Velocity Santa Clara 2013 - Tutorials

Ever since they started the Velocity Conference in the US I’ve wanted to attend one and this year I finally made it to the Santa Clara Velocity (2013). I was lucky enough to attend a tutorial in each of the four slots:

  • Monitoring and Observability - Theo Schlossnagle
  • Bits on the Wire - Mark Nottingham
  • Using Amazon Web Services for MySQL at Scale - Laine Campbell
  • Managing PostgreSQL with Ansible in EC2 - Jay Edwards

I attended Mark and Theos talks based on upon previous experience of them as presenters. They are both very practised speakers that leave you questioning how much of a topic you really know. For example I came out of Marks session with a list of draft TCP and DNS standards to read.

I spent the afternoon in more directly work focused talks. We’re doing a lot of AWS projects at the moment and these two were immediately useful in terms of expanding my knowledge of AWS itself and how experienced DBAs work with it. Laine Campbells talk was the highlight of the day for me. She’s an excellent and engaging speaker who a very useful slide deck and the experience to expand on the subject and answer the barrage of questions from the audience. Thanks to her presentation we’re currently looking at using raw EC2 databases rather than RDS based on resilience and schema migration needs.

The day ended with the ignite sessions. Andrew Clay Shafer was an excellent and infectiously jubilant host and shepherded the short talks perfectly. As for content - Seth Vargo on OCD had the audience roaring with appreciation.

I enjoyed the day, learned quite a lot of directly work applicable details and was fortunate enough to spend some time with friends from pretty much all over the planet. Velocity is still enough of an ‘event’ that it attracts a very impressive audience and the hallway tracks were every bit as informative as the sessions.

Looking forward to the first full day of presentations.