O'Reilly Radar

O'Reilly Media's insight and analysis about emerging technologies.

Diversity and good intentions

Supporting nonprofits that encourage diversity in the tech world.

At O’Reilly, we value diversity. At each O’Reilly conference, we choose a worthy nonprofit (particularly those that support diversity in the tech world) that we want to support. In the conference registration process, we invite attendees to make a donation to that organization, which is matched by O’Reilly Media.

Past matching donation recipients included some wonderful organizations, such as the National Center for Women & IT, Code.org, Girls Who Code, PyLadies, Anita Borg Institute, Black Girls Code, Women Who Code, and we’re currently raising money for Code2040 at OSCON.

For Solid 2015, we selected Double Union. A hacker/maker space by and for women seemed like an excellent nonprofit to get support from Solid attendees and O’Reilly.

But we made a mistake. We mentioned Double Union as the recipient of these matching donations and used their logo on the Solid Conference website, without first getting the permission of the Double Union board. That was a mistake that never should have happened.

At Double Union’s request, we’ve removed their name and logo from the conference website. We have also apologized to the Double Union board. Read more…

Tell us your full-stack story

Your views on full-stack development could be featured at OSCON. Here’s how.

We’re putting together a series of short videos that explores the trend of full-stack development from the point of view of people who consider themselves to be full-stack developers—as well as those who’d like to be.

We’ll use select submissions for the video pre-rolls that run before keynotes at OSCON. Videos may also be featured on O’Reilly Radar.

This means your insightful perspective on full-stack development could be seen by new developers and industry experts alike.

Want to participate? Here’s what you need to do:

Submissions are due by the end of the day on Monday, July 14. Read more…

Design thinking and data science

Solving problems with data necessitates a diversity of thought.

By Dean Malmgren and Jon Wettersten

JonWetterstenThere’s a lot of hype around “Big Data” these days. Don’t believe us? None other than the venerable Harvard Business Review named “data scientist” the “Sexiest Job of the 21st Century” only 13 years into it. Seriously. Some of these accolades are deserved. It’s decidedly cheaper to store data now than it is to analyze it, which is considerably different than 10 or 20 years ago. Other aspects, however, are less deserved.

In isolation, big data and data scientists don’t hold some magic formula that’s going to save the world, radically transform businesses, or eliminate poverty. The act of solving problems is decidedly different than amassing a data set the size of200 trillion Moby Dicks or setting a team of nerds loose on the data. Problem solving not only requires a high-level conceptual understanding of the challenge, but also a deep understanding of the nuances of a challenge, how those nuances affect businesses, governments, and societies, and—don’t forget—the creativity to address these challenges.

dean_DsA-237x300In our experience, solving problems with data necessitates a diversity of thought and an approach that balances number crunching with thoughtful design to solve targeted problems. Ironically, we don’t believe this means that it’s important to have an army of PhDs with deep knowledge on every topic under the sun.

Rather, we find it’s important to have multi-disciplinary teams of curious, thoughtful, and motivated learners with a broad range of interests who aren’t afraid to immerse themselves in a totally ambiguous topic. With this common vision, IDEO and Datascope Analytics decided to embark on an experiment and integrate our teams to collaborate on a few big data projects over the last year. We thought we’d share a few things here we’ve learned along the way.
Read more…

Strata Newsletter: February 2, 2012

The future of software usability. In praise of unstructured data.

Highlights from the 2/2/12 edition of the Strata newsletter include: Thoughts on the evolution of software usability and why unstructured data is worth the effort.

Strata Newsletter: January 25, 2012

Hadoop World and Strata merge. Microsoft's plan for big data.

Highlights from the 1/25/12 edition of the Strata newsletter include: Hadoop World and the Strata Conference are merging, and a look at how Microsoft is putting Hadoop to work.

Velocity Newsletter: January 19, 2012

Slow performance plagues a major newspaper's website. Old operations advice holds true.

Highlights from the 1/19/12 edition of the Strata newsletter include: Slow download times prevent a major media organization from innovating, and Velocity co-chair John Allspaw unearths some pearls of wisdom from his archive.

Strata Newsletter: January 19, 2012

Data scientists need agility and an entrepreneurial outlook. Plus: data news of note.

Highlights from the 1/19/12 edition of the Strata newsletter include: Strata chair Edd Dumbill explains what big data is, what it does and why it matters.

Strata Newsletter: January 11, 2012

Handling the "pure chaos" of business. Make way for the feedback economy.

Highlights from the 1/11/12 edition of the Strata newsletter include: Fast Company says the business world is in pure chaos, and that creates opportunities for those who can handle it. Also, the feedback economy arrives.