July 9th, 2015

Much like Nick Fury assembling the Avengers to take on the daunting, yet enjoyable task, of saving the earth from imminent destruction, so too we at DataStax assemble the ‘Speaking Committee’ to review abstracts and to save you from boring content. So who is this mysterious speaking committee and what do they do?

The speaking committee is mainly comprised of MVPs in the Apache Cassandra community, people like Christos Kalantzis, Brian O’Neill, Richard Low, Jason Brown, Evan Chan and Robbie Strickland, who have contributed to Cassandra and have presented at various conferences and previous Cassandra summits. There are around 30 Cassandra MVPs in the speaking committee and you can view last year’s complete MVP roster here: http://planetcassandra.org/mvps (we will be celebrating the 2015 – 2016 MVPs at this year’s summit). Also heavily involved in the speaking committee is the DataStax Evangelist team, headed up by Patrick McFadin – they have their finger on the pulse of the community, and have a good eye for topics that will resonate.

Way back in the old days of the Cassandra Summit (five years ago is old days, okay!) it was honestly challenging to find enough people to talk about Cassandra knowledgeably, and we would spend time encouraging and cajoling people into speaking. Often we would employ our co-founder, Matt Pfeil, to call some of his buddies in the community and exchange talks for beers. I like to think we did a pretty good job as the quality of content has always been pretty high. Well in the past two years we have had completely the opposite problem – way more submissions than slots to put them all in.

This year the summit is bigger than ever with 120+ talks across 10 different tracks over two days; whatever your interest in Apache Cassandra and DataStax is there will be top notch content just for you. However, unfortunately we are going to be saying no to a lot of people who have taken the time and energy to submit abstracts; we received over 200 abstracts this year, which is amazing, and such a testament to what a fantastic community we are fortunate to be part of. So, if you don’t get selected this year to present, don’t be too down, you are in good company, and we can help place your talks at other Cassandra-focused events like Cassandra Days or meet-ups.

So how do these 40 people select the talks to be presented? Our very own Al Tobey has built an app (backed by Cassandra of course!) that allows reviewers to look at the titles, abstracts and the bios of the speakers and vote on them. They also have the ability to add comments to the review too.

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 10.18.29 AM

A small sample of the abstracts loaded into the Al Tobey voting app

All the reviewers will need to be finished by July 15th and then we will tally up the scores and fill up the slots. On July 17th we will let all speakers know whether or not they have been accepted to present at Cassandra Summit this year.

Again a huge thank you to everyone who took the time to submit; we really appreciate it, and here’s to a fantastic Cassandra Summit 2015!