I attended Berlin Buzzwords 2010 for the last two days and aside from meeting a bunch of great people during talks, here are some take away notes from this conference:

  • I got introduced to new stuff — such as HyperTable (c++ bigtable implementation), which I had never heard of before.
  • I actually know a lot more about hadoop, HDFS and tika now than I did before — though I won’t be able to use any a lot of it soon. The HDFS talk in particular was interesting as it got rid off the bells and whistles (OMG distributed file system and replicated!!!) for me. On Hadoop — it was easy to feel a little overwhelmed.

  • No MongoDB for me.

  • Hilarious: “Localhost is local most.” (by Mario Scheliga)

  • (On HDFS’ issues with the NameNode:) “Highly available vs. pretty highly available.”

  • A lot of people talked about scaling (in and off talks) without a) having any first hand experience and/or b) a need for it. That was probably the buzzwordy part about this conference.

  • I did not learn as much about Lucene as I wanted or had planned. Primarily because the nature of the talks was a little too advanced for me. A basic introduction to Lucene/Solr’s architecture and ways to scale out is still on my wish list.

  • I noticed that contributors to Apache projects like to discuss Jira issues in their talks.

  • Twitter is using Lucene/Java to scale out its (near real-time) search, but sticks to trivial types (instead of objects) to (re)gain performance.

  • Riak seems pretty cool: consistent hashing, auto-balancing, sharding — must investigate more. Also, Rusty Klophaus is a cool guy and I learned that Basho is not just a software company, but they also have a band. And riak is Indonesian and stands for something like how the water flows.

  • Cassandra looks interesting as well. Considering they are Java not written in Erlang, a lot of people seem to like them anyways. Also, Eric Evans is a great presenter — kudos to him. I especially liked the part where he suggested to not use Cassandra for obvious reasons, but the inner geek disagreed.
  • I don’t know why presentations by Nokia, are like that. I’m missing a little enthusiasm about work or project.

  • Bashing other projects sucks. Also, introducing yourself with, “We are like X but better.”, makes you look shady as well.

  • Benchmarks on slides really suck. And if people still can’t resist, they should have a better explanation for them.

  • Berlin Buzzwords really had a great venue.

  • Thanks mucho to the organizers — Isabel, Simon, Jan & newthinking — for an interesting conference.

For more details, head over to Rusty Klophaus: