June was an exhausting month for me. I spoke at four different conferences, two of which were not in Berlin. I finished the last talk today, so time to reciprocate on conferences and talks. In all I had good fun. It was a lot of work to get the presentations done (around 400 single slides altogether), but in all I would dare say that it was all more than good practice to work on my presentation skills and to loose a bit of the fear of talking in front of people. But I’ll follow up on that stuff in particular in a later post.

RailsWayCon in Berlin

I have to admit that I didn’t see much of the conference, I mainly hung around, talked to people, and gave a talk on Redis and how to use it with Ruby. Like last year the conference was mingled in with the International PHP Conference and the German Webinale, a somewhat web-related conference. I made a pretty comprehensive set of slides for Redis, available for your viewing pleasure.

Berlin Buzzwords in Berlin

Hadoop, Lucene, NoSQL, Berlin Buzzwords had it all. I spent most of my time in the talks on the topics around NoSQL, having been given the honor of opening the track with a general introduction on the topic. I can’t remember having given a talk in front of this many people. The room took about 250, and it seemed pretty full. Not tooting my own horn here, I’ve never been more anxious before a talk of how it would go. Obviously there were heaps of people in the room who have only heard of the term, and people who work with or on the tools on a daily basis. Feedback was quite positive, so I guess it turned out pretty okay. Rusty Klophaus wrote two very good recaps of the whole event, read on about day one and day two.

The slide set for my talk has some 120 slides in all, trying to give a no-fuss overview of the NoSQL ecosystem and the ideas and inspirations. There’s some historical references in the talk, because in general the technologies aren’t revolutionary, they use ideas that’ve been around for a while and combine them with some newer ones. Do check out the slides for some more details on that.

MongoUK in London

10gen is running MongoDB related conferences in a couple of cities, one of them in London, where I was asked to speak on something related to MongoDB. Since I’m all about diversity, that’s pretty much what I ended up talking about, with a hint of MongoDB sprinkled on top of it. Document databases, the web, the universe, all the philosophical foundation knowledge you could ask for. I talked about CouchDB, Riak, and about what makes MongoDB stand out from the rest.

Most enjoyable about MongoUK was to hear about real life experiences of MongoDB users, what kind of problems they had and such. Also, I finally got to see some of London and meet friends, but I’ll write more about that (and coffee) on my personal blog. Again, the slide set is available for your document database comparison pleasure.

Cloud Expo Europe in Prague

Just two 36 hours after I got back from London I jumped on the train to Prague to speak about MongoDB at Cloud Expo Europe. Cloud is something I can get on board with (hint: Scalarium), so why the hell not? It turned out to be a pretty enterprisey conference, but still, got some new food for thought on cloud computing in general.

I already gave a talk on MongoDB at Berlin’s Ruby brigade, but I built a different slide set this time, improving on the details I found to be a bit confusing at first. Do check out the slides, if you don’t know anything about MongoDB yet, it should give you a good idea.

Showing off

As you’ll surely notice, my slides are all websites, and not on Slideshare. Two months ago I looked into Scott Chacon’s Showoff, a tool to build web-based presentations that simply run as tiny JavaScript apps in the browser. I very much like that idea, because even though Keynote is still the king of the crop, it’s still awful. Using Markdown, CSs and JavaScript appeals much more to the geek in my. It’s so easy to crank out slides as simple text, and worry about the styling later. Plus, I can easily keep my slides in Git, and who doesn’t enjoy that? I’d very much recommend giving it a go. If you want to look at some sources, all my talks and their sources are available on the GitHubs, MongoDB, Redis, NoSQL, document databases and again MongoDB.

It’s a pleasure to build slides with Showoff, and it has helped me focus my slides on very short phrases and as few bullet points as possible. Sure, it’s not Keynote and doesn’t have all the fancy features, but I noticed that it forced me to focus more, and that keeping slides short helped me stay focussed, but again, more on that in a follow-up post.

Feel free to use my slides as inspiration to play with Showoff, there’s surprisingly little magic involved. Also, if you think I should speak at a conference you know of or that you’re organising, do get in touch.