I would like to share with you my impressions about the first day of the RAMPCONF. I would like to remark, these are my opinions and this is not a paid evaluation of the event! Any comment is appreciated.

We started the day with a check-in, we got our nice little welcome kit, containing a lot of great stuff, thanks for the sponsors and organizers for these. The day started with a quick breakfast, croissant and a coffee (you know the wording, programmers are species which transform coffee to code 😀 ).

After breakfast the first session was started, the presenter was Theo Schlossnagle, the title of his presentation was: Why open source and the destruction of jurisdiction makes scalability possible.  I really liked his presentation, it’s like the book Code Complete or Code Craft, you start reading it and when getting to the end, you cannot accept it has finished. After his speech Rajiv Eranki presented the problems they faced when they tried to scale up Dropbox. It was an interesting presentation, with a lot of good information, experience and lessons learned.

Dathan Pattishal from Flickr presented: Scale patterns and handling exponential growth without downtime. His presentation was full of buzzwords and he was presenting the technologies used for scaling. The presentation of the guys from SoundCloud (Sebastian Ohm, Tomas Senart), for me, was completely foggy, I understood they were using some message queues for resolving performance issues, but I did not get the idea in a whole. (I admit, I’m not an expert in this domain, so no hard feelings 🙂 ).

After these four presentation we had a great lunch with really good and delicious food. One big + for the organizers!

After the lunch there was a small amount of time, when the sponsors could talk around 5 minutes each and could present what their company does. I don’t want to be rude but one of these pitches was really “interesting”, we simply could not understand who was the target audience for one of the speeches…The other two presenters were quite OK.

There were 2 presentations after the sponsor pitches which, IMHO were tooooooooo technical. I’m pretty sure the 80 percent of the audience did not understand the details presented in the presentations: You can improve scalability over 10 years and the MySql usage of web applications with 1 user and 100 million. These 2 presentations had a steep learning curve 🙂 but at least we, the “newbies” in scaling, figured out there is much to learn in this domain.

The last two presentations were good. The one, presented by Gareth Rushgrove, The Unavoidable Big Bang was interesting because, we usually do not see how the public IT systems are developed and scaled; thanks to this presentation we did get an inside into this part also. Andy Gross from Basho gave a really nice presentation, The free lunch is over, again. I think this presentation was the 3rd best of the day.

My definite ranking for the first day of RAMPCONF is:

1. Theo Schlossnagle – Why open source and the destruction of jurisdiction makes scalability possible

2. Rajiv Eranki – Scaling at Dropbox

3. Andy Gross – The free lunch is over, again

I would like to say thank you for the organizers and for the presenters, I think this is a really great event where everybody can find something new to learn…

Stay tuned for the evaluation of day 2 of RAMPCONF….


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