Making Technical Community More Active - 2011 Year-End Review of Baidu Technical Salon
Up to now, 21 Baidu Technical Salons have been held. In 2001, it was held once per month for a total of 12 times in Beijing. The topics included cloud computing, mobile Internet, big data, log analysis and other current popular topics. This article mainly reviews Baidu’s support for technical community via Technical Salon, community’s feedbacks on these activities as well as a brief plan in 2012.
What is Baidu Technical Salon? It is not clear to many people. There are similar questions on Zhihu website. Simply put, Baidu Technical Salon is a regular offline communication activity hosted by Baidu, planned, executed and implemented by InfoQ. We can get a rough picture of it from the 12 activities in the past year:
- Web Apps Development and Application and Outlook on Technical Trends in 2011: The lecturers are Zhang Jinmao, Chairman of Baidu Technical Committee, and Huo Taiwen, founder of InfoQ Chinese website.
- Analysis of Basic Mobile Internet Technologies – Wireless Search and HTML5 Development: The lecturers are Hu Song, Senior Manager of Baidu, and Fei Zhao, founder of Leiyou Science and Technology.
- Architecture Design and Performance Optimization of Large-scale Website Database: The lecturers are Wang Long, Senior DBA of Baidu, and Sun Zhaohui, Chief Architect of Fexin.
- Operations and Maintenance Practices of Large-scale Internet Products: The lecturers are Chairman of Baidu Technical Committee and Zhao Jianchun, Deputy Director of Tencent Operations and Maintenance.
- Design a Reliable and Real-time Community-based Website: The lecturers are Li Han, Technical Lead of Baidu Tieba, and Yang Miao, Technical Director of Qunar Hotel.
- The Charm of Continuous Delivery: The lecturers are Qiao Liang, Senior Engineer of Baidu, and Dang Zhengfa, Project Manager of Freewheel.
- Performance Test Practices and Results Analysis of Large-scale Websites: The lecturers are Wang Lei, Senior Architect of Baidu, and Gao Lou, Senior Engineer of HP.
- DevOps – Fully Functional Delivery Team: The lecturers are Qiao Liang, Senior Engineer of Baidu, and Feng Zhichao, Consultant of ThoughtWorks.
- How to Design a Good Log Analysis System?: Chen Xiaoming, Senior Engineer of Baidu, and Zhang Maosen, Senior Technical Expert of Taobao
- Development Practice of Interaction Design in Apps: Li Nianfu, Senior Manager of Baidu, and Zhong Fubai, Technical Director of PhoneGap community.
During the cooperation with Baidu, InfoQ once was worried whether the experts from Baidu’s competitive companies could be invited to share. Baidu's answer to this was "we are open." From the above list, you can see that Baidu Technical Salon invited Baidu’s own technical staff and technical experts from Taobao, Sina, Google, SNDA and so on within the same industry to share their experiences on the same topic each time rather than being an enclosed product promotion meeting.
According to a survey from InfoQ, nearly 3,000 people attended Baidu Technical Salon throughout 2011. Many of them are from other cities than Beijing, which includes Hangzhou, Dalian, Chengdu, Wuhan, Tianjin, Shenzhen, etc. Up to now, the number of searches for Baidu Technical Salon on Baidu and Google is more than 50 million. The comments on Weibo are even more active. Sina Weibo alone has more than 10,000 topics about this.
Changing the environment of the entire technology industry is difficult with the power of one company alone, but we believe the "butterfly effect" - a few tiny vibrations might really be fermented into a major tsunami on the other side of the sea. We wouldn’t say that domestic technical communities are more active now because of Baidu Technical Salon, but we are able to see more and more companies that were previously reluctant to show up in different technical communities in the last two years. They not only provide necessary financial support to the technical community, but also allow their own technical experts to share their core technologies to the maximum. We noticed that Baidu, SNDA, Taobao, eBay, Alibaba and other well-known technical companies both at home and abroad attended QCon Software Development Conference organized by InfoQ in recent years; In PyCon Conference China that has been held recently in Shanghai, we saw booths and speakers from Google, Kingsoft Internet, Douban, Tudou and other companies; In the open-source Hadoop community, we also saw the support of Huawei, Tencent, Yahoo, Qihu 360 and other companies for Hadoop in China community. The participation and support of commercial companies are undoubtedly good news for the technical community. Both parties get what they need, which benefits the technical people and enterprises and also makes the entire domestic technical community more active.
To the knowledge of InfoQ, in 2012, Baidu will not only continue to hold the offline activities covering different topics in Beijing, but also extend as much as possible to organize activities in Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Wuhan and other cities to support the development of local technical communities. InfoQ will be involved and continue to play the role of "Facilitating the spread of knowledge and innovation in enterprise software development". Technical people can learn about the latest progress via InfoQ site, or Sina Weibo account of Baidu technical salon @Baidu Technical Salon, Micro group, etc.
’Envioning, Communicating, Discussing and Gathering’ is the slogan of Baidu Technical Salon. By closely following popular technical topics, inviting top technical experts in the industry to share topics, as well as "open and free discussion" and other live activities, every attendant has the opportunity to share his/her own views. Baidu is making efforts to push the development of domestic technical communities forward. As Floyd Marinescu, founder of InfoQ, said, "Baidu Technical Salon is a very good opportunity for technicians to learn offline. The perfect combination of technical presentations with open discussions is very unique, which I rarely see elsewhere."