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CloudExpo in retrospective

Posted by Igor Moochnick on 06/17/2012

The visit to NewYork was a success from so many angles. Apparently I did a very bad homework but, accidentally and to my surprise, I hit New York’s Javits Center at a great point of time – at the same time there was a whole cluster of cloud-related events going on in parallel and I was able to get into a bunch of them:

My main goal was to visit CloudExpo and to network. I was looking to establish new connections and partnerships. CloudExpo, for me, was both a great success and a great disappointment.

It was disappointing to me as an architect because I didn’t learn anything new. I didn’t account for it to be a trade show in its purest meaning. Most of the sessions were presented by sales and marketing people and were targeted for clueless crowd that, as they thought, never heard about the cloud and was ready to eat any BS that was fed to it. This leads me to ask the CloudExpo organizers (and I got the same feedback from many attendees): please put names of the vendors and presenters’ titles on the Sessions schedule. This will greatly help attendees to make decisions on what sessions to visit.

The success of the CloudExpo concentrated in a bunch of great discussions I had with a couple of smart people and potential partners. Everyone was excited to hear about our BlueMetal ideas on the cloud PaaS abstractions.

One of the biggest ups and downs for me was a session from NetAxiom. The presenter, Sandy Zylka (VP Products & Technology), was speaking in a soft voice of a night time story teller that you use with your kinds when they fall asleep and you want to convince them to finally close their eyes at the end of the story.

  • When she said that now is the time to change the Cloud development paradigm – I felt enjoyment and excitement.
  • When she pointed out the current issues in the Cloud development and scaling – I felt I was flying.
  • But when she started mentioning some magic things that promise us automatic distribution of the program methods, automatic scaling across multiple machines and nodes – I started to feel dizziness and got a strong sense of DejaVu: we’ve been there. It was called RPC.
  • When the speaker mentioned that all of the current development methodologies are not valid anymore and we need to forget about coding functions and prescriptions for compilers – I started to feel really sick.
  • But when she said that it’s time to do development in graphical format which will produce some XML-like metadata instructions for the system that will ingest it and will figure out auto-magically what to do with all this – I vomited inside my mouth.

Our industry has experienced such disease in the form of UML code generation and COBOL that was promising business people to "describe" stuff without a need for developers (and then developers needed to fix and maintain all this crap).

5 minutes into the presentation and during the single slide, I felt as an institutionalized patient with a drooling moth that was fed by a spoon by a nurse. I couldn’t stand a single word more and left the session. I didn’t come to hear about unicorns pooping the rainbows.

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