA-compliant way. My last major query about how REST communicates with clients to bring about choreographed processes has now been answered.
This is great stuff. Thanks once again to Jim Webber for a very instructive tutorial!

Keynotes

From Crap to App by Mike Lee

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Jeff Schaubschlager: Mike Lee of Apple fame: "Advertising comes from a Latin word that means, 'No business plan.'" #qconnewyork

How the 10 key lessons from Java and C++ history inform the cloud by Cameron Purdy

ComputerWorld’s editor Joab Jackson was present during this session and wrote the article QCon: Application development faces seismic shift, covering the main points. Following are some excerpts:

In much the same way that Java replaced C++ 15 years ago as the dominant programming language for enterprise software, Web development technologies such as HTML5, JavaScript and others might supplant traditional programming languages today, according to an Oracle software executive.

The reason for the shift is that new Web development technologies better fit today's mobile platforms, said Cameron Purdy, vice president of development for Oracle, at the QCon software conference in New York on Tuesday.

"HTML5 and JavaScript together are becoming a programming platform onto themselves," Purdy said. "We haven't seen this magnitude of change in 15 years, since the Web came into public existence," Purdy said. Their growing popularity may be "quite analogous to what we saw with Java in 1996." …

We are moving from a server-side architecture to what Purdy called a "thin server architecture," he said. He attributes this shift to a combination of cloud computing, HTML5 and mobile devices.

"These three things will conspire to be a perfect storm in our industry," Purdy said. …

"Applications will shift from a very fat server model, where all the display logic is held on the server, to a much more thin server model where the display logic is in the browser itself," Purdy said. "Its communications with the server is with services and data."

Purdy's claim seems to get some backing from other parties who also see that Web application development is taking hold in the enterprise market. In a survey sponsored by Zend, a company that offers commercial support tools for the PHP Web programming language, 97 percent of 117 business and IT executives who said their organizations currently use PHP will use the Web programming language for additional applications in the future. Many cited the speed and flexibility of Web application development as a factor for choosing this approach over the more traditional approach of developing desktop applications.

eWEEK reported from this keynote including the following excepts:

“Cloud, HTML5 and mobile—these three things will conspire to be a perfect storm for our industry,” Purdy said. “The combination of HTML 5, mobile devices and the cloud is a rogue wave.” …

The app development world is swiftly moving from a Web-server-centric model to a thin server model, he said. Disruptions or discontinuities are driving this move. Disconnected device capability will lead to "disconnectable" applications, Purdy said. Disconnectable applications plus smart clients bring about the Thin Server Architecture. Meanwhile, cloud—with both infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) models—continues to catch on and drive reinvestment as we see elastic scale-out, global data centers and capital-free computing emerge, he said.

However, the biggest unknown in this shift is the extent of JavaScript as a platform, Purdy said. He noted that with JavaScript as the new “byte code” or platform, JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) becomes the new lingua franca of data, taking over from XML. The emergence of JavaScript is still ongoing, as JavaScript is showing up on the server. “But the downside is, it’s single-threaded,” Purdy said. …

Purdy also mentioned Java’s Project Nashorn, which is an effort to deliver a JavaScript engine fully developed in Java for the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) using the InvokeDynamic API. However, that effort is a ways off as it is slated to be part of Java 8.

eWEEK Mobile compiled a list of reasons why Java supplanted C++ comprising 10 advantages Java has over C++ and 5 reasons why Java has not fully replaced C++, as presented by Purdy during this keynote. The advantages are: Garbage Collection, The Build Process, Simplicity of Source Code and Artifacts, Binary Standard, Dynamic Linking, Portability, Standard Type System, Reflection, Performance, and Safety. C++ still outperforms Java when it comes to Startup Time, Memory Footprint, and Java’s Full GC Pauses, No Deterministic Destruction and Barriers to Native Integration.

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Brian Foote: "What's old is new again (Just ask a Smalltalk programmer and be prepared to hear a long-winded answer)" --Cameron Purdy

Brian Foote: Reflection is important for the same reason garbage collection is. ---Cameron Purdy #qconnewyork I've never heard it put quite that way..

Arun Gupta: "The Perfect Storm = Cloud + HTML5 + Mobile" by @cpurdy at#qconnewyork

pendorbound: Dynamically generated JavaScript is good? JSON "not as ugly as XML." Umm... #qconnewyork

Brian Foote: JavaScript is new bytecode, the new Assembly Language. Something like 200+ languages target it these days. #qconnewyork

Ganesh Prasad: @CPurdy in his keynote y'day at @qconnewyork: "If you're not paying for a product, you're the product." (I had his handle wrong last tweet.)

Joab Jackson: Oracle head of development: Application development faces seismic shift to Web development (InfoWorld): bit.ly/L4JVhY #qconnewyork

The Value of Values by Rich Hickey

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Brian Foote: Rick Hickey is diving deep into Software Epistemology

Brian Foote: Its more than bits. It's metaphorical structure., relationships between ideas. Its ineffable, palpable, a right-brained reality #qconnewyork

Brian Foote: A codebase musters the same spatial navigation capacities as real terrain. Names are like streetsigns. Structure like buildings

Joab Jackson: "When we were born, we weren't given an allotted space in our brains for our friend's e-mail address" - Hickey @qconnewyork

Mike Bria: "You wouldn't totally erase knowledge of your friend's old email address when they got a new one, right?" Rich Hickey

Joab Jackson: Place oriented programming has no place in information management - Hickey @qconnewyork

Brian Foote: Immutability has become the touchstone of the Neo-functional Age Incessant change evokes a craving 4 permanence, incorruptibility#qconnewyork

Joab Jackson: "pure values are (programming) language independent"-Hickey,

Joab Jackson: "values are the best interface between subsystems" - Hickey,@qconnewyork

Brian Foote: To deal with scarcity, you can introduces Queues, or increase the supply of Values. Econ 101 #qconnewyork

Mike Amundsen: "Distributed objects failed; for very good reasons. Values rule on the wire" - @richhickey at #qconnewyork

Joab Jackson: " Read transactions are the biggest overhead for transactional systems" - Hickey @qconnewyork

Joab Jackson: "Facts are values, they are not places. Facts do not change, b/c they incorporate time" -- Hickey, @qconnewyork

Mike Bria: "How good of a decision maker would you be if all you ever knew were the most recent facts? You'd suck." Hickey @qconnewyork

Joab Jackson: "we can't update a fact any more than we can go back in time. We can only create new facts"-Hickey, qconnewyork

Joab Jackson: "Don't use process constructs for information management" -Hickey,

Joab Jackson: Version control systems and admin logs are examples of value oriented programming, re: functional programming -Hickey,

Christopher: [as developers] our job is to keep track of information.#qconnewyork

Mike Bria: "We are no longer in the Place Age, we're in the *Space* Age" (unlimited expanse of all things ever occurred) -Hickey

Jon Moore: @richhickey: "You might care about reaching the end of space, but it's not a day-to-day problem." #qconnewyork

Joab Jackson: When you get new facts you need new space, but we have space. Endless space. EC2 is effectively unlimited -Hickey, @qconnewyork

Joab Jackson: Why do we keep making place oriented programs and databases when we no longer need them? Hickey, @qconnewyork

Tom Hickey: "Place has no role in an information model" —@richhickey#QConnewyork

Architectures You've Always Wondered About

Facebook News Feed: Social Data at Scale by Serkan Piantino

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Jeff Bollinger: 1 out of every 5 HTTP requests on the internet goes to facebook.com#QConNewYork

Sherif Zaroubi: 60 ms latency, 99.999% update, and all that traffic ... Listening to the architect of the NewsFeed of facebook. #qconnewyork

Netflix: Movies When You Want, Where You Want, From The Cloud! by Jeremy Edberg

CIO Editor Joab Jackson wrote the article Netflix Releases Customized Amazon Control Console on Netflix’ Asgard cloud console, including information from this session:

Netflix' use of Amazon is expansive. Except for billing and a number of other functions, "We run all of Netflix out of EC2," explained Jeremy Edberg, the lead cloud reliability engineer at Netflix, during a talk at the Qcon developer conference last week in New York City. The company had to use a public cloud because "we couldn't build data centers fast enough," he said. Netflix has 25 million customers who stream movies and televisions shows from the service.

To help its developers quickly create new features and services, Netflix has built an entire platform from CentOS and Ubuntu virtual servers running on Amazon. "We essentially built a PaaS," Edberg said. Developers can easily build Java or Python applications that will run automatically on the platform, which uses the Apache Tomcat, or another application server of the developer's choosing.

As for Asgard, "this a great tool that helps us be very quick and agile in our deployments and management of Amazon," Edberg said. "We are really hoping people will push patches back, because there is stuff that it doesn't yet do."

The code, available on GitHub, is available under a Apache License, Version 2.0.

Amazon itself appears to be pleased with Asgard. Amazon Chief Technology Officer Werner Vogels praised the technology in a short message posted on Twitter.

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Miguel Ángel Pastor: Amazing slides about Netflix architecture qconnewyork.com/dl/qcon-newyor… by @jedberg

Real-Time Delivery Architecture at Twitter by Raffi Krikorian

Twitter feedback on this session included:

mattwynne: About 55% of twitter's traffic is still served by a monolithic Rails app, lovingly known as the 'Monorail' --@raffi #QConNewYork

Jeff Bollinger: Twitter fire-hose currently requires a 25MB/sec connection to stomach all of the world tweets. @raffi #QConNewYork

Battle of the Clouds!

From Private to Public Clouds - Ins and Outs, Dos and Don'ts, and Gotchas by Jeremy Edberg

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Joab Jackson: @jedberg Azure doesn't support Linux as deeply as Amazon

Joab Jackson: @jedberg big disadvantage of private cloud: paying for all the unused resources #qconnewyork pic.twitter.com/NxKTKCoE

Joab Jackson: @jedberg: Moving to the cloud forces you to adopt good administrative practices #qconnewyork

Joab Jackson: @jedberg: AWS will have variable latency. Get used to it

Joab Jackson: @jedberg: one way to work around latency-spiking noisy neighbors on AWS--find the slow moving machines, kill & restart them

Unlock your Inner Node.js in the Cloud with Windows Azure by Glenn Block

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Mike Amundsen: in @gblock's Node Azure tutorial @ #qconnewyork. he's finally got me pushing from the azure CLI up to Azure Web Wites, via git #yipee

Big Data Paradigms

Data Infrastructure @ LinkedIn by Siddharth Anand

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Jeff Bollinger: Surprised to learn @linkedin is using Oracle for all writes. Working on moving things over to voldemort (key value store), #qconnewyork

NoSQL Database Technology: A Survey And Comparison Of Systems by James Phillips

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Brian Foote: Surveys show "Schema Inflexibility" is the #1 NoSQL adoption driver#qconnewyork

Brian Foote: Sharding, Denormalization, and Distributed Caching are NoSQL drivers too #qconnewyork

Storm: Distributed and Fault-Tolerant Realtime Computation by Nathan Marz

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Jesper Steen Møller: Great talk on Twitter Storm, @nathanmarz #qconnewyork Makes me want to refactor my problems to fit the processing model...

Building Strong Teams: The Origins of Success

Co-Making Great Products by Jeff Patton

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Edward maluleka: Safety is not success,sometimes safety inhibits innovation#qconnewyork Jeff Paton, co-making great products

Edward maluleka: People don't change, they don't want to be accountable whether agile or not #qconnewyork Jeff Paton co-making great products

Helga Alvarez: We're not here to build software, we're here to change the world#qconnewyork

Helga Alvarez: If you think writing code is hard, try making product decisions.#qconny

Helga Alvarez: safety isn't success & velocity isn't value @jeffpatton #qconny

Creativity, Energy, Imagination and the Business Value of Joy by Richard Sheridan

Panel: Talking Teams and Fielding Your Questions by David Hussman & David Laribee & Jeff Patton & Richard Sheridan & Susan Standiford

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Brian Foote: So, @jeffpatton is urging us to exercise our "pairing muscles". I didn't know he worked blue #qconnewyork

Brian Foote: Twitter "Bootstrap" got two thumbs up from the Team panel#qconnewyork

Brian Foote: Collaboration doesn't Scale well @jeffpatton #qconnewyork

Brian Foote: "You only hire the Best and the Brightest? Really? Who is it hiring the Worst and the Dimmest?" --Team Panel #qconnewyork

Mike Bria: "Stop talking projects, start talking products" Hussman@qconnewyork great finale man.

Concurrency in the Large

Embracing Concurrency At Scale by Justin Sheehy

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Glenn Block: "RPC is a scaling anti-pattern". Heard from @justinsheehy (Basho CTO) at #qconnewyork

MapReduce and Its Discontents by Dean Wampler

eWEEK published the article Is Hadoop Another Enterprise JavaBeans? based on Wampler’s talk and a following interview. Following are some excerpts:

“Hadoop is the EJB of our time,” Wampler said while speaking at the QCon New York 2012conference. “It does work, but I think it has a lot of issues in the way it’s implemented and its limitations. I sense there are things out there coming that will be like the Spring Framework was for EJB.”

If Rod Johnson, creator of the Spring Framework and founder of SpringSource—now part of VMware, was the angry man of Java, Wampler just might be the slightly irritated man of Hadoop. Johnson would appear at Java-oriented conferences and rail about the unnecessary complexities of EJB to packed audiences. …

“I don't consider myself the ‘Reincarnation of Rod Johnson,’ partly because I haven't implemented an alternative myself,” Wampler told eWEEK. “Hadoop is a better technology than EJB, simply because it works better than EJB ever worked, but I see unfortunate parallels.”

Wampler said the Hadoop Java API is too verbose and object-oriented. “The API is too invasive and it obscures the application logic,” he said. “I call this API the assembly language of MapReduce programming.” …

Hadoop doesn't scale down very well, which may seem like a nonissue, but I've found that the best architectures have this property of scaling over a wide range.”

Wampler noted that his remarks apply to MapReduce generally, not just Hadoop. …

Wampler argues that mathematics is the best way to work with data “and functional programming [FP] is the closest software ‘paradigm’ to mathematics. The benefits of object-oriented programming are of little use and OOP is missing crucial concepts that FP provides. This affects both users' applications and the implementation of Hadoop. I see lots of bloated code in the Hadoop code base and missing features that a good FP implementation would fix.”

Essentially, Wampler recommends that organizations carefully assess their needs because they might not need Hadoop. He also recommended looking at alternatives like Storm, a Hadoop-like technology.

Java - Still Alive and Well

Spring Data - NoSQL, NoProblems by Peter Bell

Yakov Fain attended this session:

Peter Bell was showing how to use Spring Data with No SQL databases. While he was talking about a hierarchical databases, I felt like déjà vu. Seasoned (a.k.a. old) software developers knew about how great the hierarchical databases were since the last century. But working with them was not for the faint of hearts. SQL looked simpler, so programmers embraced relational DBMS. The years went by, and an average programmer became a little dumber, and SQL became a tough language to learn. This resulted in the flourishing of the Object-Relational Mapping frameworks. You know Java, but don’t know SQL? Not a problem. You’ll survive on our project – just write Java and XML. It’s going to be long, painful and non-performing, but ORM will allow us to bring juniors on board. Now, it seems that Spring Data can hide the complexities of dealing with hierarchical databases and even juniors will be able to work with them. Good luck, guys!

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Helga Alvarez: If u need to hold huge amount of data cassandra will be your good to go solution. #qconny

Helga Alvarez: MongoDB will be your solution if you need to get a lot of geospatial capabilities. #qconny

Helga Alvarez: Performance is not for free. MongoDB provides simple indexes.

Helga Alvarez: MongoDB is not good when u need complex transactions, data warehousing, or if u need SQL instead. #qconny

Helga Alvarez: MongoDB is a great way to build a blog if nobody reads it. #qconny

Helga Alvarez: The number of Users does not affect the loading time on neo4j, its the same having 100 to 10000 users it will last the same time.#qconny

Mobile Architectures

Cross-Platform Mobile Apps with HTML, JavaScript and PhoneGap by Christophe Coenraets

Yakov Fain attended this session:

Yesterday, I went to hear the presentation by Adobe’s evangelist Christophe Coenraets. I have a rule – if Christophe present at the conference I attend – it’s a must see. No matter what he’s talking about, his presentations are clear, well prepared and up to the point. In the past he was covering various Flex-related topics, but after Adobe decided to kill Flex, he’s working in the HTML5 field. Christophe’s presentation was about using JavaScript on mobile highlighting access to the native APIs via the PhoneGap library. IMO, this is a right way to go and I enjoyed this talk.

Trends and Issues in App Making by Mike Lee

Twitter feedback on QCon included:

Brian Laframboise: I have no idea how I'm going to focus for the rest of the day after@bmf set off all those thought bombs in my mind palace#qconnewyork

Programmable Web

Making things Work Together by Subbu Allamaraju

Ganesh Prasad attended this tutorial:

Subbu Allamaraju's talk was very interesting too. I was intrigued when he started off by saying the client side of REST had been neglected so far, but his thinking proved to be very different from mine. I've been thinking about a client-side resource model applied to a peer-to-peer messaging protocol (I know it sounds silly to talk about clients in a P2P world, but what I mean by "client" is "initiating peer"), but Subbu's idea is about a structured way to manage application state held on the client across "service invocations", a sort of client-side orchestration capability. The capability seems quite well advanced judging from his demo. He calls it ql.io, and it's well worth a dekko.

Software Architecture Improvements

Four Strategies for Recovering the Ability to Design When Surrounded by Messy Legacy by Eric Evans

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Brian Foote: Mud takes away our ability to do good design -- Eric Evans

Brian Foote: Eric is reminding us that there are limits to Software Metamorphosis / Software Alchemy. Sometime you can get there from here.

Sherif Zaroubi: Eric Evans: refactoring is good at changing order, not fundamentals. You can't convert a hotel into a stadium #qconnewyork

Brian Foote: Sophisticated Design is wasted in a Ball of Mud -- Eric Evans

Brian Foote: Eric suggests that Mike Feathers is the King of Legacy systems. I'd imagine he's thinking seriously about abdication already

Brian Foote: Eric wants to levitate the pyramid's capstone atop a foundation of mud. #qconnewyork

Patterns of Software Change by Michael Feathers

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Jon Moore: @mfeathers: "Unintentional coupling is inevitable." #qconnewyork

Mark Pasternak: Architecture - the part of the system that you can not replace without having a different system - Michael Feathers #qconnewyork

Jon Moore: @mfeathers: "The antidote for stagnation is continual renewal."

Jon Moore: @mfeathers: "Over-engineering = weighting a possible future too highly in design." #qconnewyork

Tom Hickey: "Incremental growth is biased towards what you already have."

Brian Foote: Having conceded that software is inherently organic material, it's no surprise Feathers has segued into "Code Smells" #qconnewyork

Graham Brooks: @mfeathers Nice name for frequently changed code - Code Turbulance at #qconnewyork

Brian Foote: "This is some very fruity code" --Michael Feathers. I've heard this description at wine tastings, but not during a code review

Brian Foote: Anytime you manage by the numbers, instead of actually (God forbid) looking at the code a way will be found to game the numbers

Jon Moore: @mfeathers: "We need teams to have more conversations about the health of their codebases." #qconnewyork

Brian Foote: Mike Feathers mercilessly proposes that geriatric code be fed to the wolves and left to die when a certain level of decrepitude

The Seventeen Secrets of the Great Legacy Makeover Masters by Brian Foote

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Helga Alvarez: You should be feel optimistic about the future because you are going to be the future. @bmf @qconny #greatquote

Helga Alvarez: Sometimes you better fight trends. And I think mobile games is one of them @bmf #qconny

Taming HTML5 and JS

High Performance Mobile by Steve Souders

Yakov Fain attended this session:

Steve Souders is THE web performance guy. This time he was talking about performance of high performance in the mobile. Not sure if you are thinking about moving your application or a Web site to mobile, but you definitely should be.

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Goutam Dey: ControlJS is a JavaScript module for making scripts load faster via asyncload ,delayed xecution stevesouders.com/controljs/ @souders

The Agile Individual

How Individuals Help Teams Become Excellent by Mike Hill

Twitter feedback on this session included:

Brian Foote: Mike Hill (touchyfeely track) says we need Three Blobby Things: Business Value, Geek Joy, and Courageous Curiosity

Brian Foote: The Basics: Catch 'em doing Something Right, Like People, Take Deep Breaths @GeePawHill, erstwhile Geek Whisperer

Brian Foote: The Five Pillars: Inviting, Sorting, Modeling, Releasing, Situating@geepawhill #qconnewyork

Brian Foote: Empowering is a middle management word that means pretending to let people do things, and then preventing that @geepawhill

Jurgen Appelo: Find the right place for every person on a team. Change the product so that each team member fits in. - @geepawhill #qconnewyork

Jurgen Appelo: "Watching someone do work is not pairing." - @geepawhill

The Use And Abuse Of Other People's Cucumbers by Matt Wynne

Jesper Rønn-Jensen attended this session and noted the ideas of presenter’s alter-ego, Darren Workshy. Workshy practices Mortgage-driven Development (MDD):

Maintainable code offers no job security!

Here are the mantras of Mortgage driven development

If the code is maintainable it could be maintained by anyone — not just yourself, and then you cannot pay your mortgages …

As a mortgage-driven developer, I make the experience of collaborating as awkward and unpleasant as I can …

Cucumber is a threat to us mortgage-driven developers …

So, for Darren Workshy, to pay his mortgages he will follow these best practices

  • Include as much irrelevant detail in your features as possible
  • keeps them boring to read
  • and nice and brittle (hard to read)
  • Avoid using words you hear business people using. Invent your own instead!

Matt Wynne eventually dropped the mask of his character and returned to his normal self. He is a big advocate of behavior-driven development.

Solutions Track: In-Memory Databases, Hardware Acceleration, Big Data

Fast Data at Scale with In-Memory Data and Compute Grids by Nikita Ivanov

Twitter feedback on QCon included:

#gridgain = live data + real time analytics #qconnewyork

Dmitriy Setrakyan: #gridgain real time for ecommerce is real time personalization

Dmitriy Setrakyan: #gridgain elastic discovery of grid nodes on the cloud

Dmitriy Setrakyan: #gridgain real time financial risk analytics on live data

Dmitriy Setrakyan: #gridgain - integrated in-memory platform #qconnewyorkpic.twitter.com/QTYBvYLW

Dmitriy Setrakyan: #gridgain live SQL queries across in memory cached data#qconnewyork

Dmitriy Setrakyan: #gridgain has 9000000 starts worldwide #qconnewyork

Opinions about QCon

Kevin Webber attended QCon New York and expressed his opinion about the conference:

Joy isn't the typical emotion that comes to mind when one pictures enterprise software and enterprise software developers, but technical culture is changing rapidly and more people are recognizing the business value of joy.

It's an exciting time to be a software developer….

For me, the highlight of QCon was meeting so many other developers who are just as passionate about technology as I am. From the CTOs of companies like Etsy to fellow hands-on developers from Toronto, everyone I spoke with at QCon had an educated and informed opinion about the reality of developing software in 2012. Surprisingly, most of the people I met were not focused on the nitty gritty low-level details of implementing code, but instead focused on how people interact with each other and how people interact with software. Does what we build make people happy? Is the environment we work at positive? Can we build better software and be even happier in the process?

Software developers are people who build software for other people. It's amazingly simple, but so often overlooked. As a profession we spend enormous amounts of time thinking about how to optimize our processes to suit machines, but often spend too little time thinking about how to optimize our processes to suit people. The result? Many software developers find themselves working in lonely conditions with little chance to interact with the people they build for.

Great companies understand that great software comes from developers who understand, empathize, and feel connected to the people they create for. Great companies understand that great products are created by joyful people. …

Companies who embrace the business value of joy have a remarkable advantage because there are still so many horrible companies creating horrible software. It's simply too easy to compete against miserable companies, especially in the enterprise software market where misery is the norm rather than the exception. More and more companies are recognizing the business opportunity and optimizing for happiness. These companies making a lot of money in the process.

It's an exciting time to be a software developer, and it was an exciting time to attend the first QCon held in New York City. I'll be spending more time thinking about how to do my part and bring happiness to all the teams I work with in the future.

Yakov Fain attended QCon NY 2012:

I like this conference. Speakers are well prepared, the crowd is eager to learn, the food is good, and the Wi-Fi works (I kid you not – 20Mbps up and down).

There were six parallel tracks  at the event, which were changing each day. This is unusual, but smart. Every morning would start in the main auditorium, where the track chairs would introduce every presentation from their track. This is also something I’ve never seen before at any conference, and I can confess that these short intros changed my personal selection of the talks. The third thing that impressed me were presentation evaluation sheets. …

The KISS principle in action! Instead of forcing people to fill out these annoying questionnaires from traditional evaluation sheets, the attendees were asked to pick a sheet of the appropriate color and drop it in the bowl. Green, if you like the preso, yellow means the presentation deserved to be a part of the event, and red if it sucked. If you wanted to add some comments, pens were right there – just write whatever you want on this little piece of paper. Smart. Keep it simple stupid.

Twitter feedback on QCon included:

Brian Laframboise: In summary, there's nothing like going to #qconnewyork to be reminded that there's a ton of technology out there you know nothing about

Takeaways

Ganesh Prasad connected with several “great” people:

I met some of the REST greats at the conference, notably Mike Amundsen and Leonard Richardson. I didn't realize until later that Leonard was one of the authors of my favorite REST book, "RESTful Web Services". Leonard has also recently published a Science Fiction novel called "Constellation Games", which makes him a multi-dimensional nerd.

Twitter feedback on this QCon’s takeaways included:

Jon Moore: Great hanging out with @gblock @mamund @sallamar @jimwebberat #qconnewyork #miniRESTFest!

Mike Bria: Such incredible and inspiring learning and ideas at #qconnewyork... Now where and how to apply it all?..

Mike Amundsen : back home w/ family after a week of @qconnewyork. lots of review and some cool things to start experimenting on, too. #mcaInNyc

Glenn Block : #qconnewyork has turned out to be awesome. bonus it brought me together with lots of nodejs / startup peeps!

Conclusion

The first annual QCon New York brought together 400 attendees and more than 100 speakers, providing deep insights into real-world architectures and state of the art software development practices, from a practioner’s perspective.   QCon's focus on practitioner-driven content is reflected in the fact that the program committee that selects the talks and speakers is itself comprised of technical practitioners from the software development community.   

QCon New York was produced by InfoQ.com. QCon New York will continue to run in New York around June of every year. QCon also returns to San Francisco this November and in sunny Sao Paulo, Brazil next month.  QCon London, Beijing, and Tokyo will take place next year in the March to April timeframe.   

Presentations and interviews from QCon New York event will be posted on InfoQ over the coming months.      

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