Big Data Analytics : What’s Next?

While a majority of Fortune 1000 companies are en-route to understanding Hadoop and adopting it in their technology stack, startups in the bay area and elsewhere have started asking the important and inevitable question: “What’s Next?”. Hadoop for the first time has allowed us to analyze massive amounts of data without necessarily indulging in expensive proprietary hardware or software. However, adoption of Hadoop alone isn’t necessarily helping businesses make smarter decisions or unearth completely new facts that could lead to immense growth of top line. The power of scalable infrastructure needs to be supplemented with nifty data mining and machine learning tools, better visualization of results, and easier ways to track and analyze the findings over a period of time. Besides, there is the entire realm of real-time analytics, which is beyond the batch oriented nature of Hadoop.

The “Global Big Data Conference“, scheduled to take place at the Santa Clara Convention Center on January 28, 2013 answers some of these very important questions around what’s happening in the field of “big data” and what’s to come next. Its a great 1 day conference that has a lot of interesting topics, covered by an awesome line-up of great speakers. In order to take advantage of some favorable pricing please register by tomorrow (January 22, 2013) and save a whole $100, as compared to the onsite price. In addition, as a reader of my blog, don’t forget to take advantage of the additional 20% discount, which you can avail by using the code: “SHAS“. See you all there!

Come to Flash and the City 2010 in New York, NY

As I have said earlier, I am on a speaking engagement diet for a few months now and am sticking to a fewer number of conferences than I have in the last few years. The place I appear next is in a conference at my home base — New York City. Thanks to Elad Elrom, we have a great Flash conference, appropriately called — “Flash and the City“, right here in our city. Its a conference that has not only attracted a stunning lineup of speakers (including yours truly, just kidding :)) and includes some of the most relevant topics that would interest any and every Flash developer and architect but is also a conference that promises a lot of fun in the very amazing city. There are city tours, bar hopping events and dinner on the hudson. Doesn’t that sound attractive?

The event is scheduled to take place between May 13 and May 16 at the 3LD Technology Center in downtown Manhattan. You can look-up the schedule to get more details on who speaks on what and when.

My session titled  — “Flash amid the cool and the futuristic web” covers a number of different emerging aspects of the Flash platform that are shaping and will be relevant for the web of the future. So, if you care about the future of the web, do stop by.

See you at Flash and the City!

Next Stop 360 Flex Indy

Starting Monday May 18, 2009 fun begins at Indianapolis. No, not the car race; its 360 Flex!I am speaking 360 Flex 360 Flex is a unique and special event for many reasons, namely:

  • Its the one and only event dedicated completely to Flex (and AIR).
  • Its an informal event that is run for the community, by the community. Till this edition, there wasn’t much of a formal call-for-participation process either. Interested folks contacted Tom and John and if the topic was interesting and there was enough enthusiasm and originality, you presented your wondeful idea at the conference. This time the submission overwhelmed the nice mom-and-pop process and forced one to have some sense of formalism. Yet, it was still a comfortable process, full of open dialogues and community participation. No big wordy contracts and no restrictions on how you can share your material.
  • Most, if not all, sessions cover advanced stuff. Hardly any 101(s) and Introductions. This is a huge plus for serious Flex developers.
  • No big executive pretending his or her creation as the new wonder of the world. Aren’t we sick of the demo gods?
  • A very affordable conference. Tell me how many $500 something tickets get you three days of intense sessions, lots of free meals, evening parties and more!
  • Lots of opportunity to mingle and mix with all members of the community. Some of the best names in Flex (developers, authors, service providers, evangelists and the product makers themselves) gather at every 360 Flex. This is one of the best ways to get to know people who are deep into Flex.

So for all these reasons and more, I have been speaking at 360 Flex over the last few editions. This time I will be there again!

On Wednesday (May 19, 2009), I speak on “Flex in a PDF”. (You can check the schedule out for all the sessions and their timings) I am going to talk about the relationship between Flex and PDF and explain how not only Flex data but its entire rich experience can be housed inside of a PDF. PDF is a universally liked portable document format. With inclusion of Flex inside it, you have yet another access point covered; thereby getting your application closer to the universal access goal. In addition, this harmonious existence of “Flex in a PDF” opens up many newer forms of collaboration that bolster effectiveness and productivity enhancement. Stop by my talk to learn more.

I will write about the session and put up the presentation material after the show.

Speaking at Flex Camp Chicago 2009

Flex Camp Chicago 2009 starts my speaking engagements for the year.  Last year I had around 20 engagements and so by the time it was December, I had decided to take holidays fairly seriously. I opted out of anything that had to do with a conference in the last month and did not travel at all. Now that the New Year has begun a couple of weeks back, its time to get back to mingle and meet the community. To continue to learn and to continue to spread knowledge.

Flex Camp Chicago 2009

Flex Camp Chicago 2009

My first stop is at Chicago — sort of my home turf. Although, I live in New York, Chicago is where my company is based out of and where I frequently visit for work. Its a Flex Camp again and this time its larger and bigger than last year — its over 2 days (Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd) and has a lot more speakers, attendees, sponsors, supporters and organizers. Like last year, its also Sold Out in advance.

The event starts with fundamentals on day 1 and quickly graduates to fairly advanced topics on Day 2. I speak on both days. On day 1 I cover my favorite topic of integrating Flex with server side technologies. In 50 minutes, I talk about getting Flex to work with Java and PHP. Its ambitious to squeeze such a big topic into a 50 minutes session but then its about the fundamentals. Although that does not mean there wouldn’t be any details. Its just that we will not talk about all the numerous topics that relate to integration but just stick to what’s most essential. Moreover in support is the fact that the essential styles of connecting Flex to a server side doesn’t really change that much with the varying platforms. Mechanisms are different, tools are different but the philosophy is pretty much the same.  If you want to dig right into the details then reading my book (Advanced Flex 3) may help. I have an entire section on integration and it has a lot of details on wiring Flex with Java, PHP and even Ruby-on-Rails. My publishers are generous to giveaway a few books to the Flex Camp attendees. I plan to dole out some on Day 1 and some on Day 2. If you are attending the event and you are lucky you will have that book for free in your hands before this week ends.

On Day 2 I delve into performance tuning Flex 3 applications. For advanced developers, I know its going to be one of the most exciting topics. I receive numerous emails about tuning Flex applications and have endeavoured into seriously playing with Flex performance criteria for some of the wonderful enterprise grade projects we have built and for the book Advanced Flex 3, which also happens to contain a chapter on the same topic: Tuning Flex Applications for Superior Performance.

Apart from my sessions, there are numerous other exciting and thorourghly enriching sessions. Speaker include:

In addition Kevin Hoyt (who is well know both in the JavaScript/Ajax and Flash/Flex communities) and Kevin Schmidt (who I have not met yet but am looking forward to meet) are also speaking.

More than the experienced speakers, are the 150 odd enthusistic Flex developers and Flex lovers who I will also have a chance to meet and talk with.

So I certianly hope to have a lot of fun and if you are coming to the event then hope you have a lot of fun too.

Friends from Farata at MAX

My friends from Farata Systems, Victor and Yakov, were at MAX. Yakov spoke on Flex Frameworks at 360 | MAX, was part of a panel discussion on the subject and also preseted a BOF on the subject. Unfortunately, I missed his BOF, because I was busy running my own the same time. It was fun hanging out with Victor and Yakov and catching up. We (i.e. Saven and Farata) worked together (along with friends from Digital Primates  — the Mike, Mike and Jeff trio)  to bring the super successfull Flex Camp Wall Street earlier this year and hope to bring back a turbo charged second edition as soon as the stock market shows signs of a better appetite!

Here is a picture from Monday (Novemebr 17th) morning, where you see Victor and Yakov with Anthony T. DeBonis (the coordinator of a vibrant Flex/Flash user group in Albany, New York).


Anthony, Victor and Yakov at Max

Anthony, Victor and Yakov at Max

How Was Adobe MAX 2008 San Francisco?

After months of build-up, Adobe MAX 2008 (North America) managed to live up to its expectations! Its not unusual for conference organizers to over-promise — after all they want more and more folks to sign-up. However, this year’s MAX was hyped not only by its organizers but the general community ho-hum that something cool and big was coming. People knew Thermo, Flash on the iPhone and Flex 4 with its new workflow were in the oven, but there was the mystery around what the final baked product might look like and if something else was cooking that nobody had a clue of.

So with all this expectation in mind, I landed around midnight on Sunday November 16th in San Francisco. Caught on some sleep and got to the venue (the good old Moscone Center) at 8.00am the next morning. Well in time for breakfast and the opening keynote. The registration process was smooth but the breakfast was a huge disappointment. Hordes of people were gathered around a few tables. There was hardly any place to stand, let alone sit. It was difficult to find coffee in that mess. When I walked towards the rooms at the back I found plenty of coffee. The second day onwards it wasn’t so bad. Guess the bad experience of the first day breakfast had turned some people away. (See every bad problem finds its own solution!) Also, lunch was far better and well organize.

The first big thing of day 1 was the keynote. Of course day 1 wasn’t really day 1. Of late, most conferences are sold on the idea of the zero offset and end up having a pre-conference before the conference. Some believe its the warm-up day, some others believe its the revenue day (because of the paid trainings — beyond the regular conference attendance fee — on that day) and some others believe its the day to mingle with the community. Whatever the reason MAX had a day zero too and from what I heard it was fairly well attended. Ok, back to the keynote.

The keynote followed the format that has become established in almost all one company driven conference keynotes (think JavaOne, Oracle OpenWorld or MacWorld) —

  • Fancy audio, video and images — the eye catchers (Sherly Crow certainly makes the slides look better). There was a funky DJ with his turntable as well.
  • Big announcements — almost always expected
  • Key customers on stage — these folks had the Disney CTO and the Salesforce guy
  • Focus on Charity and changing the world — project RED was talked about (thank god it wasn’t someone like the JavaOne UN guy)
  • Political or Social celebrities on stage — they had Maria Shriver — the California first lady

Look at a few pictures from the keynote address —

(I found this online)

Continue reading

Camps and Community (MAX BOF)

Come join me at the “Camps and Community” Birds-of-a-feather session at Adobe MAX 2008 in San Francisco. Its at Room# 2000 at Moscone West and starts at 9.30 PM on Monday November 17, 2008.

We will share experience from past Camps we have organized and participated in, for example:

We will also talk about community sites, events and more.
Bring in your questions and share your experience and ideas to make the community interaction and support better and more effective. Come and let us know how we can work together to organize more camps and more community interaction opportunities.
Remember that I am not an Adobe employee and very much a part of the community like you. I am happy the Adobe folks chose somebody from the community to run this session. Now, lets get the most out of this opportunity and share and learn from each other.

Here is the schedule for all the sessions that are part of the BOF and “Meet the Team” lineup.

Birds-of-a-feather and Meet the team at Adobe MAX 2008

Birds-of-a-feather and Meet the team at Adobe MAX 2008

The one listed on the first row that starts at 9.30 pm is the one on “Camps and Community”. You can also access the details from the Adobe MAX North America site by clicking on the “Highlights” link. Here is the url —

See you there!

Win a Copy of Advanced Flex 3 at MAX

Thanks to our publishers friends of Ed (APress), we are giving away 4 copies of Advanced Flex 3 at MAX 2008 next week. Stop by at the 360 | MAX booth, where you will surely find Tom and John (and me, many times in the day), and register to enter the daily raffle. You enter the raffle once and remain a hopeful for all three days. We will pick one winner (and two on the last day) randomly from the list of registered folks everyday and announce the winners right then. The winner goes out of the list and the rest are all carried forward to the next day. So the earlier you enter the better chance you have of winning. Good luck!

Advanced Flex 3