Monitorama EU 2013

Monitorama EU came to Berlin - 2 days full of interesting talks and workshops on the field of monitoring and open source. All this took place in the Urania.
For me, the most notable talks on the first day were the two keynotes by Dylan Richard and by Danese Cooper and the talks held by Katherine Daniels and by Ryan Smith.
Dylan worked behind the scenes of the most recent Obama campaign and gave an insight into their monitoring strategy and their scalability challenges, whilst Danese shared some of her experiences as an Open Source Evangelist.
From Danese Cooper's presentation: propaganda against open source
Katherine's talk was about frustration concerning monitoring in classical Ops teams and about how to improve the situation by reducing complexity and re-focusing. Ryan's very entertaining talk took the weaknesses of monitoring systems in aircrafts as an example and explained how to deal with those weaknesses and what to learn from that.
Day 2 consisted of two parallel sessions: one for talks and one for workshops. This gave a good mixture of theoretical and practical information.
The day started for me with a talk by Reza Spagnolo - a colleague of mine -  about adaptive application architecture. The talks by Jeff Weinstein and by David Goodlad were also very good. Jeff gave a good overview of the different roles in a company and their expectations concerning metric data. And David emphasized that business metrics should be designed before system metrics and that alarms should be based on business metrics.
The workshops I attended were about Kale (by Abe Stanway), big graphite installations (by Devdas Bhagat) and graph automation based on tools like collectd, statsd and graphite (by Michael Gorsuch) - all in all very nice and definitely worth the time spent.



Mal wieder für die Firma nach Seattle - viel Arbeit, dennoch ein paar Eindrücke:
Nach dem nicht gerade exquisiten Essen im Flieger: Burger & Co. bei Lil Woody's
Blick vom Büro auf Space Needle und den Puget Sound - und Flagge auf Halbmast ... 9/11 in Seattle
... und der Blick auf Lake Union
Eisherstellung auf Bestellung und mit Hilfe flüssigen Stickstoffs: Sub Zero
Mittagspause an einem der beliebten Food Trucks ... hier habe ich das erste Mal Poutine außerhalb Quebecs vorgefunden



Abendstimmung - Oosterdokseiland

ErlangCamp 2013 Amsterdam

I first got in contact with Erlang, when we evaluated Riak which is written in Erlang for a project some years ago - and we had a quick look at its source code.
Nowadays, as distributed systems have become more and more common, Erlang sees some kind of revival. So, I decided to join ErlangCamp 2013 in Amsterdam to enhance my Erlang skills - actually, it was more of a fresh start with Erlang for me ...
This conference was mainly dedicated to beginners like me and started with a very good introduction into the core language concepts (pattern matching, recursion, list processing). The next talks were about OTP (behaviours, process supervision, gen_server etc.) and logging.
The second day started with an excellent introduction into distributed systems based on Erlang - that was some kind of enlightenment. Followed by a talk about testing with EUnit and QuickCheck (can be found on QuviQ's page), the conference concluded with a talk about releases and deployment, which I unfortunately missed, as I had to catch my train.
Overall the conference was definitely worth the money (Thanks to Spil Games for sponsoring and organizing this event!) - excellent talks, a good portion of hands-on coding and a lot of people around to ask for support. The sample code is available on GitHub.
Bring your own laptop and code some Erlang - and you get some nice stickers ... and a shirt.