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Live from Key West

My wife Kim and I run three conferences (Glue, Defrag and Blur), and really that sentence could really be amended to "my wife Kim runs three conferences, while I handle sales and content for those shows." One of the traditions that we've set up is that roughly one month before each show, we disappear for a few days, breathe, let the minds rest, and prepare for the 30 day ramp leading up to the event.

For this Glue, we've ended up in Key West. It's actually my first time here -- which is odd only because we've lived on Siesta Key since 2005 (Siesta Key is a 5-6 hour drive from Key West). In any case, Key West is a trip.

Sometime yesterday afternoon, I found myself sitting in Sloppy Joe's listening to The Doerfels. The amazing thing is this: the Doerfels are a modern day Partridge Family -- 10 kids, 2 parents, a bus, an average age of 15yrs old and a TON of good music. While I'm sitting there listening to these kids (ranging from 3 years old to 22 years old) absolutely *kill* everything from Journey to Pink Floyd to Stevie Ray Vaughn, I can't help but think about how entrepreneurial this whole Key is.

Like a lot of "key" culture, Key West has its roots in entrepreneurs. Originally, purchased two times (by two guys -- one for $575 bucks and once for $2000 in pesos), Key West quickly became a hotbed for.....sponges. In fact, at one point in time, Key West had the highest amount of wealth per capita of any city in the United States. Since then, Key West has attracted tons of artists (Hemingway), Presidents, and celebrities of all types. Mostly, though, it attracts independent spirits (Key West actually seceded from the United States in 1982 as it was fighting the tyranny of the government. Strangely, the feds have never recognized the secession). Street vendors, artists, musicians --- artisans that ply their craft and make their way in the world because of a passion that they're seeking to fulfill. In short, entrepreneurs.

Sometimes, you just need to recharge your batteries. To get around people that inspire. I think Glue will be that for a lot of developers out there. It'll be an event filled with people that are seeking to fulfill a passion (via startups, enterprise developments, building of an industry, etc). In short, entrepreneurs of all stripes (working both inside and outside of the enterprise). Granted, it won't be Key West, but it may just offer you the chance to clear your head, breathe, and get ready to go attack something important.

Join us.

What the AWS outage taught me

Alex Williams has an awesome post up recapping the AWS outage goings-on.

As I'm reading it, I'm thinking about three other posts that I've read on this matter (Alex mentions them):

Keith Smith's (of BigDoor) post

Twilio's post about not being affected

And Clay Loveless' post

And then it occurred to me: All four of these guys (alex, keith, jeff from twilio and clay) will be at Gluecon. So, yea, a bit self-servingly, I learned that Gluecon is where the REAL discussion about the AWS outage, how to architect against it, and what this all means will take place (in terms of events). That rocks.

Last Chance!

This is it. Your last chance to take advantage of the early bird pricing for Gluecon.

I find that it's sometimes helpful if I spell out what's included in early bird registration, so here goes: two full days of content -- that includes all breakouts, keynotes, workshops, etc; two full lunches; two continental breakfasts; coffee/soda breaks; an hour long ice cream parlor afternoon break; an evening reception with an open bar; the gluecon schwag bag; the gluecon tshirt; 2 days of kick-ass conference wifi; the ability to hang with several hundred amazingly smart developers, evangelists, venture capitalists, etc; a private social networking service that allows you to connect with any attendee during or after the show; big discounts into next year's Glue that non-attendees don't see; a friendly staff that wants to help with every little thing; power strips at the tables; an awesome soundtrack (where awesome=far too much 80's rock); the over-the-top obsessive attention to detail that only my wife Kim can bring to an event; conversations and learning about the whole Cloud/API/mobile space that will stay with you until Gluecon 2012; and a whole bunch of other stuff I can't think of right now.

My point's pretty clear, right? Early bird registration for Gluecon is quite simply the most efficient use of your skill broadening, network enhancing, fun having, learning generating dollars around. I hope you'll choose to join us.

Metric Craploads

The agenda is nearly finished. The demo pods have been chosen. The exhibitors are on board. The registrations are rolling in. Gluecon is just over a month away, and early bird pricing ends tomorrow.

But the bottom-line is this: I can stand here all day and tell you why you simply cannot miss what will be the best developer event of the year, and it won't mean half as much as someone else telling you.

So, I'll let Chris Hoff do the telling:

"You know what I'm looking forward to? www.gluecon.com, that's what. It's a different world for me and I learn a metric crapload."

Come learn metric craploads. Register today!

The Elastic Ensemble

One of our keynoters this year is Mårten Mickos. Mårten, of course, was the CEO of MySQL AB, and is now the CEO of Eucalyptus Systems. More importantly, Mårten brings an incredibly unique perspective to the happenings, maturing and growth path of the Cloud ecosystem.

Here's Mårten on his session -- "The Stack is Dead":

"In the software world, the first decade of this century was ruled by LAMP, the open stack. Is the stack dead now? With the advent of cloud computing, we are seeing software products coalesce in different ways. What runs on top of what is no longer the key question. Now it's a question of running side by side, with elasticity both in scalability and in configuration. Common APIs serve as the glue between the components of what might be called the elastic ensemble."

There are only a couple of days left for you to receive the early bird rate, so please do go and take advantage of it. Gluecon offers you an intimate environment for networking, amazing sessions, and truly incredible attendees. Join Us!

Node.js at Gluecon

I'm OOO tomorrow, so I'm posting on a Sunday evening (coming to you from the fine city of Macon, GA). Even though I'll be out, the session descriptions roll on. Here's Charlie Robbins on Node.js:

Building Low-Latency, Real-time Apps with Node.js

"There is no denying that the real-time web has grown significantly over the last few years. The evented asynchronous programming model used in node.js is ideal for these scenarios, as well as ensuring a guaranteed response time for any incoming request. This talk will discuss the underlying technology behind node.js and useful programming patterns for building production-ready applications for various use cases."

Now, personally, I have no idea what the hell an "evented asynchronous programming model" is - but hey - that's why we throw Gluecon! Be sure to grab your early bird registration -- the rates go up after Friday!

Extending Early Bird

I've geen getting a TON of emails over the last few days that go like this, "dude - I put in for approval to come to gluecon, but I'm still waiting. Can you give me the early bird rate even after it expires?"

So, we're extending early bird to the end of next week: April 22nd. Get your registrations for Gluecon (they're going fast, and they get no cheaper). If Gluecon isn't THE single best event for developers working in Cloud/API stuff this year, I'll go to a Cubs game, wear cubbies gear and root for them (I'm a Cardinals fan - this would be something akin to the 4th circle of hell for me).

In the meantime, check out that agenda and REGISTER TODAY!

Hooking Your Mobile Apps to the Cloud

Gluecon is not a "cloud computing" conference (those will disappear in a couple of years when that term goes out of vogue). Gluecon is a conference for developers living in a "post-cloud" world. What do I mean by that? That if we assume all of the incredibly boring "business" talks about the cloud are resolved (you know the public, private, hybrid, ROI, capex, opex talks -- and by the way, if you want to see those talks you'll find them at *any* other conference on "cloud computing"), we're left in a developer environment with an entirely new landscape of challenges, tools and opportunities. THAT is gluecon.

I don't know what all of those pieces in the new landscape are yet, but I do know three key components that every developer (startup, enterprise or indie) will have to deal with: the cloud, mobile and APIs. Period. End of Story.

To that end, I give you Scott Kveton of Urban Airship on "Hooking your mobile apps to the cloud; the good, the bad and the ugly":

Mobile developers face a variety of challenges in building successful apps. We’re just now starting to scratch the surface in terms of the multi-dimensional abilities of these devices. Smartphones know who you are, where you are, who your friends are and have the ability to engage you at the right time. This is powerful but also means app developers have to think of new ways to build their apps and not just replicate-the-website-in-an-app. The opportunities are huge but the challenges are great:

•Which platforms should you prioritize?

•How do you get users back to your apps after install?

•How do you “scale” the infrastructure for your apps?

•How do you monetize your apps beyond the initial purchase?

•How does the mobile web factor into your app strategy?

Scott Kveton will share insights gleaned from some of Urban Airship’s 8000+ developers on succeeding with their mobile strategy. You’ll learn what’s not working and most importantly hear about real examples of developers that have built engaging, relevant apps with a life of their own.

OAuth at Gluecon

In the wake of my post on identity, it seems fitting to bring up the session we have Paul Madsen doing at Gluecon on OAuth 2.0.

The decision to put Paul on-stage came at the conclusion of Blur. Andre Durand (ping identity) and I were catching up over some cocktails, and because we're complete nerds, "catching up" meant talking about identity protocols. Somewhere around the third or fourth vodka and whatever, Andre launched into "just how technically awesome Paul Madsen is" in this OAuth webinar he did the other day. I was sold nearly immediately - and I'm sure Paul won't disappoint:

OAuth - WS-* for REST (without the 'WS' and far less '*")

OAuth 2.0 defines an authentication and authorization framework for securing REST-based APIs - more and more a key underpinning of the Cloud. Like the WS-* family of specifications (like WS-Trust, WS-Security, etc) for SOAP Web Services, OAuth defines a model in which clients of REST APIs use security tokens in order to authenticate - these tokens obtained from a separate interaction with a dedicated token issuer. Such token-based authentication offers a number of advantages compared to models in which the client authenticates directly to the API using dedicated credentials - not the least of which is an easier verification and authorization burden for the API. True to the rift that divides SOAP & REST, OAuth is simpler & lighter than WS-*, with (at least so far) fewer moving parts. While born of Web 2.0 (designed to mitigate the so-called password anti-pattern, in which a consumer would be asked to share their password to enable API access to their data), OAuth is emerging as an important technology for the enterprise. mobile, and cloud (and their intersection). This talk will will summarize OAuth evolution & current status, take an in-depth look at the OAuth architecture and related specifications, compare & contrast OAuth to other protocols like SAML, OpenID, etc , and show examples of OAuth in action (even in cases where, dare I say it, the worlds of WS-Trust & OAuth intermix).

The Locker Project at Gluecon

I've known Jeremie Miller for somewhere around a decade now, and the guy is *always* working on interesting stuff. Way back when I first got involved with Ping Identity, Ping's founder, Andre Durand introduced me to this guy -- Jer. It turns out that Jer had built this tiny little project called XMPP, and together they had built Jabber (yea, you might have heard of it).

Ten years later, Jer's still attacking some of the most interested problems out there - namely, how to manage personal data. The result of those efforts is a protocol (telehash), an open source project (the locker project), a new company (Singly), and a whole truckload of API stuff.

The other day Jer asked me how technical he should get for gluecon. I told him there was no such thing as "too technical" at gluecon. He muttered something I didn't understand about wire protocols and DHT maps - so we'll see...

In any case, check out THIS agenda (hotness!), get your butt registered (early bird ends the 18th), and come to Gluecon to hang w/ Jer and learn about the Locker Project, telehash and Singly. Here's the session description:

The Locker Project and Telehash

The Locker Project is a set of open source tools to help individuals collect their persona data from the myriad of places it is online, including social, browsing, transactions, health/fitness, media, and messaging. Building on this powerful collection of data is APIs enabling developers to create new kinds of applications and utilities easily, that combine and derive intelligence from and for individuals while remaining safe and secure within the data owners control. Get a walkthrough of starting your own locker from scratch, collecting and looking at your data from multiple sources, and even a developer overview of the APIs available and how TeleHash plays an important role.

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