Also contributed by:
David Jones-Gilardi, Developer Advocate, DataStax
Cedrick Lunven, Developer Advocate, DataStax
Eric Zietlow, Cloud Developer Advocate, DataStax
Cristina Veale, Developer Advocate, DataStax


We asked a few of our Developer Advocates to share some highlights from what has been a super busy, super rewarding year serving our developer community and what they’re excited about for the coming year.

Hands-on Learning at Developer Days

The DataStax Developer Relations team spent a lot of time on the road in 2018 taking our one-day hands-on learning event to 7 cities across the US and Europe, including San Francisco, New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Dallas, London, and Paris.

Cedrick Lunven and Patrick McFadin

David Gilardi really enjoyed the opportunity to develop content for the Developer Day events:  “We were given the opportunity to do something new and different to provide our community a way to get up to speed on Apache Cassandra and DataStax Enterprise.  One of my favorite physicists, Richard Feynman, was fond of saying “the best way to learn is to teach”. I couldn’t agree more. Instructing at events like these forces one to really dig in, deeper than we already had, to ensure we are giving the best information we can to the community.  There were many “lightbulb” moments as attendees were starting to gel on what makes this technology so damn impressive.”

This Distributed Data Show episode with Patrick McFadin and Cedrick Lunven was a great summary of the seven Developer Day events and what we learned from our developer community about the kinds of things they are interested in.”

As Cedrick suggests in the episode, please send us your suggestions on where we need to take this event in 2019!

Favorite Content - New and Old

The curriculum team here at DataStax Academy has put a ton of effort this year into updating courses for releases including DataStax Enterprise 6 and 6.7. Plus there is great short form training content available on our brand new Kafka connector.

Some of the best training is the one that gets you started in a new direction and opens up possibilities that you hadn’t seen before. Amanda Moran shares: “My favorite course on Academy has to be DS101: Introduction to Cassandra. I recently joined DataStax and entered the world of Apache Cassandra and this course gets you quickly up to speed. 30 minutes and you are ready to be “dangerous”, but it also gives you all the high points of why Apache Cassandra and DataStax Enterprise is such an amazing technology. All of us are pressed for time and continually overloaded with all kinds of content, but this gives you everything you must know and gets you hungry for more. I recommend this course to anyone I meet who is new to this technology! Stop reading this blog, and go watch it now, you will not regret it!”

DSE Graph

Amanda also found another great resource by accident: “I found this fantastically written article about queues, deletes, and tombstones while looking for a different piece of information. I had been drafting a blog about deletes and tombstones, but once I found this I realized that this had all the information I had wanted to convey and more! This is a gift TO ME and also to you, enjoy!”

Cedrick Lunven shares: “My personal favorite content we produced this year was the mini-series dealing with integration between web applications and DSE Graph on the DataStax Academy Developer Blog (part 1 and part 2). Not only is this good content for rookies who are new to graph databases, but it also provides a large portion of code and working samples to implement advanced features like charts.”

Conference Connections

One of the most rewarding opportunities of 2018 was meeting IT professionals at industry conferences. We meet people ranging from old Cassandra community friends to new folks who have barely heard of Cassandra. We had many contributions to our “sticky note wall” at Strata New York and AWS re:Invent, where attendees shared with us about topics ranging from their Cassandra use cases to their opinions on cloud database security. We love getting input like this and are planning some great content for 2019 based on what our developer community is telling us. 

Multi Cloud Availability Demo

Eric Zietlow observed: “The multi-cloud availability demo we shared in our booth at re:Invent was by far one of the most powerful visuals of the year.  It not only showed in real time the availability and durability that we often talk to but also displayed hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud in a way that is truly powerful and unique.”

David Gilardi agreed: “We also put a solid effort into devising a way to demonstrate Cassandra’s hybrid and multicloud capabilities.  I am still amazed at how resilient this database is. You can lose multiple nodes, full datacenters, whatever, and still keep running and handling requests.  One of our DataStax teammates created a “chaos monkey” like a program that randomly kills nodes and/or data centers while an application continues to perform reads and writes without missing data.  That effort really drilled in all of the different mechanisms in place that Apache Cassandra uses to handle failures when they happen, and they WILL happen. Hardware failures, network partitions, cloud instance security bounces, etc…  Some failure will occur at some point and this database isn’t freaked out by them.”

Looking forward to 2019!

In 2019, the team here at DataStax Academy has plans to grow our content offerings online and in person. We’ve also grown the team! Here’s what our newest Developer Advocate, Cristina Veale has to say about the new year: “Coming from a frontend background, I chose Developer Advocacy with DataStax to not only expand my technical horizons but to also help developers like me get started with Apache Cassandra and DataStax Enterprise. This year, I hope to produce exciting content, get to know my data community and help out fellow newbies like me dip their toes in all things data.” Watch this space to track Cristina’s journey into the backend and big data - your new year’s resolution could be to join us on this quest for knowledge!

As always, we are looking to improve and tailor our content for the community. Is there something you’d like to see us create? Want to see DataStax Developer Days come to your nearest city? Interesting in helping run or speaking at a Meetup? Reach out on Twitter, LinkedIn, or DSA Slack. We’ve got several events on our event calendar for 2019, including Data Day Texas and DataStax Accelerate. (Don’t forget to submit your abstract to the Accelerate CFP by Feb 15!) We are looking forward to another exciting year helping developers be awesome. Let’s make 2019 one to remember!

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