As a fairly discerning bunch, the Computer Weekly Developer Network team are fond of sausages, pulled pork, beef brisket roast, barbeque sauce, Apache Kafka and real-time data streaming. As luck would have it, all these elements do coalesce into one space, later this year.
If you’re wondering why is Confluent behind Current 2022 – that’s an easy question to answer if we define the company’s core technology definition.
Confluent is a full-scale data streaming platform that enables users to access, store and manage data as continuous, real-time streams – built by the original creators of Apache Kafka, Confluent expands the benefits of Kafka with enterprise-grade features, while removing the burden of Kafka management or monitoring.
As a further reference point, TechTarget reminds us that Apache Kafka is a distributed publish-subscribe messaging system that receives data from disparate source systems and makes the data available to target systems in real-time.
“Kafka is written in Scala and Java and is often associated with real-time event stream processing for big data. Like other message broker systems, Kafka facilitates the asynchronous data exchange between processes, applications and servers. Unlike other messaging systems, however, Kafka has very low overhead because it does not track consumer behaviour and delete messages that have been read,” notes the above TechTarget link.
Today, over 70% of the Fortune 500 are powered by data streaming technology – and the majority of those leverage a professional enterprise-grade data streaming platform.
“You love Apache Kafka, but not managing it. Our cloud-native, complete, and fully managed service goes above & beyond Kafka so your best people can focus on delivering value to your business. No more cluster sizing, over-provisioning, failover design and infrastructure management. With 120+ connectors, stream processing, security & data governance, and global availability for all of your data in motion needs,” states Confluent, in its core elevator pitch.
Current 2022 USA
So to Texas and Current 2022 then, why would this event be different from Kafka Summit as we might previously have known the community-focused global user conference?
The organisers tell us that Current 2022 expands the scope of the event to include the broader community of data streaming technologies. As such, it will include content and speakers from the broad ecosystem of data streaming technology providers, not just focus on Apache Kafka. Some 2,500 attendees are anticipated.
Staged at the Austin Convention Center + The Fairmont Austin in Austin, Texas… this event aims to validate a technology proposition that explains why data streaming is foundational to next-generation IT stack architectures.
According to an events team statement, “The inaugural Current 2022 event will feature two full days of visionary keynote speakers, technical sessions, networking opportunities and fun. Technical sessions will range from lightning talks to deep dives and speak to everyone from beginner to advanced users.”
Looking at the full agenda, we can see that Current 2022 will feature 115+ technical breakout sessions and ‘lightning talks’ from companies including LinkedIn, Microsoft, Nasdaq, Reddit and Salesforce – there will also be an Ask the Experts section and 50+ technology providers showcasing their prowess in data streaming.
Tuesday 4 Oct is the data streaming category keynote. This session is designed to highlight the emergence of the data streaming category, the trends shaping the industry and Confluent’s vision of how it will grow and evolve. It is presented by Jay Kreps, co-founder & CEO, Confluent and Anush Kumar, VP of technology at Expedia. There is also an Apache Kafka keynote hosted and presented by Jun Rao, co-founder of Confluent alongside Pritha Mehra, chief information officer for the United States Postal Service.
Wednesday features the Confluent keynote. This session is designed to examine how Confluent is helping customers ‘set data in motion’ by advancing the data streaming category and making the technology more powerful, available, and accessible to everyone. It is presented by Chad Verbowski, SVP of engineering at Confluent and Andrew Hartnett, VP of software engineering at New Relic.
From keynotes to beer notes
As well as the customary keynote presentations, breakout sessions what Confluent calls ‘lightning talks’, this event features a live programming studio, an ask the experts area and Birds of a Feather networking opportunities – there’s also a technology ecosystem expo hall and a [beer included] party known as the Data Streaming Celebration.
Confluent says that Current 2022 is a technical conference for event-driven design, streaming technology and real-time systems.
Keen to expand the number of event speakers this year and next, the company says that presenting at Current 2022 is a great way to connect with hundreds of peers, become more involved in the data streaming community and have a public platform to share stories of the future of streaming and real-time data.
Topics we are likely to hear discussed at the event include real world experiences related to developing real-time applications with streaming technologies – so that means all things related to building applications with streaming technologies i.e. development practices, scaling, testing, CI/CD, microservices, working with protocols etc.
Looking at this area more directly, Confluent’s speaker guidelines make for (arguably) interesting reading when we think about how the event speaker sessions that we all attend are actually composed:
✅ DO speak about something that interests you
✅ DO share stories that are useful and will benefit others
✅ DO consider introductory content for attendees new to event streaming
🛑 DON’T submit a product pitch
🛑 DON’T just try and shill your company
🛑 DON’T trash talk other technologies or companies
“Event attendees will find all the usual stuff you’ve seen at Kafka Summit: event-driven design, streaming technology, real-time systems, etc. But Current takes Kafka Summit to the next level, covering all technologies that connect applications with data, process it in different ways and monitor, govern, or orchestrate data flows at company scale. Talks will range from introductory to deep dive, and cover everything a developer, architect, or operator might need to succeed in this new world of data in motion,” notes Confluent principal developer advocate Robin Moffat in a company blog.
Data Development LifeCycle (DDLC)
As we head into what we might now call the Data Development LifeCycle (DDLC) with real-time streaming technologies, Confluent wants us to think about [attending this event and] keeping the full software development lifecycle in focus for data development – and that means everything from data mesh to governance to schemas and beyond.