NOSQL & Big Data at #skillsmatter

One of the early signifiers that something new and interesting is happening in technology is when User Groups start to emerge and proliferate. Here at Skills Matter, we are very well situated to observe this trend, what with the 50+ User Groups who use the Skills Matter eXchange as their place of assembly. Over the last few years we have seen the emergence of User Groups for MongoDB, Hadoop, Cassandra and arriving recently, Neo4J. Each of these groups started small and grew quickly, and there is a palpable excitement in the building whenever they come to meet.

With the success of these User Groups comes the notion that developers are ready to learn more. In their wake arrive conferences and courses, new people become interested and experts emerge, and soon, like a new town expanding around a newly-built motorway junction, suddenly a whole ecosystem surrounds what was once a lone outpost. To the User Groups meeting here, we have added the NOSQL eXchange and participate in MongoUK. And we have created new courses on Neo4J and MongoDB to go with the existing courses on the Semantic Web by Brian Sletten and Udi Dahan’s SOA, plus free In The Brains from Jim Webber and Ian Robinson, Brian Sletten, Udi Dahan and James Strachan.

So this is our attempt to keep up with ourselves, to make sure you catch the latest and most interesting courses that Skills Matter have to offer. Such lists are always incomplete – daily we add new courses, new User Groups, new Conferences, new In The Brains as we quest to quench your thirst for knowledge of our Big Data and NOSQL.

We also bring you information on a conference and webinars from our friends, partners and Sponsors, FuseSource, the leader in open source integration and messaging, who offer tested, integrated and certified distributions of Apache projects. They have some great webinars lined up!



Back in March, we hosted the MongoUK conference, along with 10Gen. It was a runaway success, so much so we’re doing it again. MongoUK is a one-day conference dedicated to the open source, non-relational database MongoDB. This time, the conference will take place at the Mermaid Theatre by Blackfriars Bridge in London. We are still working on the programme, but it will feature both introductory and advanced talks on MongoDB schema design, indexing, administration, replication, sharding, and many other subjects.

Call for Proposals

Do you have an interesting use case of MongoDB to share? Please consider submitting a proposal to present at MongoUK. The CFP closes on August 15, 2011.


Check out our MongoUK page for speaker updates and programme developments. And use Twitter tag #mongouk for event updates and discussions related to this exciting event.


Tickets are now on sale at a fantastic price of $50 but that offer ends on the 22nd of August so you need to get in there quickly. After that, the price returns to the still very affordable price of $100. There really is no reason not to come.

If you can’t make it, our lauded team of SkillsCasters will be travelling across London to grab as much of the content as they are able, to appear on the Skills Matter site within the blink of an eye.


We’re very excited to be hosting the NOSQL eXchange, which will feature the leading experts in Big Data, NOSQL and related topics. Led by Jim Webber, the eXchange will take place here Skills Matter eXchange on the 2nd November, 2011.

For those not familiar with the format, the Skills Matter eXchanges are one- or two-day conferences which comprise one hour talks by the real experts in the field. They are a great way to dig deeper into a topic.

Call for Proposals

The programme is still being assembled. Do you have an interesting use case of NOSQL-related technologies to share? Please consider submitting a proposal to present at the NOSQL eXchange. The CFP closes on August 25, 2011.


Check out our NOSQL eXchange page for speaker updates and programme developments. And use Twitter tag #nosqlx and #nosqlsm for event updates and discussions related to this exciting event.


Tickets are now on sale at a fantastic Early Bird price of £50, but only applies to the first 50 tickets so you need to get in there quickly before the price returns to the full price of £195.

If you can’t make it, follow events in Almost-Real-Time, as our much-feted team of SkillsCasters get the SkillsCasts up online before the speaker can return to their seat to contemplate a job well done.


FuseSource Community Day, Oct 11 2011The FuseSource Community Day is a one-day conference lead by the Open Source community company, FuseSource, held at Skills Matter eXchange.

Join us for this free community event and meet committers and founders of Apache ServiceMix, ActiveMQ, CXF and Camel, and open source champions who have successfully implemented these projects in production. Last year’s speakers included CERN and GE Energy and this year’s speakers will be just as exciting. This educational seminar will give you the opportunity to hear how companies have used Apache projects to accelerate the adoption of open source integration and messaging solutions within their organization and learn how you can do the same.

SAVE THE DATE – Registration Opens Soon!

Date: Tuesday, 11th of October
Time: 09:30 – 16:30
Location: Skills Matter, 116-120 Goswell Road, London, EC1V 7DP

Attend this Community Day for Apache ServiceMix, ActiveMQ, CXF and Camel and walk away with knowledge and skills that you can put to work immediately.

Agenda and registration link coming soon! In the meantime visit to learn more about open source and how FuseSource products and services can impact your enterprise.


The following is a list of just some of the exciting courses, workshops and tutorials we have lined-up for the next few months:

Brendan McAdams’ MongoDB for Administrators and Operations – Sep 5-6

Brendan McAdamsThis course covers everything a database administrator needs to know to successfully deploy and maintain MongoDB databases and shard clusters. In addition to deployment and maintenance, course topics will include diagnosing performance issues, importing and exporting data, and establishing the proper backup and restore routines. We’ll present ideal hardware configurations and discuss common pitfalls for new deployments. The course also includes an overview of the MongoDB CRUD API, the command shell, and the drivers. To find out more, please go here

Brendan McAdams’ MongoDB for Developers – Sep 8-9

Brendan McAdamsThis two-day course spans the MongoDB gamut, covering CRUD, schema design, performance tuning, map-reduce, replication, and sharding. This course prepares you to:

– Understand the MongoDB command shell, query API, and driver tools.
– Design schemas that take advantage of the document data model and of MongoDB’s core features.
– Understand how typical RDBMS schemas can be migrated to MongoDB.
– Build efficient indexes and troubleshoot slow queries.
– Configure both master/slave replication and replica sets.
– Determine when to set up a shard cluster and how to configure it.
– Troubleshoot common issues and failure scenarios.
To find out more, please go here

Ian Robinson and Jim Webber’s Neo4J Tutorial – Nov 3-4

Ian RobinsonJim WebberGraph databases like Neo4j are an esoteric and powerful member of the NOSQL family. For highly connected data, graph databases can be thousands of times faster than relational databases, making Neo4j popular for managing complex data across many domains from finance to social, and telecoms to geospatial. This intensive two-day tutorial provides a mixture of theory and hands-on practical sessions to demonstrate the capabilities of graph data and the Neo4j database. Find out more here.

Brian Sletten’s Semantic Web Technologies Bootcamp – Nov 21-25

Brian SlettenBrian Sletten’s five-day Semantic Web Technologies Bootcamp provides a broad, example-driven and compelling vision of computing’s future. Organisations are struggling with data integration solutions that operate at the wrong level of abstraction or are shackled to legacy systems with no idea of how to modernize incrementally. Their service-oriented architectures decompose business processes into services without the ability to identify and protect the information that flows through these services. In this course, you will learn how the technical and business value of Web semantics is available and useful today behind firewalls as well as on the public Web.
Find out more here

Udi Dahan’s Advanced Distributed Systems Design with SOA – Dec 12-16

Udi DahanThis very intensive 5-day workshop will help you take the pain out of designing large-scale distributed systems. New technologies make it easier to comply with todayís communications and security standards, but they won’t magically provide you with a robust and scalable system. Join Udi for a course packed with the wisdom of companies like SUN, Amazon and eBay. Tried-and-true theories and fallacies will be shown, helping you to avoid costly mistakes. Communications patterns like publish/subscribe and correlated one-way request/response will be demonstrated, in conjunction with advanced object-oriented state management practices for long-running workflows. If you enjoy deep architectural discussion, join! To find out more, please go here


The Skills Matter User Group Programme is most representative of Skills Matter’s commitment to the developer community. Anywhere up to 40 User Groups call the Skills Matter their home. Featured here are just four – MongoDB User Group, Neo4J User Group, Hadoop User Group UK and London Cassandra User Group.

MongoDB User Group

MongoDB User GroupThe London MongoDB User Group meets every first Wednesday of the month at Skills Matter, featuring talks, discussions and dojo’s on MongoDB and NoSQL. After each meetup, we go to the Slaughtered Lamb in Great Sutton Street, to talk some more mongo.

Next meeting: August 3MongoDB and Map Reduce
Russell Smith from UKD1 will be doing a talk introducing Map Reduce using MongoDB, examples, limitations and use cases. Sign up here.

Neo4J User Group

Neo4J User GroupDevelopers interested in learning about and working with graph databases for social, spatial, hierarchical or other highly connected data sets will find a spiritual home at the Neo4J User Group. We host hands-on lab sessions, technology reviews, topical lectures, and plenty of social nights. Curious about graphs, want to pimp your non-RDBMS skills? Join us!

Hadoop User Group UK

MongoDB User GroupThe Hadoop User Group UK meets once a month at Skills Matter. For all the latest talks and discussions on Hadoop, join in.

London Cassandra User Group

Neo4J User GroupAre you using Cassandra? Are you thinking of using Cassandra? Are you wondering what exactly to use Cassandra for!? We aim to help you learn more about this fantastic distributed database and provide an opportunity to meet other people using it.

We try to have a different speaker each month covering a wide range of topics, particularly focused on real-world use-cases and experiences. Please come along! More about the London Cassandra User Group


In The Brains are free evening talks given by Experts, frequently by the very Experts who are leading courses at SkillsMatter, in order to give a flavour of a new development within their topic of expertise or to shine a light on a particular application of methodology that they want to introduce to the wider populace. The In The Brains programme is a constant work in progress. No sooner will we have sent this newsletter out that we will have another handful of great talks which would have fitted in perfectly, so keep checking back for more.

Keep checking the website or follow #nosqlx, #nosqlsmsm and #skillsmatter on Twitter for regular updates!

Brian Sletten

In The Brain of Brian Sletten, REST : Beyond the Basics, Aug 23

Talk: REST : Beyond the Basics
Speaker: Brian Sletten
Date: Aug 23, 2011, 18:30-20:00

More details & sign up here.

James Strachan

In The Brain of James Strachan, Riding The Camel, Aug 31

Talk: REST : Riding The Camel
Speaker: James Strachan

Date: Aug 31, 2011, 18:30-20:00
More details & sign up here.

Ian RobinsonJim Webber

In The Brain of Ian Robinson and Jim Webber, Subject to be Arranged, Nov 3

Talk: Subject to be Arranged

Speaker: Ian Robinson and Jim Webber
Date: Nov 3, 2011, 18:30-20:00
More details & sign up here.

Udi Dahan

In The Brain of Udi Dahan, Q & A with Udi Dahan, Sep 13

Talk: Q & A with Udi Dahan
Speaker: Udi Dahan

Date: Sep 13, 2011, 18:30-20:00
More details & sign up here.


One of the great things about our free talks is they are all recorded by our skillful SkillsCasters. The great thing about that is they can be enjoyed after the event – great events can be relived, missed events can be caught up with. So here are a great selection of SkillsCasts to get you started. There are hundreds more on the Skills Matter web site, so dive in and learn, use what you’ve learned to innovate, and if you like what you see, please share.

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