Meet the Track Chairs: Isabel Drost of the Applied Hadoop Track

Today’s interview features Isabel Drost, chair of the Applied Hadoop track. Like many in the Apache Hadoop community, Isabel wears a couple of hats. She develops software at Nokia Gate 5 GmbH as part of the category search team for the Here maps product. She is also a member of the Apache Software Foundation, co-founder of Apache Mahout and committer on the Community Development project. In addition, and together with Simon Willnauer, Jan Lehnardt and Newthinking Communications, Isabel co-founded Berlin Buzzwords, the European conference on all things NoSQL, search and large-scale data processing.

On a side note, if anyone is interested in joining Berlin Buzzwords either as an attendee or speaker, please visit their website.

Tell us about the Applied Hadoop track.

This track will consist of sessions that focus on applications, tools, algorithms and data science as well as areas of advanced research and emerging applications that use and extend the Apache Hadoop platform. Sessions will cover examples of innovative data processing applications and algorithms for performing the most common statistical analysis as well as supporting the latest advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Who else was involved in the selection process for your track?

I reached out to Sean Owen and Torsten Curdt to help with the hard task of rating and ranking talks. Sean is a fellow Apache Mahout committer and former PMC chair. Torsten has been active in the Apache Hadoop community for a very long time and was one of the first users of the project. Both did a great job of identifying excellent talks for Hadoop Summit Europe.

What was the hardest part about the selection process?

The hardest part really was trying to choose a relatively small number of presentations from a number of awesome submissions. There’s just too much brilliant work going on where Hadoop is being applied to solve really interesting business problems.

What takeaways do you expect for folks attending sessions in your track?

Hopefully attendees will get an impression of the wide variety of tasks Hadoop can help with and how to put all the different projects in the Hadoop ecosystem to good use.

What are you personally most looking forward to at Hadoop Summit Europe?

Apart from a myriad of highly interesting talks that I would like to attend, it is one of the best options to personally meet the developers behind projects like Hadoop, Hive and Pig in person. It’s always fun to meet (or see other meeting) people in person they otherwise only know from developer mailing lists.

If you could attend one session from another track, which session would it be?

I really wouldn’t want to point out one particular session over all others – choice will be hard enough for attendees having to decide on which room to go to for a talk.

I think there is one interesting track that isn’t even listed in the schedule that attendees shouldn’t ignore. It’s called the “hallway track”. Sometimes the best way to learn about personal experiences first-hand is to just have conversations with people face-to-face in between sessions.