We were welcomed by copious amounts of pizza
We were welcomed by copious amounts of pizza

After only starting at IBM as a new graduate in September, I thought it would take a while before I would be able to get involved in the external community of software developers. But, last week, I attended my first meetup. A small group of us travelled from the countryside of Hursley to the British Gas Connected Homes office in London, deciding a chilly night in January was the perfect opportunity to take in the sights of the capital by walking to where the meetup was hosted.

Andrew Schofield takes us through the basics of Message Hub
Andrew Schofield running through an overview of Message Hub

After networking over pizza and beer, the talks were kicked off by IBM’s Andrew Schofield presenting Message Hub, a messaging service in the cloud which is based on Apache Kafka. After an overview of the service and how it fits into Bluemix, he focused on why the decision was made to use Kakfa and how the team had built on these valuable characteristics to use Kafka in the public cloud. The developers in the audience were especially interested in these changes and the Q&A session at the end of the talk flowed into some interesting discussions in the short break that followed. If you want to find out more about Message Hub you can find Andrew’s slides here and you can start using the Message Hub service here.

Bruno Bonacci talks through Samsara streaming analytics
Bruno Bonacci talks through Samarara streaming analytics

It took a little bit of effort to break up some of the conversations that sprung up in the intermission, but once everyone was settled it was time for Bruno Bonacci’s talk about Samsara, a real-time analytics platform using Kafka to send event information. For me, the talk was a great introduction into streaming analytics and an interesting insight in to how others are using Kafka.


Overall, even being relatively new to the world of software development and Kafka, I had a great time and will definitely be attending more meetups in the future. For anyone interested in Kafka, you can find any upcoming events here.

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