Speaker’s Corner: Featuring Timothy Spann, Developer Advocate at StreamNative

Tell me about your company – it’s work and projects…

StreamNative helps teams to capture, manage, and leverage data using Apache Pulsar’s unified messaging and streaming platform. We provide cloud hosted pulsar, cloud managed pulsar and professional services.

The IT industry is vast, what are the challenges that most affect your business? 

We are challenged in bringing new software to people.

The COVID-19 and the pandemic has mandated change in the way we go about business and operations. How has this time influenced you? What are the trends you see within the sector?

I have been more productive and got to speak at events I never would have in the past as they are virtual.  Some weeks I can speak at three events.

What is your biggest objective as a speaker?

To bring excitement and knowledge of open-source development to people. Helping people to solve their problems is awesome.

Could you share with us the points of discussion (the input that you provided) during the panel(s) at the DeveloperWeek 2022?

I do not have them available. You would have to get from DeveloperWeek.

As a leader, what are the factors both professional and personal that drive you? What keeps you going?

I love learning and all the constantly changing technology is fun.

In your opinion, do digital events give you a similar level of feedback/result vis-à-vis the live versions? What would you say were the biggest pros and cons of both formats? Which do you prefer?  

I prefer in person.   It’s harder to get feedback from digital events. The biggest pro of in person is connections. The biggest pro of virtual is the volume of events that one can attend.  The cons of in-person is there are less people, more expense, more travel, covid and other difficulties.  The con of virtual is that there isn’t a strong connection between people.  

What is your take on in-person events? Do you prefer in-person events as compared to hybrid or virtual? How soon do you think in-person events would return?  

I enjoy in-person events and I feel I can make a deeper connection with developers and architects. I like virtual events and hybrid events as I can do a few in a single week without the headache and expense of travel.   I have one scheduled for April and I am hoping that it happens. Full scale conferences will never return.

 In your opinion, what are the top 3 challenges to returning to ‘In-Person’ events? How could we mitigate risks?

Companies have reduced budgets, remote people are probably not going to in-person events and the reasonable success and reduced cost of virtual events have made those compelling. Requiring vaccinations, tests and masks should help those that are interested in attending. In my opinion, conferences will permanently be less frequent and smaller and never return to 2019 strength.

Eventible.com is a review platform specially catering to B2B events. Given how review-driven our lives have become today, do you think reviews will bring in a level of transparency to the events industry? Would you rely on event reviews from other speakers if you had to make a speaking decision?

This will be helpful to have honest third party reviews. If there’s a ton of reviews that are negative and I have not been to an event before it definitely will influence my decision to speak at an event.

Finally, do you have a favourite mocktail or drink? We’d be delighted to know.

I like L’Orange Perrier®.

About Timothy: Tim Spann is a Developer Advocate for StreamNative. He works with StreamNative Cloud, Apache Pulsar, Apache Flink, Flink SQL, Apache NiFi, MiniFi, Apache MXNet, TensorFlow, Apache Spark, Big Data, the IoT, machine learning, and deep learning. Tim has over a decade of experience with the IoT, big data, distributed computing, messaging, streaming technologies, and Java programming. Previously, he was a Principal DataFlow Field Engineer at Cloudera, a Senior Solutions Engineer at Hortonworks, a Senior Solutions Architect at AirisData, a Senior Field Engineer at Pivotal and a Team Leader at HPE. He blogs for DZone, where he is the Big Data Zone leader, and runs a popular meetup in Princeton on Big Data, Cloud, IoT, deep learning, streaming, NiFi, the blockchain, and Spark. Tim is a frequent speaker at conferences such as ApacheCon, DeveloperWeek, Pulsar Summit and many more. He holds a BS and MS in computer science. He is currently working on a book about the FLiP Stack.

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