Pro Tips for Pitching an HBaseCon Talk

These suggestions from the Program Committee offer an inside track to getting your talk accepted!

With HBaseCon 2014 (in San Francisco on May 5) Call for Papers closing in just over three weeks (on Feb. 14 — sooner than you think), there’s no better time than “now” to start thinking about your proposal.

In an effort to help you crank up the creative process, I recently polled the HBaseCon Program Committee for suggestions about crafting a pitch that has “accept” written all over it:

  • Focus on new use cases. If you/your employer is using Apache HBase in a novel or innovative way, that’s an attractive pitch.
  • Tell us your success story. Even if your use case is not strictly “novel”, if you are successfully running HBase in production and few people know that  – especially if it’s outside the typical Web domain — that’s intriguing.
  • Discuss HBase versus X. Did you select HBase over an alternative data store? If so, what data, configuration, or features justified that decision, and why?
  • Emphasize The Real World. Because science projects are just plain less interesting. As a corollary:
  • Get practical. Provide content and advice that attendees can pack up and use immediately.
  • Go deep. Deep-dives into advanced features are highly valued. At the other end of the spectrum, sessions that can serve as tutorials for beginners/adopters are also attractive.
  • For alumni: Explain recent improvements and optimizations. If you’ve presented your use case or application at a previous HBaseCon, an review of optimizations done since then could be a nice angle.
  • Have you solved hard problems? Tell us how. How does your HBase configuration help you meet your most challenging requirements, such as ensuring low latency for online systems, security, and so on?

These are just a few suggestions to get you started. Don’t procrastinate, because Call for Papers will close before you know it!

Justin Kestelyn is Cloudera’s developer outreach director.

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