RICON East 2013



I had the pleasure of attending RICON East 2013 conference in New York City this past week, a distributed systems conference sponsored by Basho, makers of Riak.

Many of the talks were absolutely mind-blowing, especially Dr. Margo Seltzer’s opening keynote presentation on using trajectory-based execution–basically, predicting what the CPU will eventually compute, sprinkling some machine-learning magic pixie dust, and essentially traveling forward through time and getting the right answer without actually doing that computation. Another presenter (who I won’t name) was mind-blowing in the fact that a he (and his team?) developed a site on top of what was essentially an alpha version of Riak without performing any load testing or setting up any logging & monitoring, and then deployed it into production. Thanks to his painful lessons, Riak is a much better product now.

As for the rest of the conference, the venue was good, the catering was decent, the free beer from Six Point Brewery was excellent, and speakers were mostly hits (with only a few misses). The conference was not completely Riak-focused and included a broad range of topics. I would recommend going again.

The biggest takeaway from a conference like RICON is that there are a lot of interesting people working on interesting problems out there, and being surrounded by that energy, even if only for a couple days, makes me remember why I love this field. And for those of you who attended, do you even know how vector clocks work?


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