16 October 2012
The last couple of months have been heavy on the travel (towards the end of it I calculated that I'd spent 40 out of the last 44 days on the road) which is why my website has been quiet. Now I'm back home again and can reflect on some of it - and the goto conference is always full of things to reflect on.
The goto/infoQ conferences put a lot of emphasis on new thinking on data before they became fashionable, so again there was quite a bit of that this year. There were a couple of tracks that focused heavily on NoSQL technologies, one gave a quick tour of many leading NoSQL databases, another concentrated on their applications.
Adrian Cockcroft shared many lessons that Netflix has learned in building its computer infrastructure.
The large scale usage of Cassandra by Netflix was particularly interesting and I want to take a moment to show my appreciation for the openness of Netflix in sharing their lessons and tools. Too often our profession's progress has been held back by secrecy that's born more out of vanity than any real competitive advantage. Netflix is a delightful example of companies that are both pushing the boundaries and sharing their tools as they go.
Indeed the new data panorama was a theme in my travels beyond just goto. Many of my colleagues are exploring the possibilities both in their client work and in the spare time. It's the bit of computing that I'm finding most compelling at the moment, with lots of opportunities to explore new techniques and find new ways for software to improve the work of its users. It also provides an opportunity to push back against the sad tendency to see developers as a passive recipient of requirements. Many of the opportunities offerred by the new data world can only be seen by those closer to the technology, so I'm hoping this could tilt us back towards ConversationalStories.