2015 WordCamp Atlanta

2015’s sold out Wordcamp Atlanta, held at Georgia State’s Loudermilk Center, was once again one of my favorite technology events of the year. Even though I was only able to attend one day on Saturday (Friday was for WordPress beginners) I still received the usual burst of inspiration I always get when I’m exposed to the amazing range of diversity of both people and use cases that makeup the Atlanta WordPress community. I always meet interesting members of the community who are doing things I never imagined using WordPress. I’m amazed by all of the entrepreneurs, bloggers, software developers, and marketers at all levels of experience from WordPress beginner to veterans…there was something for everyone.

After a welcome by @judiknight and a very interesting keynote from Nathalie Lussier (@nathlussier) I mostly attended the developers track sessions with a few others mixed in. Here are the sessions I attended, all of which were outstanding (but my favorite was on Backbone):

Friendlier, Safer WordPress Admin Areas by Cliff Seal

The WordPress IDE: PHPStorm by Micah Wood

Put a Little Backbone in Your WordPress by Adam Silverstein

Understanding Google Analytics by Ken Granger

Rev Up Your Design Cycle by Melanie Adcock

Power of Design by Scott Fisk

Wrapping up I have to say this was one of the best organized and ran conferences I’ve ever attended. From registration, check-in, meals and snacks, wifi access, session timing, and parking validation just to name a few areas that all went perfectly in my experience.

Well done @judiknight and everyone else who contributed and to the Sponsors who provided much of the funding and tons of awesome swag.

Cassandra Day Atlanta 2015

As a heavy user of SQL relational databases for the past 25 years, I log into databases like MS SQL Server, MS Access, Oracle, and MySQL every single day when I’m at work. However over the past couple of years I’ve become aware that there’s a new kind of database called NoSQL which apparently are the database of choice in Big Data applications.

So earlier this year I was excited when I came across the announcement of an all day event to be held at the Galleria called Cassandra Day Atlanta. Fortunately I was able to attend this free event on March 19th and learn a few things about one of the more popular NoSQL databases, Apache Cassandra.

The event was sponsored by Datastax, a company selling an enterprise version of Cassandra along with consulting and support services. As an Apache open source project Cassandra can also be downloaded for free at http://cassandra.apache.org/. But with the free version you don’t get the enterprise features provided by Datastax or the support.

Walking into the event on a rainy day at the Galleria I was initially impressed by the large turnout. I don’t know the exact count but would guess several hundred in attendance. The event was divided into three tracks for beginners, advanced users, and business executives. I stuck to the beginner track where the large room I was in was packed by at least a couple hundred people.

I attended the sessions, “Getting Started with Cassandra and Datastax”, “Getting Started with Cassandra and Python”, and “Apache Cassandra Data Modeling 101”; all of which provided an excellent introduction into the technology.

My main takeaway was that since in Cassandra there are no joins and no aggregations, you have to design the database backwards from what I’m used to in the relational model. First considering the queries needed by your application and then designing schemas to fit the queries….the opposite of relational where you first design the schema to 3rd normal form and then create queries based off the well designed schema.

All very interesting I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend.

According to DB-Engines rankings, the three most popular NoSQL databases are MongoDB, Cassandra, and Redis.

Read more about NoSQL databases here.