Speaking on conferences — a recap

Gleicon Moraes
4 min readNov 5, 2017


After 2015 I decided to limit the number of conferences I talk and attend — I used to go at least one conference per month and most of them was because I would be speaking. I never knew how I did get into this speaker business. In the last years my time got limited as it takes a considerable time to attend conferences in a good fashion.

Since 2011 I put a challenge for myself and engineers in my teams, starting when I worked at Locaweb. My part of the deal is sharing all invites I get or help with CFPs, help with preparation, coach on presentation skills and getting there together, not taking the spot light. Their part is to do it and share their knowledge, meet people, help recruit and have a good time.

For conferences outside of Brazil it also helps them to take the challenge of submitting and speaking to an audience outside of our country (Brazil) in a foreign language (English) with support from me and people that already did that.

Even if it is not for this noble purpose, I try not to go alone anymore since I enjoy sharing the stage to bring in team members and friends. If you are reading this and is either scheduled to present somewhere and need some review or want to present and need help drop me a line and I can try to help.

I went to 3 conferences only this year, way less and any other year. I spoke in all of them, shared stage in one, presentation material in 2 of them. The last one I missed my goal.

Now the recap

The first conference was Strata/Hadoop World in San Jose, California. I applied to Strata while working for my previous employer, Luizalabs as a form of incentive and because my team there was (still is) too awesome to be restricted to presenting in Brazil.

We were accepted and along with Arthur Grava, initially from my team and now my friend, we presented a review and progress of our work — an outstanding recommendation system that on 2016 alone went from 8% to 17% of revenue share on the main desktop site.

Luizalabs is an offshot of Magazine Luiza, a top 3 ecommerce and retailer in Brazil. The data volume is huge and a lot of challenges popped up in the way. We discussed some of them, specially graph databases to microservice architectures with a very knowledgeable audience. The questions around Cassandra, TitanDB and graph queries were on point and we saw that many folks were in doing similar things for different objectives.

This conference is a nest of Data Scientists and Engineers creating architectures and pipelines to gather similar data so I ended up being inspired by the talks of Uber Real Time Analytics talk and many commentaries around Lambda and Kappa architectures. That is what I am working with right now at Lucid so the conference was timely and helpful.

I loved working with my "big data" team at Luizalabs — smart folks that would tackle huge challenges with the naive and sure approach of outstanding technical (and very nice) people. It is super cool that Luizalabs helped Arthur to be there. Thanks folks, and thanks Arthur !

The talk summary can be found here: https://conferences.oreilly.com/strata/strata-ca/public/schedule/detail/55960?locale=zh . It was fun time. Good audience and questions, some follow up through email and the feeling that we are doing relevant and technically challenging products in Brazil. By the time I presented I had long changed jobs but thought that it was important to keep my word and follow up with our mission. To some companies that can be tricky due to NDAs but props to Luizalabs that is all for doing the cool thing for their team.

At PHP Experience I spoke about Emerging Architectures, a subject that is dear to me. I always end up somehow involved with Infrastructure or DevOps with companies that hire me to do other stuff. I started coding when I was 12 y/o but somehow (probably me not being an orthodox programmer) I end up being asked to help these teams to move forward or stabilize large scale systems. In many cases, for very different kind of products and systems they are suffering the same things.

Back in 2014 I wrote some material with my friend Renato Lucindo and we presented at QCon, DNAD and other places. It has been evolving and probably should become a short book where we explore why things go wrong and why the very own application makes continuous delivery hard to implement.

PHP Experience was organized by iMasters, a school/community/company/collective of nice people that are all around helping developers since 2001. They treat speakers very well and give a lot for free to the community so it is more than nice to be invited by them to take part on their events. Slides (in portuguese) are here: https://speakerdeck.com/gleicon/como-a-arquitetura-emergente-pode-jogar-contra-a-entrega-continua

The last event was an online talk about legacy systems, API gateways and event streaming at Mundo Conectado. It was all good, I had committed way back in the beginning of the year and the event changed from in person to a virtual conference. It was good to explore a bit more of previous experiences on how to deal with legacy systems without getting to rewrite the world. Slides: https://speakerdeck.com/gleicon/apis-e-sistemas-legados

That's it. Help people, share the stage (and foot the bill) to help more people to speak and let me know if there is some good talks to attend. xoxo