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Jan 13, 2011
UpdatePDX - Unidentified Database Meetup

A new meetup for data herders focusing on distributed databases, scaling, and any related data or messaging systems.

The first presentation will be by Michael Schurter on MongoDB - particularly the pros and cons Urban Airship has discovered while running half a dozen MongoDB servers.

Erik Onnen will be giving a 5 minute lightning talk on how he plans to use Kafka at Urban Airship.

Beer and possibly snacks will be provided by Urban Airship.

Please RSVP so we know about how many people to expect.

Jun 21, 2011
Portland Java User Group: Lean Mobile Data and Open Source: Storage, Messaging and Analysis
Oracle (Downtown Campus)

This month's topic: Lean Mobile Data and Open Source: Storage, Messaging and Analysis

This talk will provide a overview of Urban Airship's core data warehouse architecture - a system designed to handle capture, intake and analysis of data for 100s of millions of mobile devices with near real time precision. The talk will touch on Urban Airship's use of HBase, Hadoop Core, ZooKeeper, Kafka as well as home-grown services. Time permitting, the talk will also cover how Urban Airship takes a lean approach to working with volumes of data including the use of ad-hoc tools such as Pig and Cascading as well as how the company leverages the data architecture for fast customer discovery and innovations.

Speaker: Erik Onnen

Erik Onnen is the Hadoop and Analytics Lead at Urban Airship, the Portland-based leader in mobile application engagement services. He has over 10 years in distributed systems experience including the design and implementation of multiple "big data" systems. Erik joined Urban Airship in October of 2010, prior to that he was a Principal Engineer at Jive Software.

PJUG meetings start with some time to eat and socialize (pizza and beverages are provided), followed by the featured speaker, then Q&A, discussion, sometimes a drawing to give away swag. :)

Though we like knowing how many people to expect, you don't have to RSVP, on Upcoming or otherwise. Go ahead and just show up!

Many people also go for a drink and further discussion following the meeting, at a location determined ad hoc (lately, Trees restaurant in the same building). (join our mailing list, linked from the website!)

Oct 18, 2016
Portland Java User Group (PJUG)
Oracle (Downtown Campus)

Design Patterns for working with Fast Data in Kafka

Apache Kafka is an open-source message broker project that provides a platform for storing and processing real-time data feeds. In this presentation Ian Downard will describe the concepts that are important to understand in order to effectively use the Kafka API. You will see how to prepare a development environment from scratch, how to write a basic publish/subscribe application, and how to run it on a variety of cluster types, including simple single-node clusters, multi-node clusters using Heroku’s “Kafka as a Service”, and enterprise-grade multi-node clusters using MapR’s Converged Data Platform.

Ian will also discuss strategies for working with "fast data" and how to maximize the throughput of your Kafka pipeline. He'll describe which Kafka configurations and data types have the largest impact on performance and provide some useful JUnit tests, combined with statistical analysis in R, that can help quantify how various configurations effect throughput.

The code and presentation for this talk will be available at


Ian Downard is a technical evangelist for MapR where he is focused on creating developer-friendly ways to use the MapR Converged Data Platform.

Dec 8, 2016
CANCELED: Nike Tech Talks
Nike Decathlon Club Cafe

This event has been canceled due to high possibility of inclement weather conditions. We're looking to reschedule James Ward's talk in early 2017.


Join Nike Digital for the next event in our Nike Tech Talks series on Thursday, December 8th from 4:30-6:30pm!

Building Modern Data Pipelines James Ward | Principal Platform Evangelist |

Our modern systems are no longer just simple CRUD apps. We now need to deal with massive, distributed, real-time data systems that ingest potentially terabytes of data, support real-time and batch analytics, do machine learning, and support a host of web and mobile app interfaces. This session will walk through architectural patterns and technologies for building these modern data pipelines. You will learn about Apache Kafka, a variety of databases, and data processing frameworks like Spark.

RSVP at:

We hope to see you at the event and encourage you to invite your colleagues. If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]

Mar 21, 2017
Java User Group - "Spark and MapR Streams: A Motivating Example"
Jama Software, 135 SW Taylor, Suite 200, Portland, OR

Businesses are discovering the untapped potential of large datasets and data streams through the use of technologies for big data processing and storage. By leveraging these assets they’re creating a new generation of applications that derive value from data they used to throw away. In this presentation Ian Downard will discuss how to build operational environments for these types of applications with the MapR Converged Data Platform and he’ll walk through an example of a next-generation application that uses Java APIs for MapR Streams, Apache Spark, Apache Hive, and MapR-DB. We’ll see how these technologies can be used to join and transform unbounded datasets to find signals and derive new data streams for a financial scenario involving real-time algorithmic trading and historical analysis using SQL. We’ll also discuss how MapR enables you to run real-time data applications with the speed, reliability, and security you need for a production environment.

Ian Downard is a technical evangelist for MapR where he is focused on creating developer-friendly ways to use the MapR Converged Data Platform.

Personal Blog:



Mar 4, 2020
@DAMAPDX Kafka Fundaments with Brian Walter from Confluent
Standard Insurance, Atrium Room

Presented by Brian Walter Confluent Includes a demo and extended Q&A session


March 4th, 2020


8:30 – 9:00 – Snacks and warm-up 9:00 – 10:30 – Presentation

Standard Insurance Tower Atrium (900 SW 5th, please note Standard Ins. has multiple downtown locations)


Free for members (including ALL employees of corporate members) $15 for non-members $5 for students with valid student ID