I’ll go right ahead and start with the conclusion: from my perspective, the conference was both a huge success and a very pleasant experience.
It was a huge success because my presentation (slides in PDF format) was well attended and well received (partly thanks to VG‘s Jo Christian Oterhals, who during his Friday morning keynote not only promoted Varnish as an essential component of their “extended LAMP stack” but also encouraged his audience to attend my presentation. There were so many questions from the audience that my 45-minute slot stretched into a 75-minute marathon, after which I was besieged in the hall and at the lunch buffet by attendees who wanted additional details and advice on how to deploy Varnish. After a quick lunch, I went straight into an hour-long meeting with eZ Systems developers and admins to discuss integration issues between eZ Publish and Varnish. Happily, rather than take offense at my pointing out cacheability-reducing flaws in eZ Publish during my presentation, they took it as an opportunity to learn something and improve their product. This attitude (and their amazing community-building efforts) is probably part of why their product is so successful.
It was also a pleasure, for a number of reasons. It was of course a great opportunity to connect with interesting people, such as Telenor R&I senior researcher Hilde Lovett or Mozilla Foundation Ombudslizard Zak Greant, both of whom I hope to meet again. It was also a pleasure to meet such helpful and professional eZ staff members as Shezmeen Hudani and Kendra Penrose, who took very good care of me from the moment I reached the conference venue on Thursday morning until the moment I left on Friday evening. I know it’s their job, but it’s still very nice to have every little technical wrinkle ironed out within minutes and feel entirely confident that everything will work perfectly when I step up to the podium. If only every event I attend took as good care of their speakers!
The one regret I have is that I did not have more time to attend some of the other speakers’ presentations, especially those of speakers whom I knew (for instance, the National Criminal Investigation Service was represented by a former student of mine, from my time as teaching assistant at the University of Oslo‘s Department of Informatics). Unfortunately, I was having trouble with the data for some of the graphs in my presentation and did not finish it until eleven on Thursday night, even though I had already spent all week working on it…
To those of you who attended my presentation, I have a clarification. While discussing slide 7, I became unsure of the numbers in the table. I have verified that all numbers are indeed in microseconds, so the slowest cache miss took 3 ms to satisfy (VG’s home-grown CMS is very lightweight and very fast) and the fastest cache hits took 12.9 µs (yes, twelve point nine microseconds).
I am also very happy to announce that slide 21 is out of date, since as of this morning, the development version of Varnish has Vary: support…
2 thoughts on “A brief report from the 2007 eZ Conference & Awards”
Even though I encouraged others to see your presentation, I didn’t have the time to attend it myself. Looking at the slides, it seems as if it was an interesting session. Hopefully the result will be some Varnish converts :-)