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One Week to Gluecon!

We're one week out from Gluecon, and the excitement is palpable. If you've missed out on any of the happenings....

CloudCamp (FREE as in beer) and workshops (PaaS, Iaas, Twilio)

An agenda that absolutely whips ass...

Deep dives via workshops at the conference...

Evening receptions, rockstar wifi, and a level of interaction and density that'll blow your mind...

You simply do not want to miss what will be the most technically deep cloud, mobile, big data, API show of the year. Use "brad12" to take 10% off of your registration and join us.

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Polyglot, Polyglot, Polyglot

Sorry, I just really like the word "polyglot." For future reference, a sure-fire way to get my attention with a speaker proposal is to a) include a reference to 80's hair metal in the title or b) use a word that makes me go, "oooooh, that's a good word." Chris Richardson (creator of CloudFoundry) hit on option b perfectly when he emailed me four or five months back and said he'd like to do a workshop about "Developing polyglot applications on Cloud Foundry." I said "yes," and now he (along with Dave McCrory) is doing just that. Four hours of deep-dive for gluecon attendees that'll go something like this:

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Modern server-side applications are developed using a mixture of languages and technologies. Developers pick the best technology for each application component thereby avoiding the Golden Hammer syndrome. For example, an application might use NodeJS and Rails for the front-end servers; Scala for the backend servers; MySQL and MongoDB for persistence; and RabbitMQ for messaging. Developing these kind of applications can be challenging since there are so many moving parts that need to be correctly installed and configured. Deployment is even more difficult.

In this workshop, you will learn how Cloud Foundry, which is modern, multi-lingual, multi-service, extensible open-source PaaS, can simplify the development and deployment of polyglot applications. We will talk about how to develop modern applications that run on Cloud Foundry and cover what’s new and different about the cloud environment. You will learn how your application can consume the various services that are provided by Cloud Foundry. We will discuss the various ways of using Cloud Foundry including the Micro Cloud that runs on a laptop as well as the hosted CloudFoundry.com.

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You know how this works: look at the agenda, and then get yourself registered.

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A bit more...

One of our supporters this year is SOA Software. Here's a bit more about them:

SOA Software is a leading provider of unified SOA governance, Cloud and API Management products that enable organizations to plan, build, and run enterprise services and Open APIs. SOA Software’s Portfolio Manager™, Repository Manager™, Policy Manager™, and Service Manager™ are the heart of the company’s comprehensive Integrated SOA Governance Automation solution. This product set enables SOA governance, SOA security and SOA management of services across the complete service lifecycle, from planning through development and production deployment.

SOA Software’s latest solution is Atmosphere, which provides a secure, robust platform that companies can use to share their APIs with the growing developer community of their choice. The SOA Software Atmosphere™ product family was created to help drive the API Economy by meeting the needs of collaborating around and managing APIs in a complex environment. SOA Software Atmosphere manages, monitors, and secures companies’ APIs ensuring that they deliver the level of service customers and partners require; the security of corporate and customer information and assets; and the integrity of the corporate brand. SOA Software Atmosphere™ is for API management and collaboration, a connecting point where your APIs can be published, promoted, and managed in a secure, scalable environment. You can manage your own developer community, or just plug into communities that already exist. Your APIs can be discovered and harnessed by creative people who blend it with complementary APIs from your partners. These developers can then work together, share ideas, and support each other in new and productive ways. Atmosphere manages, monitors and secures companies’ APIs ensuring that they deliver the level of service customers and partners require; the security of corporate and customer information and assets; and the integrity of the corporate.

The world’s largest companies including Bank of America, Pfizer, and Verizon use SOA Software products to transform their businesses. Please visit us at www.soa.com.

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Do Not Regret Your Decision - Come to Gluecon

There are 13 days to Gluecon, and if you're still on the fence, this post is for you.

Let's start with what past attendees say about Gluecon:

“In terms of value for the dollar, I have not been to a comparable conference.”

“Glue rocked. A focused event with a focused audience makes for a very interactive and informative event.”

“GlueCon was not only worth my time and money, it was the most informative and beneficial conference of the year.”

"Glue is a case study of what a conference is supposed to be."

Next, let's take a look at the agenda. Let's say you're a rockstar engineer, I'd be willing to bet you can still find a session in every breakout that will push your thinking, teach you new topics, or dive deeper into tools and technologies you already understand. Hey, worst case, you go spend FOUR HOURS with the cloud architect for Netflix learning how he built their architecture, then grab some keynotes, and then spend all of day two reveling in more geek goodness. All hyperbole aside: I'd challenge you to find ANY conference that combines this much technical content around the topics of big data, mobile, cloud and APIs, in an atmosphere that's exactly the right size for awesome interaction.

Now, if the agenda still isn't enough, let's add in CloudCamp and the CloudCamp workshops, the day before Gluecon begins (May 22nd). Learn how to build an app on twilio, then pitch your session at the unconference, then head to The Tap Room for a few micro-brews on Alcatel-Lucent. (*burp*)

Still not convinced? Ok, our wifi is LEGENDARY. You know how you're always going to tech conferences that have crappy wifi? Come to Gluecon and see wifi done right. What about power? Yep, we've got you covered there too.

"Yea," you say, "that all sounds great, but I want to build something." That's what the Gluecon hacakthon is for! When you register, you'll answer "yes" to attending the hackathon and then receive an email pre-show with instructions for the hackathon meetup the evening of the 22nd, code repositories and documentation, helpful ideas for possible hacks -- everything you'll need to get your brain turning. Once you're on-site you can hack anything from management APIs to social data to robotic balls (yes, ROBOTIC BALLS) and submit your entry for judging. And if you win? Prizes galore.

Trust me, by Friday, you're going to be completely satisfied. So, if you're on the fence, pull the trigger - come learn, interact, teach, hack, socialize, better your self, better your business, and contribute to the community. Join us - you will NOT regret it.

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CloudCamp and the Twilio Workshop

Gluecon is all about community, and one of the things we're bringing back this year is CloudCamp (May 22 at the Omni Interlocken). It's a free (as in beer) and open to all unconference. You do NOT need to be registered for Gluecon to attend it. We've got limited space and about 50 spots left for it, so please make sure to grab your slot.

Right *before* (from 1-4pm) the CloudCamp (which runs from 4-8pm), we're having three workshops. These are ALSO free (as in beer) and open to the public - all one need do is sign up (sidenote: these workshops are more introductory than the three workshops talking place during gluecon).

The three pre-CloudCamp workshops will cover Using Eucalyptus v3 (IaaS), an intro to Cloud Foundry (PaaS), and How to build Twilio-driven applications. Again, you do NOT need to be registered for gluecon to attend these workshops, and space is limited, so make sure to grab your spot today!

Oh, and join us at Gluecon. ;-)

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Cloud, The Netflix Way

This year's Gluecon features three, deep-dive workshops. The workshops are meant to be experienced from beginning to end, as authorities in their respective spaces take you down the rabbit hole (so that you can see just how deep it goes). The following is a workshop description from Adrian Cockroft, Cloud Architect at Netflix, for his workshop, "Constructing Cloud Architecture the Netflix Way":

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Dispensing with the usual questions: “Why Netflix, why cloud, why AWS?” as they are old hat now. This is the debut at Gluecon of a new slide deck by Adrian that takes a different approach, this tutorial explains how developers use the Netflix cloud, and how it is built and operated.

The real meat of the tutorial comes when we look at how to construct an application with a host of important properties: elastic, dynamic, scalable, agile, fast, cheap, robust, durable, observable, secure. Over the last three years Netflix has figured out cloud based solutions with these properties, deployed them globally at large scale and refined them into a global Java oriented Platform as a Service. The PaaS is based on low cost open source building blocks such as Apache Tomcat, Apache Cassandra, and Memcached. Components of this platform are in the process of being open-sourced by Netflix, so that other companies can get a start on building their own customized PaaS that leverages advanced features of AWS and supports rapid agile development.

The architecture is described in terms of anti-patterns - things to avoid in the datacenter to cloud transition. A scalable global persistence tier based on Cassandra provides a highly available and durable under-pinning. Lessons learned will cover solutions to common problems, availability and robustness, observability. Attendees should leave the tutorial with a clear understanding of what is different about the Netflix cloud architecture, how it empowers and supports developers, and a set of flexible and scalable open source building blocks that can be used to construct their own cloud platform.

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Don't miss the opportunity to learn from these folks -- join us at Gluecon.

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Gluecon Density

I don't mean to toot our own horn, but as I sort through the final details of the Gluecon agenda, I'm struck by the density of content. By that I mean, how much technical depth is packed side by side in session after session after session. If you start on morning 1, and start reading session titles, you'll find that the intensity does not let up.

Let's do just that for a bit.

After you come out of the morning keynotes (which will be *awesome*, by the way), you get presented with these six possible sessions choices (3 at 10:20 and 3 at 10:55):

"NoSQL smackdown 2012"

"We Don't Need no Stinkin App Server! Building a Two-tier Mobile App"

"What's Inside Your Cloud? IaaS Architecture and Implementation"

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

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

"Asynchronous Architectures for Implementing Scalable Cloud Services"

So, in the first ~60 minutes of breakout content, you can go NoSQL, mobile apps, IaaS architecture, Node.js, Post-Hadoop, or Scalable Cloud Services. And it's not even lunch yet. Oh, by the way, when you're having lunch, stock up on protein and caffeine - cuz you're gonna need it.

When you come out of lunch, you have another six possible choices (and a multitude of mix and match variables) for your afternoon. You can:

1. Go "Real-time" in a 3 hour and 45 minute track that addresses real-time hadoop, high-volume social data, Storm, webhooks and websockets, and building real-time apps.

2. Go "Big" (as in data) in a track that dives into the Network, multi-user apps platforms, achieving 100k transactions per second, efficient storage models for analysis, and incorporating big data analytics into an app.

3. Go "Mobile" with a track that looks at mobile libraries and API consumption, scaling mobile services, RESTful android client apps, geo-fencing, and performance architecture.

4. Spend nearly 4 hours digging into Netflix's cloud architecture with THE cloud architect from Netflix (Adrian Cockcroft).

5. Spend nearly 4 hours building polyglot apps on CloudFoundry with the creator of CloudFoundry (Chris Richardson and Dave McCrory).

6. Spend nearly 4 hours breaking out the tools for DevOps in the world of PaaS with 3 architectural authorities on the subject (Adrian Cole, Alex Heneveld and Chris Custine).

These six alternatives are there for your choosing. You can, of course, mix and match the first 3, but we don't recommend trying to do that with the last three (the workshops), as those are meant to be participated in from front to back (we'll have more info on the workshop content in the coming week or so).

In short, it's 4:45pm, and you've just felt your brain starting to leak out of your head via your ear. And the day's not over.

After another round of awesome breakout alternatives, you head back into the keynote room to hear John Musser gives us his yearly (and hugely popular) "State of the API Market" talk, and close things out with the always-amazing Laura Merling on why big data is breaking the data plan.

Top all of this off with the evening reception, where you can interact with amazing non-bubilicious gluecon supporters, and explore the 12 demo pods (the young bucks!). And then, for the truly adventurous, journey into the Gluecon hackathon -- where you'll find APIs exposed and code repositories cracked wide open until the wee hours of the morning.

Like I said....dense.

Did I mention there's still a whole second day left?

Join us.

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Gluecon: The Anti-Bubble

In the past week, the "bubble" talk has picked up once again -- specifically with a NYT's piece that points to sky-high valuations on a lack of revenue. My personal view is a bit more nuanced than bubble or no bubble...

Some funding areas (seed stage/angel) are clearly exhibiting bubblicious valuations. Not everywhere, but certainly, when a hot deal circulates, it circulates with what can only be characterized as some pretty ridiculous early stage terms. Other funding areas (Series A/B) are not experiencing bubbly valuations; in fact, it all seems pretty reasonable. (I'm not the first one to advance this argument; plenty of smarter people are saying it.)

And, then, of course, there are the outliers. I'm not talking about the post-Series B startups that are justifiably getting high valuations based on real revenue growth, I mean the things that just make you turn your head sideways. I guess my point is this: we're seeing bubbly behavior in *some* areas (consumer-facing social apps, recruiting, angel deals), but not in others (startups with real revenue being valued for growth) -- and all of that is happening in an overall economic environment that isn't good yet.

So, what happens when the economy finally begins growing like a post-recession economy should? Bubble. Bubbletastic. Bubblelicious. Super-bubble. But, imho, we're still a few years from that happening....and as anyone who lived through the dotcom boom/bust knows, this is nowhere NEAR the mania we saw back then.

Now, if you *really* wanna see what I mean about startups that aren't exhibiting bubble characteristics, then check out the Gluecon supporter page. SendGrid, Ping Identity, Cloudspokes (Appirio), Apigee, Box, Twilio, Gnip...it reads like a "who's who" of startups that have built REAL businesses and are on some pretty serious growth trajectories. Now take a look at the Demo Pod companies (I mean go and click on a couple of them). You know what you find there? Startups that are poised to go and build a real business -- nothing in the Demo Pods sounds like some app that'll make you go, "why would someone fund that?"

As I survey the startups involved with Gluecon, I can honestly say that I don't smell one hint of a bubble. Now, to be fair, I think that's reflective of the fact that Gluecon is focused on areas where real businesses live (enterprise/developer focused companies in the cloud, big data, mobile, and APIs).

Bottom-line: if you'd like to explore innovation without all of the bubblicious behavior that's sprouting up, then you need to come to Gluecon. We're the anti-bubble.

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Entering the Chute

When you run conferences for a living, you get used to a very predictable pattern -- one that revolves around the logistical build-up to a show (and the following let-down post-show). At about four weeks out from a show, you "enter the chute." "Entering the chute" describes the feeling your life takes on for that four weeks. Namely, like this massive onrush of details is rushing at you, you're powerless to stop it, and the only thing you can do is just work night and day until the show arrives.

Now, attendees and sponsors don't need to concern themselves with "the chute" -- hell, most of the time they don't even see it or know about it. But being in the chute does mean a couple of things, logistically, for those attending Gluecon:

1. I will lock the agenda this week. It's close now, but I still have to move a few sessions around and make some adjustments. Once I do that and lock the last few sessions, we'll be finalized and going to "print." If you're undecided about coming to Gluecon, please do take a look at the agenda. You'll find it devoid of sales pitches, full of technical goodness, and built to completely overwhelm your ability to take it all in. I'll stack it up against any agenda anywhere on the topics of cloud/big data/mobile/APIs.

2. Grab your hotel room. The hotel extended the discount cut-off for us until this Friday, but you need to get your room QUICKLY. The hotel (not our block, the entire hotel) is filling up fast, and you really don't want to stay anywhere else (imagine being in the space where every where you go, you find a gluecon attendee).

3. Get registered. If you don't come, you'll find yourself wondering why - during the week of gluecon -- all of the amazing stuff is happening without you. Don't take my word for it, see what other people say. Your registration includes danishes and coffee in the morning, morning and afternoon breaks, lunch, an open bar reception with appetizers, and the most amazing group of developers you'll find *anywhere*.

4. Stand-by for more info on the Hackathon. When you register for Gluecon, you'll be asked if you're attending the hackathon. Answer "yes" and you'll be on the pre-show mailing list for hackathon participants. In the next few weeks, I'll be sending out logistics, code repositories, documentation, hack ideas, the list of prizes you can win, meetup times and places for pre-hackathon get togethers -- all KINDS of good stuff. So, register, say "yes," and come build something.

5. Don't forget about CloudCamp. As you're planning your flights in, time on-site, etc -- do NOT forget about CloudCamp (and the Twilio workshop) which is happening the day before Gluecon.

We've entered the chute. I'll see you guys on the other side. In the meantime, I hope you'll choose to join us at Gluecon.

Last Chance for Early Bird

It's Friday the 13th (ooooh scary), and early bird prices for Gluecon expire on Sunday (the 15th). Accordingly, I give to you....10 Reasons to Come to Gluecon:

1. The Agenda is *packed* with technical content that you cannot find anywhere else.

2. We know how to do awesome conference wifi - and we're going to prove it to you.

3. The tables in the keynote room have power strips.

4. The Hackathon (hack things, build things, win!).

5. The 12 Gluecon Demo Pods (thanks to Alcatel-Lucent).

6. We don't have "drive-by" conference attendees. The Gluecon crowd comes for the whole show and stays for the whole show.

7. Our "speakers" are part of the community and want nothing more than to hang out and talk developer stuff.

8. If you're working in Cloud, Mobile, Big Data and APIs - there isn't a better place to learn, network and teach.

9. We serve good food, have an open bar, and the hotel bar has cool craft beers.

10. My wife Kim and I put on the show - and if there's anything that needs fixing, we'll fix it.

Early bird rates expire on Sunday, so grab your early bird seat today!

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