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Nov 19, 2014
Apache's Spark: Setup, Overview, and Comparison
New Relic

This workshop will be taught by SnapFlow's Chief Architect Nathan Aschbacher. He will cover the setup and overview of Spark as well as discuss where it sits in the solution space and how it differs from other tools that are out there.

Bring your laptop.

Doors open at 6:50p. We officially start at 7. Workshop starts at 7:15. We'll linger, socialize, network, and otherwise keep beeing geeks until around 9:30.

Please RSVP here.

Feb 22, 2016
Portland Cassandra User Group Meetup
New Relic

Come and talk to other Cassandra users about Cassandra and uses and abuses of the technology. It will be hosted at New Relic with free pizza and beer.

Doors open at 6 and talks begin at 6:30.

Topic: Using Cassandra with Apache Spark

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 30, 2019
CANCELLED - Time Series Prediction of SNOTEL
Portland Community Church

Sorry everyone, our event host is unable to make it today.