Trip Report: OpenWest Conference

Look at those mountainsI attended the OpenWest Conference in Orem, Utah, and have to say its one of the best community organised conferences. There were over 840+ people at the conference (with more walk-in’s), representing a greater than 100% growth rate compared to last year’s conference.

I gave a talk about MariaDB, and its safe to say that we’ve got many new features that that it’s getting very hard to go in-depth in a span of an hour.

One of the highlights for me was attending talks. I give so many talks, and spend a lot of time talking to people about MariaDB and MySQL, that I very rarely get to see other talks or learn new things. So OpenWest was very welcome from that aspect.

On Thursday, I saw a wonderful presentation by Dave Wellman on Hadoop 101 and the Big Data Hype. That’s an excellent slide deck with lots of animations. Rasmus Lerdorf gave an excellent presentation on PHP in 2013 – very detail oriented, I learned a lot about PHP 5.4. 

The highlights for Friday were the two morning keynotes – both Rasmus Lerdorf and Mark Callaghan gave thoughtful speeches. I gave my talk (thanks for the nice words Mark), received lots of good questions and feedback (thanks to being right before lunch), attended Mark’s MySQL Q&A which was a great conversation for an hour. Many were interactive. I stuck around for Steve Meyers presentation Database Optimization for Web Developers, which was a 2hr tutorial and a good walkthrough. 

Overall, a great time at the conference. Not to forget all the social time chatting with Mark and Steve. I’ve enjoyed my trip to Utah (first time here), and thanks to Steve for having us speak about MariaDB, and the captive audience.