My first Strata Conference came to an end yesterday evening but I’ve already decided it won’t be my last. I found the conference a good place to learn about a large variety of technologies and methodologies, and it was also an excellent networking opportunity. As a whole it was a great collection of people on the leading edge of data technology.
The conference kept me busy from early morning until the evening and I’m happy to say that I didn’t skip one session. I enjoyed hearing Jeremy Howard from Kaggle talk about predictive modeling two times as well as chatting with him afterwards in the bar. I also heard details of the next release of Hadoop from Arun Murthy of Hortonworks, saw a good session on Automated Understanding by Tim Estes of Digital Reasoning, and attended an interesting session called Exploring Social Data by Chris Moody of Gnip, a local company in Boulder, CO.
The best day for me was the first day since this was the tutorial/deep dive day. This is the day we saw more code and demos. I wanted to see more live demos the next two day but most of the speakers didn’t show any, and that’s one thing I’d like to see Strata have more of. The regular sessions were 40 minutes long which make doing a demo difficult, but it’s often helpful to see things in action to go along with the speaker’s words and slide deck.
I also had the opportunity to have good conversations over lunch or coffee with people from Microsoft, Red Gate, the Census Bureau, Kaggle, Shell, and many more. What I found out was that there are so many organizations out there setting the bar higher and doing great things in the realm of data, and it’s going to change our world.