This was my first time at OSCON… and it was fun!

After two days booth duty at OSCON Amsterdam I’m back in the airport, drinking a coffee while I let all the impression sink in.

A few words about OSCON Europe… with around 500 attendees it’s not near the same size as the US version with something like 4K attendees. It will properly grow til next time. The positive here is that we had much more time for longer conversations at the booth with the attendees.

The SWAG war ;)

The secret competition between exhibitors… who has the most cool swag, cool t-shirts or other creative attraction to get attendees visit the booth. Of course it would be great to say that Couchbase won that war, but really we did not! We had some very cool t-shirts and an option to win a Apple Watch… all very good and bringing us to the top list of great SWAG. WordPress and had some very cool sun glases, good locking and reasonable quality. Ansible had some fun toy bull’s… Paypal had t-shirts and a hole team hired ready to learn you to juggle! seriously that’s creative thinking, not sure how much you learn about PayPal while juggling, but it was a fun gimmick! Well done PayPal!


What questions did we get and what did we answer? The most dominant questions was definitely “Couchbase vs. XYZ” and “What is Couchbase”.

“What is Couchbase?”: Couchbase is a NoSQL vendor, high performance cache, Key-Value store and Document store that scales massively with sub millisecond respond time and with a SQL query language called N1QL inspired by SQL++ to query your documents… but we also have a Mobile offering, allowing you to pre-cache/pre-load data to a client and work with offline data, sync’ing is handled by Sync Gateway witch acts as a broker between Couchbase Server and the Client and decides (based on your rules) what to sync and who has access to what.

“Couchbase vs Mongo”: Wow this was a popular question and often came from Mongo users looking for a alternative to Mongo as they had run into scaling issues with their current setup. This is a tough question because I don’t like to speak bad about other products, but we can talk differences! Mongo has a Master/slave approach to cluster management and scaling, Couchbase on the other hand has a single node type. That alone makes it simpler to scale, you don’t need to think about what nodetype you need to scale or harden. Couchbase is build for high availability and high throughput with sub- millisecond operations. Everything is served from memory and documents are automatically sharded in the cluster. From the key the client knows exactly on what node to find a key/value. It’s like a build-in load balancer. Also you can use Couchbase for caching and persistence! There are of course many more differences, but eventually you need to stop talking.

Couchbase vs Casandra”: Well Casandra is a column database, great for timeseries data… it’s not a Key/value store like Couchbase. They perform best in different situations. Casandra is great for time series data or data that can be written and accessed like a linked list and when this is the case Casandra’s performance is great. If you are not storing time series data but more random documents, user profiles, cache data, etc. then a key/value store like Couchbase is a better fit and with N1QL you can even query the data with a SQL like language.

Links and references mentioned and pointed to:

Team building

Booth duty is not all about attendees it’s also face time with my colleagues, Matthew and Laura. Giving time for feedback, fun discussion and just hanging out and having some fun! When working from home in different countries it’s a great way to meet.

Offtopic discussions

Attending a conference is not all about content and sessions, it’s also about building new relations, talking to and meeting interesting people! Leslie hawthorn from RedHad is such a person! Really enjoyed the conversion, Matthew, Laura and I had with Leslie about developer advocacy, community building, travel, sales people, developers, managers and what not… really hope we can continue that conversation next time we all have a chance to meet.

Overall a great experience and looking forward to the next OSCON!


Posted by Martin Esmann, Developer Advocate, Couchbase

Martin Esmann is a .Net Developer Advocate at Couchbase. He is a passionate developer with a deep focus on Microsoft Technologies like .NET.

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