upcoming talks

I will be speaking at three events over the next two weeks. These talks will focus on how ShareThis leverages AWS and MapReduce, based on Cascading and AsterData as vendors, plus several open source projects including Bixo and Katta.

Tue 2009-06-09, 7:00pm-9:00pm


Santa Clara Marriott
2700 Mission College Blvd
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Will discuss "How ShareThis mashes technologies in the cloud for Big Data analysis, leveraging AsterData nCluster, Cascading, Amazon Elastic MapReduce, and other AWS services in our system architecture."

This will be run in a Bar Camp format, along with DJ Patil, Ted Dunning, and other great speakers.

Wed 2009-06-10, 8:30am-8:30pm
Hadoop Summit 2009

Santa Clara Marriott
2700 Mission College Blvd
Santa Clara, CA 95054

Two talks: "Cascading for Data Insights at ShareThis: Syntax is for humans, API's are for software", as a developer talk, 2-3pm. Also, participating on the Amazon AWS panel discussion moderated by @jinman, about running Hadoop on EC2 and Elastic MapReduce, 6:00-6:30pm.

Last year's Hadoop Summit was a must-not-miss event, and I got lucky on timing and was able to tip-off friends at AWS to check it out... Amazon sponsored the lunch, and even though I did have to miss that event, AWS sent me awesome t-shirt schwag which I treasure to this day :)

Tue 2009-06-16, 1:00pm-7:00pm
Amazon AWS Start-Up Project

Plug & Play Tech Center
440 N Wolfe Rd
Sunnyvale, CA‎ 94085

Panel discussion, along with Netflix, SmugMug, and other AWS customers, to "help business and technical decision makers from from small start-ups to large enterprises learn how to be successful with Amazon Web Service."

Really looking forward to this. I was on the panel for AWS Start-Up Tour in Santa Monica in 2007. You may recall there were some fires... like, nearly all of LA and SD hillsides were up in flames. Even so, 250+ people braved their way through the smoke and ash to reach that night club on Santa Monica Blvd, and we had a great panel discussion. This year in Sunnyvale should be even better.


While I've got your attention... I've been spending a fair amount of time in Seattle and on the phone to Seattle, particularly at one reconditioned former medical center, and especially regarding the fine folks at Elastic MapReduce. While in Seattle, I got to hang out with 30+ other system architects, many incredible folks. M David, of course I'm talking about you! :) At this stage of my career, I rarely seem to get time to sit back with peers, and swap stories and ideas. Time well spent.

BTW, we've been working with EMR now for a while, and recently started using EMR for in production. One of those cases where I could not post a blog entry then, but definitely wanted to tell everybody! Now that the news has been long public, I'm actually too busy using it commercially to blog ;)

See you on twitter @pacoid


westward ho

Some friends of mine live in the Westport area of Kansas City, across the street from a marker which notes the Oregon Trail, the Santa Fe Trail, and the California Trail. For many people in North America during the 19th century, their resolve to migrate west was tested there.

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So it is for us, with two little girls ready to travel. Our oldest is eager to live in hotels again, because they promise TVs, room service, and jacuzzi pools. She was done with KC as soon as she got her fill of fresh snow. Our youngest has been missing the ocean, especially the seals. She's asked, "When do we go home?" just about ever since we arrived in KC.

A woman from Kansas a few days ago made a few rather hostile remarks about how Californians feel about seals -- right after my little girl got through declaring how much she loves seals and whales.

Unforgivably callous. Intolerably ignorant. Not entirely unexpected. In other words, par for the course. I'm sorry to have to feel that kind of resignation, but it is entirely realistic. I bit my tongue to avoid making an offhand retort about "fly over zone". After all, parts of the Midwest are highly recommended.

Two bright spots have made these past 10 months worthwhile...

One is my team in the Analytics department at Adknowledge -- a.k.a., "Team Mendota". Those people have been a joy and and honor to work among. In addition to several contributions to R, Hadoop, AWS, RightScale, and points inbetween, we've made big strides in methods for having statisticians and developers working side-by-side on "Big Data" projects -- with tangible results. Frankly, I would have left much soon (supra 3 yr old tugging daddy's heartstrings) if it had not been for how much I appreciate this team. Flo, Chris, Nathan, Chun, Bill, Shan, Vicky, Margi, David, Gaurav -- I wish you all very well. My regret is that I did not get to work with you long enough.

The other is our collective friends and families in the area, met through our kids -- mostly because of their school, Global Montessori Academy. My wife has served on the board there. The teachers and just everyone involved have been amazing. Not sure quite how that place emerged here inside of KC, and I'd be hard-pressed to believe that anything much like it exists between Chicago and Austin... but GMA and the people associated will be missed.

I found myself thinking, many many times while living here in KC, "How can I teach my daughters about the principles in which I believe, if I cannot live them here?" GMA actually does represent those principles. Highly recommended.

For everyone else, see you back on the Left Coast!