Apr 19 2011

The evolution of Gluecon

I was thinking about the evolution of our Glue conference as I drove into work this morning. It’s pretty remarkable how much the infrastructure ecosystem – and therefore our little conference that focuses on it – has changed since we ran our first Gluecon in 2009. The initial premise for Glue was to get together to have a detailed conversation about the technologies that were underlying the trend of the web as a platform (web-as-a-service). And while there was plenty of talk about “cloud” at the time we were talking about it as somewhat of a parallel universe to “web” that connected at very specific end points. And when it came to applications, since “web” was the end point when we said “application” we meant “web application”. And it was pretty clear what was a business application and what was a consumer application and the venn diagram intersection between the two wasn’t particularly meaningful.

Today’s “glue” is very different than it’s predecessors (both the conference and the underlying infrastructure technologies that are at the heart of the conversation at Glue). The discussion at Gluecon has moved well beyond the web as the primary platform and centers instead around the intersection of cloud, web, mobile, tablet and a more generalized concept of “app”. APIs are the stars of the show and help bring together an ecosystem approach to the dissemination of technology that no longer views the web as having primacy over other points of application consumption. And, importantly, enterprise applications have taken on many of the attributes of their consumer cousins (not to mention in some cases the apps themselves) – and as a result are more apt to share the look, feel and underlying technologies of what had been solely the domain of consumer apps a few years ago.

And if you think about the conferences that create all the buzz, they’re for the most part either company specific (Google I/O, Dreamforce, Chirp) or startup celebrity focused (DEMO, TC50, etc.). There are a sparse few that are developer focused (Qcon, MySQL, OSCON) – which makes Glue that much more important. So whether you’re an enterprise developer (staying current on technologies, checking out what start-ups can help accelerate your own businesses and internal development initiatives), a start-up developer (all of the above plus looking for a chance to interface, recruit and push the envelope with the next generation of technologists) or a C-level exec (in particular looking to see what’s 3-6 months out on the horizon) Gluecon is for you.

A few other notes about this year’s Glue.

I’ve written in the past about our partnership with Alcatel Lucent. It’s a big deal to us and it’s a big deal to the 15 companies that were given demo space at the conference because of ALU. These companies didn’t participate in a “sponsorship contest” where those that could pay the table fee could come demo. They were selected by a committee of judges (myself included) entirely based on merit. And the result is a pretty fantastic showcase of technologies in a way that you won’t see at any other conference. (the winning companies are Big Door, ReportGrid, StreamStep, Wanderfly, Proxomo Software, LocVox, Sing.ly, Eclipse Foundation, Standing Cloud, Flomio, Jexy, Axiomatics, Whosent.it, Statsmix and Tendril Networks).

You still have a few days to qualify for the early bird pricing ($170 off the full admission price), which expires at the end of this week (meaning April 22nd). Register here.

The agenda is mostly filled out now and it looks absolutely fantastic. Whether you want to hear how to make money with your API strategy, commiserate on the failure of SOAP adoption, geek out on AWS strategies or just lurk the hallways to jump into interesting conversations, there’s something at Glue for you!

See you there.