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Announcing the Gluecon Demo Pods

One of the truly amazing things that we've been able to do at Gluecon over the past 2 shows (last year and this year) is to give away free space to early stage startups. The reason we've been able to do this is simple: Alcatel-Lucent *understands* how big tech companies should do marketing. They understand that it's not about "owning" the stage at a show. They understand that the power of the API (which crosses the cloud, big data and mobile) is that it is a technology that is ALL about community. They understand that supporting the community is the single best thing they can do.

And that's what they do with Gluecon. With Alcatel-Lucent's support (it was actually their idea), we have the Gluecon Demo Pods. These are 12 pods, chosen by judges, given freely to applicants. They must be early stage companies. If accepted, the pod comes with everything they need to demo their wares. All they have to do is get there.

But it doesn't end there. Once you've made it into the Demo Pods, you'll find that all gluecon attendees will be voting for their favorite amongst the bunch (via a handy Twilio app). The votes are tallied, and the winner is picked. At which point, Bart Lorang (the CEO of last year's winner, FullContact) will pass the mantle on the keynote stage to this year's champ (who will then go on to do amazing things, be a judge for next year's demo pods, and pass the mantle).

So it is with great fanfare and imaginary drumrolls that I give you this year's twelve demo pods (courtesy of Community Underwriter, Alcatel-Lucent):




Mortar Data





Emergent One



It was an incredibly strong set of applicants this year, and the 12 that were chosen are something special. I hope you'll give a big thank-you to Alcatel-Lucent for helping us to do this, and then utilize early bird pricing (which ends April 15th) to get yourself registered and come meet this amazing group of startups.

Gluecon at a Glance

Early Bird prices expire at the end of this week, so I thought it might be useful to give a "Gluecon at a Glance."

We start off on Tuesday, May 22nd with CloudCamp. CloudCamp is run by Dave Nielsen, and will start off with a couple of workshops (one on PaaS, one on Iaas, and one on using Twilio), and then spend from 4-8pm-ish doing the CloudCamp unconference thing. (Important note: CloudCamp is free and open to the public; you do not need to be registered for Gluecon to attend CloudCamp.) After CloudCamp, you'll find the arriving Gluecon attendees gathering in the Tap Room at Omni Interlocken (the hotel/resort where Glue is located).

Wednesday, May 23rd kicks off Gluecon proper with keynotes by Chris Hoff (a.k.a. Beaker), James Governor (of Redmonk fame), and Toby Ford (of AT&T). From keynotes, we move into "3-wide" breakout sessions (I've outlined some of those here). In addition to the breakout sessions that run all afternoon (and run deep), we have workshops that are 4 hours in length, and aim to tackle one specific topic in extreme depth (one on Netflix's cloud architecture and one on CloudFoundry). Day One closes out with keynotes by Laura Merling (of Alcatel-Lucent) and John Musser (of ProgrammableWeb).

Wednesday evening has two major happenings: 1) the evening reception (open bar and appetizers), and 2) the hackathon. We're putting a lot more emphasis on the hackathon this year - and I'll be posting a bunch about it in the coming days...but needless to say, we'll be setting you up for building something cool, using some remarkable APIs, and winning some awesome prizes (stay tuned for more on that).

Thursday, May 23rd, launches us back into keynotes by James Urquhart (enStratus), Max Shireson (10gen), and Ray O'Brien (NASA and Jason Venner (Mirantis). The bulk of day 2 is devoted to 3-wide breakout sessions. One thing that should stand out nearly immediately is that you won't see panels in the breakout sessions at Gluecon. What you will see are solo speakers tackling specific technical topics. The day closes out with Bart Lorang (FullContact) - CEO of last year's Demo Pod winner -- passing the mantle to this year's Demo Pod winner (which gluecon attendees will vote on via a Twilio app).

That's Gluecon: wall to wall substance. And if you've never been, please also know that at Gluecon you'll find AWESOME wifi, plenty of powerstrips, and a welcoming crowd that seems "just right" in terms of size. If you're exploring cloud, big data and mobile technologies, I hope you'll take a serious look at grabbing an early bird ticket. Join us!

10 Days Left for Early Bird

It's getting to be that time of year again: the agenda is about 80% complete (even if you don't quite see that yet), the registrations are flowing in, the gluecon supporters include everyone that's anyone, and next week we'll announce the 12 demo pod winners.

All of that can mean only one thing: it's time to grab your early bird registration because that rate will expire shortly (in 10 days; April 15th).

If you've been to Gluecon before, then you've heard me say that my singular goal each year is to get *more* technical. And if you've never been to Gluecon before, then you should know that we are a show that is for developers. Forget business case studies and endless panels about blah blah blah (who gives a shit?) -- gluecon is substance, substance, substance, and more substance -- until your brain bleeds.

What kind of substance? Things like:

"The Badass Beyond Hadoop: Percolator, Dremmel, Pregel"

"Why MongoDB + Node.js is the new server-side stack"

"Asynchronous Architectures for Implementing Scalable Cloud Services"

"Adding Real-time to Hadoop with a streaming SQL overlay for massively parallel processing"

"Architecting for Performance in the face of Mobile and APIs"

"Real World Big Data - Achieving 100K transactions per second with a NoSQL Database"

"Small devices, big data:Designing a massively multiuser apps platform"

"Securing Your Pocket to The Cloud: OAuth and Mobile Devices"

"Running Node.js applications at scale"

"Integrating Application Intelligence for Better Management and Visibility into Web Applications"

And that's just a snapshot. Did I mention the 4+ hour workshop from Netflix's Cloud Architect about their architecture (front to back) and the 4+ hour workshop from the founder of CloudFoundry about building polyglot apps on that platform? Oh, and then there's the hackathon...and the CloudCamp...and the Twilio just goes on and on.

I'll skip the hyperbole. Don't miss Gluecon, folks. Grab your discounted registration today. See you there.

Guest Post: Under the Radar

This is a guest post from our Media Partner, Under the Radar.

Partnering with the Enterprise: Visa, CocaCola, CBS, and LivePerson

Last year, billions where spent on deals between the enterprise and emerging companies. Visa invested in Square, Jive partnered with SalesCrunch, Salesforce acquired Rypple and the list goes on and on. Partnerships, investments, and acquisitions seem rampant when you read the tech blogs, however, startups will tell you it's not exactly reality. Finding the right guy and getting the meeting is tough, you usually have to enter through multiple touch points just to find the right person.

If you do your homework and know who to target, it can be easier. You have to leverage your network, search Linkedin and start "dialing for dollars". If you find the right person, you'll need to get their attention, this takes a good biz dev guy who knows how to ask the right questions and build relationships.

To be engaged in a conversation with an enterprise, there’s a lot that needs to go right. The first roadblock comes when startups can't articulate their offering. Sometimes they are not asking the right questions and end up talking to the wrong people. There’s strategic value in knowing what a company and each unique team is looking for. For example, Vitaly Gordon, Big Data Scientist at LivePerson says he wants to partner with, “technology that is a game changer versus just a little better/faster/smarter.” Alan Boehme, Chief of Enterprise Architecture, from The Coca-Cola Company is looking for companies working on, “security, analytics, and social.” Paul Payton, Chief Systems Engineer at Visa says the number one thing he looks for in a partnership is, "Maturity in technology." Knowing what someone is looking for on a basic level, will help the startup begin the right conversation with the right team.

If you land that first conversation, Peter Yared, CTO of CBS Interactive advises, “Tell me what business you're in, how much it costs, and how I can get it - within 5 minutes.” Gordon of Live Person agrees, “Sell me on value instead of hype or features.”

Information is power, listening and asking good questions are mandatory to vet and qualify on both sides of a call. If you're interested in talking to Gordon, Boehme, Payton, and/or Yared in person to learn more, they will be at the Under the Radar Conference on April 26th to talk to prospective companies and share their wish list of needs with you.

We've secured a $200 off your ticket price, using promo code, “gluecon”

Screw Sexism

In the past week, there have been a couple of really crappy instances of sexism in the tech world. And if there's one thing we work really hard on over here at both Defrag and Gluecon, it's making sure that sexism isn't tolerated at our shows. In fact, one of my absolute favorite people in tech is Laura Merling. Laura is beyond brilliant and leading the charge on all things API at Alcatel-Lucent (a job that most people wouldn't have the spine to pull off).

This morning Laura and her team got in touch with me. In the wake of this past week of sexism in tech, Laura was wanting to buy passes for 10 female developers to attend Gluecon. And how cool is that?

It's a first come/first served proposition, so hit Laura up on Twitter to grab one of the 10 free passes. #screwsexism

The Worm in, the early birds gets the...

Gluecon's "Super Early Bird" rate ends this coming Friday -- which means the cost of attending is about to go up.

The agenda is still completely in flux, but several things are starting to come together, and the next month will see the full bloom hit that rose. The sessions that I'm already excited about include things like:

"Scaling Mobile Services on Diverse Networks"

"Developing RESTful Android Client Apps"

"The Badass Beyond Hadoop: Percolator, Dremmel, Pregel"

"Efficient Big Data Analysis: RAID, RAM, SSD"

"Securing Your Pocket to The Cloud: OAuth and Mobile Devices"

"How to Grow A Team of Data Scientists From Scratch"

And that's just a sampling. Throw in all of the keynotes, workshops on Netflix's architecture and Cloud Foundry, a hackathon, the receptions, and 500+ engineers hanging out at a resort tucked up against the backdrop of the mountains -- and you get the recipe that is Gluecon.

I hope you'll take advantage of the rate expiring this Friday and join us.

The Flattening of IT

Today, we have a guest post from John Minnihan of Freepository. John founded Freepository in 1999, the first repository hosting service, and he's a recognized expert in development automation and repository management. Between Freepository and numerous infrastructure projects over the past 15 years, he's delivered systems that manage over 1 billion lines of code for engineers in more than 120 countries.

Last week, Eric dug into a topic that's near and dear to me in his post "The Renaissance of Enterprise Development". In that, Eric develops (pun intended) a well-reasoned & deeply insightful thesis on services convergence & the role APIs are playing in what I call a flattening of the IT space.

That's the other emerging theme here, and from my recent experience at some of the most cutting-edge enterprises on the planet, it's one that may be equally or even more important: Everything is now (or soon will be) a service. Everything. Really. EVERYTHING.

Consider what we've already seen take hold, beginning as far back as 1999 (we called them Application Service Providers): Development Environments (Sourceforge, GitHub, Freepository), Servers (AWS, Rackspace et al), Databases (nosql, hadoop, AWS et al), Email (gmail, hosted exchange), Corp Documents (Google Docs, Zoho,, Dropbox et al), and Contact Management (Gist, FullContact et al).

This trend nearly completely obviates IT across the board - these four components of legacy corp IT are being vaporized: Physical servers, Microsoft-based PCs on desks, costly 6-month-consultant-on-premises deployment of 'enterprise' applications, Human IT support personnel.

In some companies, this shift is in the rear-view mirror. In others, it is just emerging or on the horizon. *Most* enterprises are right in the middle of it. The disruption is huge and during the 'ratchet' will push many, many legacy IT individuals out of the game. What this means is the typical enterprise employee today (or of the very near-term tomorrow) will have or expect: A tablet form factor device that is always online (i.e. 3/4G connected) + portable across campus or the globe; iOS or Android powered, using few - if any - MS products; Everything is cloud based, including the desktop 'image' they receive when they login; *Significantly* reduced IT headcount, as everything is self-support or supported by cloud-based app vendors.

I had the good fortune to spend several months recently in Cupertino. This city is a hotbed of creative, disruptive enterprises, no doubt about it - and not just Apple, folks. Just by being here and observing, I picked up a ton about IT trends inside organizations based here and in adjacent Sunnyvale. At Apple, it's no surprise that everyone is carrying either a Macbook Air or an iPad. Walking between buildings across a very spread out campus, it was obvious most of these folks were still online (i.e. typing on keyboards while waiting at crosswalks). Even in nearby restaurants, too - I saw this every single day. Over the course of 6 months, I saw hundreds of iPhones, dozens of Android phones (if I didn't recognize it, I'd ask) and maybe half a dozen Blackberries.

What was surprising was the number of non-Apple employees (i.e. those entering / exiting other visibly-marked company facilities) who were also carrying around the same gear, behaving identically. Now, it's easy to assume that these folks were all connected to secure campus wifi rather than any particular cloud "service", but still - it's clear that the enterprise worker is no longer strictly attached to a physical desk in a physical office, anchored to a physical PC that is attached to physical wires running under the floor to a down-the-hall on-premise server room, where some guy you rarely see is trying to sort out whether the latest service packs should installed.

No single vendor is the clear winner, at least yet. Apple, Google and Amazon are huge players with billions at stake. I won't count out Microsoft, who also have billions at stake, from becoming dominant in at least one of these service markets. My best bet (and arguably it's a safe one) is that we'll see a stabilization of the cloud services market with these primary players and dozens of smaller, niche companies that solve a single problem very, very well. In other words, a bit like what we have today. The vendors who are at most at risk in this scenario? Oracle, IBM, HP and Dell.

The enterprise dev who rides this disruption into the sunset - who learns + champions big data tools like Hadoop, understands that everything can be decomposed to an API or service endpoint, and then actually *uses* this to propel the organization forward - will be the winner.

Boulder/Denver Big Data Meetup

If you're in the Boulder/Denver area, and into (or getting into) "big data," you're going to want to check out the Big Data meetup, next Wednesday, February 22nd, at 6pm in Westminster.

The reason? They've got Milind Bhandarkar coming to speak. Milind is one of the founding team members at Yahoo! that took Apache Hadoop from a 20 node proto-type to full-scale (as in "web scale") production quality release. In short, he's an authority on Hadoop.

So, get your big data butt down to the meetup, and tell 'em that gluecon sent you. ;-)

The Renaissance of Enterprise Development

I've been trying to wrap my head around something lately, and I'm not quite there - yet...but I'm getting closer. In short: I think we're witnessing a renaissance in enterprise development.

This is not to say that "enterprise development" ever went away, it didn't. But for a time there --and I'm still working on the why's and timeframe of this -- enterprise development took a back seat to packages, suites and integration. I think we're now reversing that trend. I think that the next *decade* sees an explosion of development within the enterprise.

Why? The intersection and emergence of the trends represented by today's hottest buzzwords: cloud, mobile, big data.

"Cloud Computing" as a buzzword is now so overplayed that it'll be dead and gone in less than 24 months (mark my words), but the development trends that it represents: the ability to spin up, manage, monitor, secure and develop upon computing resources -- and then spin them down - on a usage, off-premise basis is such a powerful shift that it has to be seen as the tectonic plate in this intersection.

"Big Data" is a confluence of the ever-cheapening cost of storage and processing and the sheer *leverage* that cloud computing is bringing to the resource-constrained world of enterprise development. And, make no mistake, big data is big. Whatever the opportunity was for tool-sets and enablers PRE-visual studio days, big data is twice that big. The thirst for knowledge around the broad array of big data toolsets (NoSQL, processing, analytics, visualization) is nearly overwhelming. Simultaneously, the application of big data tech is horizontal in the broadest sense. Pick a problem-set: social media, finance, manufacturing, HR, anything -- I can find big data applicability.

"Mobile" is the usage wave in this equation. Just the sheer form factor alone demands massive development on the enterprise side, but when you throw in the need for legacy integration so that the end-user gets what they need from enterprise big data served up by the cloud -- stand back.

Amidst these three mega-trends sits a lynchpin. The developers know it because they're building. The buzzword maniacs haven't caught it yet, and they may never (we can only hope), but it's there. That lynchpin: APIs. APIs tie together the mega-trends in a fundamental and unalterable way. APIs are the lingua franca of the new wave of enterprise development.

So, as these three mega trends (and our super top-secret, don't tell the marketers, lynchpin) converge, we're seeing one overriding trend: the opportunity, means and necessity for the developer (engineer, architect) to play the central role in building and rolling out new enterprise IT capabilities.

And here's the key: previously, enterprise development basically equated to cost inefficiency. The emergence of cloud, big data tech and mobile are about to flip that equation on its head. The customized, cloud-based, big data processing, get it on any device you need it on, IT environment of the here-now-future will find suites and packages (and their endless integration and tweaking) to be the truly cost-ineffective implementation model. In short, developers rule (Sidenote: I've been saying "enterprise developer," but in truth I mean this across the broad spectrum of all companies.) Software is eating the world, and those that can leverage the cloud foundation, the big data tools and the mobile wave to quickly and efficiently deliver the necessary information via IT resources are the kingmakers.

All of which leads me to the completely obvious, self-promotional point: Sure there are "cloud" conferences, and "big data" conferences, and "mobile development" conferences -- but the really important stuff here is about one thing alone: developers and the intersection of these three mega-trends. And the only place you can get that is gluecon.

Join us.

AWS, Colorado and Silly Laws

Have you ever wondered why you don't see speakers from Amazon on the gluecon agenda?

This issue surfaced for me again the other day. I was reading Stephen O'Grady's excellent write-up of Amazon's DynamoDB release. I know that the space around DynamoDB is important, so I reached out to Jeff Barr over at AWS and asked if either he could speak or someone else from Amazon could speak about DynamoDB.

What I had forgotten was this: Colorado's silly laws on internet sales taxes are not fully reversed. And because of that, Amazon employees are not allowed to come to or speak in the State of Colorado (it might create "nexus" issues in their ongoing court cases).

I'm sure I'll get hate mail on this one, but I'm with Amazon on this. And it's a shame that communities like Gluecon have to suffer because of laws that don't make any sense. Bottom-line: Amazon is behaving like the rational economic player in this equation.

Oh, by the way, I'll still be getting *someone* to talk about DynamoDB. Maybe I'll hit up Mr. O'Grady himself...