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Missed out on Camp Confluent? Find Out What Went Down at the Hottest Tech Camp of the Season

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When I say summer, you say… beach, popsicles, and camping.

And this summer, I went camping (albeit virtually) with Camp Confluent—a three-week (July 10-28) immersive learning experience focused on all things data streaming.

The learning sessions were infused with real-world examples of how organizations across industries are using technologies like Confluent to unlock the power of real-time data to drive superior customer experiences. 

And when it comes to learning at camp, we all know fun learning works better than dull learning. So, to keep campers motivated and engaged, each week campers were asked to participate in a fun challenge.

And time flies when you’re having fun.

On the last day of camp, campers participated in a live farewell and Q&A session with camp counselors, to get all their data streaming questions answered in real time. (See what I did there?)

Here’s what campers learned.

Week 1: Building a Campfire with Event-Driven Microservices and Apache Kafka

Week one—and year three of Camp Confluent—kicked off with a welcome message from camp counselor Bharath Chari, also Group Manager, Solutions Marketing at Confluent, providing campers an overview of what to expect at Camp Confluent.

The challenge for Week 1? Watching three pre-recorded sessions (that campers can watch at their own convenience) by the end of the week. The reward? A special Camp Confluent Swag Kit.

Week 1 was about learning all things event-driven microservices—with sessions infused with demos and customer stories to show campers how to be truly successful. 

Why are event-driven microservices important, you ask? For modern business, software applications are the secret to success. However, current approaches with both monoliths and microservices, simply aren’t enough to build modern real-time applications. This is where an event-driven architecture and event-driven microservices can help. 

Week 1 sessions included:

  • Breaking the Monolith: Unlocking the Power of Event-Driven Microservices: Campers learned about the challenges with monoliths (think slow, expensive, and unreliable) and many benefits of event-driven architecture, including enabling faster release cycles, improved scalability and reliability, and developer autonomy. Plus, best practices to migrate from monoliths to event-driven microservices using data streaming—to unlock use cases to drive business value.

  • Building an Event-Driven Architecture? Here’s 5 Ways to Get It Done Right: Campers tuned in to discover how to avoid common mistakes that could set back their event-driven ambitions—and how Confluent can help get them where they need to be faster and with less operational headaches.

  • How BigCommerce Elastically Scaled Kafka to Support Traffic Spikes: Nothing beats real-world customer stories. In this session, campers learned how Texas-based ecommerce platform BigCommerce migrated 1.6 billion events a day from Kafka to Confluent, saving 20+ hours a week in Kafka management in just five months.

What are Camp Confluent Counselors saying?

Darin Briskman, Director of Technology at Imply: “It can be hard to keep track of advancing technologies, especially around fast-evolving spaces like data streaming and real-time analytics. Camp Confluent gives developers, architects, and other professionals high-intensity technical information in a fun and accessible way. Who doesn't want a (virtual) s'more with their tech updates?

Streaming and real-time analytics are mature, scalable, highly concurrent, and fast—but they are not anywhere close to being done evolving. New capabilities are being added constantly, and technical professionals need events like Camp Confluent to help stay informed.”

Bharath Chari, Group Manager, Solutions Marketing at Confluent: “I'm always thrilled to hear glowing reviews from past attendees of Camp Confluent. Whether you're a developer seeking hands-on experience with Apache Kafka in Confluent Cloud or an architect or head of engineering looking to explore use cases, our event has something for everyone. Don't miss out on the opportunity to be a part of it!”

Jeff Bean, Group Manager, Technical Marketing, Product & Technical Marketing at Confluent: “The team works hard to produce substantial end-to-end technical examples that showcase Confluent's benefits and value. We build them to be hands-on, complete, educational and informative. I'm excited to have this work included as part of Camp Confluent!”

Maygol Kananizadeh, Senior Developer Adoption Manager, Product & Technical Marketing: “As a specialist on Confluent IP and having developed and presented a lot of hands-on material with our streaming data pipelines, real-time data warehousing, and more, I was very pleased to be able to support Camp Confluent.”

Don’t miss out on attending Current 2023: The Next Generation of Kafka Summit—to take a deep dive into the world of data streaming. Register today with promo code PRMCAMP23 to get 25% off registration!

Week 2: Navigating the Rapids with Streaming Data Pipelines

Week 2 of Camp Confluent was all about streaming data pipelines. 

In today’s modern enterprise—where immediate access to data is key to creating a competitive advantage—organizations need to think of data movement and access in a fundamentally different way. That’s where streaming data pipelines come into play. 

They provide real-time data flows across an organization—getting your data to the right place, in the right format, at the right time to build data products faster and unlock endless use cases.

The challenge for Week 2? Watch the three pre-recorded sessions by the end of the week to get $100 Confluent Cloud credit. Don’t feel left out! You can still avail this by using promo code CAMPCONFLUENT23.

Week 2 sessions included:

  • Build Apache Kafka® Pipelines Visually: Campers tuned in to learn how they can use a visual interface in Confluent Cloud to quickly build, test, and deploy streaming data pipelines powered by Kafka—to boost developer productivity, unlock a unified, end-to-end view, and accelerate real-time initiatives across teams.

  • How to Build Streaming Pipelines for Cloud Databases: Campers learned how legacy pipelines are holding their organizations back from really getting value out of their data—and how Confluent makes it easy to build streaming data pipelines to cloud databases and the many benefits it can unleash.

  • Show Me How: Build Streaming Data Pipelines for Real-Time Data Warehousing: Whether your data is on-prem, hybrid, or multicloud, streaming data pipelines are key to breaking down data silos and power real-time operational and analytical use cases. For the final session of Week 3, campers learned how to build streaming data pipelines to data warehouses—and how Confluent helps. 

Week 3: Campfire Chats with Partners & Live Q&A Session

If you are thinking Camp Confluent was all about Confluent, think again! 

During the final week of camp, campers got to hear from Confluent partners Imply and AWS.

And the final camp challenge? Campers were asked to watch the sessions and attend the live camp farewell session. The reward? A special Camp Confluent campfire kit.

Week 3 sessions included:

  • Derive Real-Time Actionable Insights with Streaming Data Pipelines Use-Cases: Campers learned how AWS and Confluent enable companies to derive real-time actionable insights with streaming data pipelines across any system at any scale.

  • Imply Real-time Analytics Applications: From Fresh Data to Fast Insights: In this camps session, a demo helped campers understand how to build a real-time analytics application, showcasing the seamless integration between Imply Polaris, a fully-managed Druid service with exceptional speed, scalability, and streaming data capabilities with Confluent Cloud.

For the grand finale, 145 campers (including Kafka novices and pros) joined in from countries worldwide, including Canada, U.S., and the U.K.—to get their data streaming questions answered, live.

Questions came pouring in about challenges around creating custom connectors, the benefits of fully managed connectors offered by Confluent, upcoming Flink integration, impact of generative AI, and much more.

My favorite question, however, was a camper asking, “How can I turn my life into a series of Kafka events?”

And Camp Confluent ended on a fun note with trivia.

Until we meet again!

What are campers saying?

Patricia DeVere: “Camp Confluent was full of good and informative content and sessions—and all in digestible chunks. And good presenters. I loved it.”

Brian Lucas from Memorial Sloan Kettering: “Great content and program structure. Well done!”

Blake Shaw from Rocket Mortgage: “Really appreciate the more current content—especially enjoyed the Imply session and looking forward to seeing how we can utilize Druid to bridge the analytical operational data-driven application need.”

Jereme Scheffel from Spartan: “Glad you guys keep up a fun tradition with Camp Confluent. Brightens the summer!!”

Want to take a deep dive into the world of data streaming? Then don’t miss out on attending the data streaming industry event of the year—Current 2023: The Next Generation of Kafka Summit. Register today with promo code PRMCAMP23 to get 25% off registration!

  • Mekhala Roy is a senior writer on the Brand Marketing team at Confluent. Prior to Confluent, Mekhala has worked in the cybersecurity industry—and also spent several years working as a tech journalist.

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