devLink 2012

I'm just winding down here from devLink 2012 and wanted to share my slides and take a moment to reflect. I was privileged to be given the opportunity to talk again this year on NoSQL. Unfortunately I think I reached a bit too far that late night when I pulled an abstract out of my rear for a yet to be written talk. Here, judge for yourself. This was the abstract I submitted:

Never has a technical buzzword produced such confusion as "NoSQL". Not all data stores are created equal. It's time to shine a light on the technology that claims to hold your big data, replicate it everywhere and be faster than its relational grandpa. This session will compare and contrast the popular NoSQL tools without subjecting you to fabricated benchmarks and meaingless jargon. It's time for a data store cage match!

It sounded good at the time, but it's lacking substance. What did I promise to deliver? A comparison without numbers and fancy words - okay, that's interesting I guess? The title implied there would be a winner and the tagline promised excitement, WWE style.

I feel like I delivered on comparing the technologies without numbers. I introduced some fancy words and concepts. Hopefully I explained them well enough. The video that the public will never see will tell the story there. In the end though, there was no real winner. Since I didn't show up dressed as a luchador, exciting was not a word you'd use to describe that talk.

I'm still new to this conference speaking thing and every experience, both good and bad, help me get better. I want to be great at this. I want to be able to deliver a talk that sticks in people's heads for weeks after the fact. I've learned my lesson and my next talk will be more focused - maybe a specific technology or pattern. No more of this I'm-going-to-show-you-the-meaning-of-life-in-an-hour type of thing. It's just not a good use of mine or the audience's time.

With all of that said, I'm glad to have that talk under my belt. It took me several months to compile all of that information and present it in a way that I felt was palatable in an hour format. NoSQL is a movement and there are a lot of options with more popping up every month. I felt like I had a firm grasp on the topic when I pitched the talk, but I learned so much more after having to research and build a few demos. In the end, that's knowledge I can take with me to build something awesome in the future. :)

My slides, notes and demos are up on github for your scrutiny. Thank you to devLink for having me. Thank you to those who attended both the talk and the preview talks - your feedback was invaluable. A big thank you to my friends and coworkers who continue to push me to be better at speaking, software, and life in general. It was great to see you all again. Now, let's all get some rest.