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Kafka Summit London 2022: The Full Recap

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Itโ€™s official: Kafka Summit is back! Technically, it never went awayโ€”it just went online. But this week in London, Kafka Summit returned in all its glory to welcome over 1,200 peopleโ€”real human beingsโ€”back to this in-person conference. And I can tell you: it was glorious! Conversations were had, talks were enjoyed, and questions were answered, all as the community convened for two days of talks about Apache Kafkaยฎ.

Ben Stopford at Kafka Summit London 2022
Ben Stopford MCโ€™d the keynote sessions with aplomb

Day 1 keynote

Kafka co-creator and Confluent CEO Jay Kreps took to the stage to discuss where Kafka and event streaming is at, and where itโ€™s heading next. He laid out the five principles under the umbrella of modern data flow:

Jay Kreps presenting the 5 principals of modern data flow

Some of the principles will have been familiar to many alreadyโ€”such as the fact that streaming is central to so many successful systems because life doesnโ€™t happen in batch. Others brought in concepts from other areas of software development, including the important ideas of decentralization (such as seen with the concept of data mesh), and the importance of pipelines being developer orientated and declarative.

Jay Kreps Kafka Summit London 2022

After this, we saw a cool demo of these modern data flow concepts in action, built around the idea of an airline and its decentralized data model and showing some of the tooling thatโ€™s now available. You can try it out for yourself using the airline demo recipe.

Next up on stage was Avi Perez, head of backend engineering at Wix.com. He talked about how he and his team are using event streaming to power a full 7% of the internetโ€™s websites through Wixโ€™s no-code web development platform. Their initial Kafka use turned into Confluent Cloud adoption, allowing Wix teams to maintain 20 clusters across two public clouds and three continents connecting 2400 microservices with 70 billion business events every day.

Jay Kreps rounded off the keynote by announcing Current 2022: The Next Generation of Kafka Summit. The inaugural Current will be held in Austin October 4-5, 2022, and you can read more about it in Ben Stopfordโ€™s blog. The Call for Papers is already open.

You can watch the full keynote below.

Breakout sessions

As I sat in the sessions, I realized that there is something unique about hearing a talk in person. Itโ€™s not just the fact itโ€™s in real life and not a tab on your browser to zone out of. Itโ€™s the people near you, the feeling of interest and learning all around you. The muttered exclamations at a cool demo, the whispered nods to colleagues at a great idea to take back and implement in their own system.

Attendees at Kafka Summit were kept busy with 60 sessions over four parallel tracks, ranging from Disaster Recovery Options Running Apache Kafka in Kubernetes to Letโ€™s Make Your CFO Happy: A Practical Guide for Kafka Cost Reduction. Many of the sessions were recorded and will be available online in the coming weeks.

You can check out the #kafkasummit tag on Twitter for lots of notes and commentary on sessions that people watched. Here are just a handful of highlights of the sessions that I attended.

Apache Kafka committers panel session

Kris Jenkins closed the summit with a panel of the Apache Kafka committers who were at the conference, discussing future ideas and direction for Kafka.

As well as the committers themselves, there was a nice touch at the Kafka Summit party of a feature wall of some of the many contributors to Kafka:

Remembering what in-person conferences are all about

The sessions were great, the keynotes inspirational, yada yadaโ€ฆbut what was best about Kafka Summit London 2022? THE PEOPLE. The real people. It was truly wonderful to chat to people, make new friends, reacquaint with old ones, all around the common theme of Kafka but generally just an interest in technology, event streamingโ€”and sharing ideas.

See you in Austin

Current 2022: The Next Generation of Kafka Summit is only five months away! I hope to see you thereโ€”and I hope the great talks you heard at Kafka Summit London will have inspired you to consider submitting one of your own.

  • Robin is a principal developer advocate at Confluent, the company founded by the original creators of Apache Kafka, as well as an Oracle Groundbreaker Ambassador. His career has always involved data, from the old worlds of COBOL and DB2, through the worlds of Oracle and Hadoop, and into the current world with Kafka. His particular interests are analytics, systems architecture, performance testing and optimization. He blogs at http://cnfl.io/rmoff and http://rmoff.net/ and can be found tweeting grumpy geek thoughts as @rmoff. Outside of work he enjoys drinking good beer and eating fried breakfasts, although generally not at the same time.

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