Behind the Antlers: Life Lessons from the Elastic{ON} CFP

We're 10 days away from the opening of Elastic{ON} and the full agenda is now online. We have a series of exciting talks lined up including ones from Cisco, Facebook, FICO, GitHub, Goldman Sachs, Mayo Clinic, Microsoft, Netflix, Wikimedia, and Yelp. You'll hear how they're able to search and gain insights out of their data that weren't before possible and see how our technology is helping them identify causes and cures for cancer, detect earthquakes, and improve citizens' interactions with the government.

Before you check out all the abstracts, join us as we give you a closer look at what went into the selection of the inaugural class of ELK in the Wild speakers. Enjoy!

Thanks for making my job difficult. No, seriously – I mean it. Thank you for making my job nearly impossible. Sounds strange to hear, no? Let me tell you why I really am grateful for all of you fine humans.

When I was handed the job of curating all the responses to our Elastic{ON} call for papers, I really didn't know what to expect. I was 4 months into my new role here heading up our case study and community engagement programs, so I knew we had some amazing stories out there. I'd heard the whispers out of Rochester, MN, where Elasticsearch has been helping some of the world's best doctors revolutionize how data could help save lives. I'd talked with financial executives who gushed about how their work with the ELK stack had allowed their entire team to form a more complete understanding of their customers, driving overall engagement and increasing company revenue. And, I had even seen how our software was front and center during some recent emergency events, helping to let the public know when and where it was safe to travel. I could go on for more than three sentences, but why spoil all of our upcoming case studies?

I knew that there were some great stories out there, but I was certainly not prepared for what was going to happen when November came around and we opened up the application process for the ELK in the Wild track at Elastic{ON}15. From that point until the moment we closed submissions on January 18, we received 142 proposals. These submissions came from 5 continents, countless industry verticals, and covered so many different use cases that I could hardly do them all justice by listing them out here. Suffice it to say, when I sat down on January 19, I finally figured out what it was like to hate your job, but love it all at the same time.

I mean, how could I figure out which 11 of these proposed sessions merited selection over the rest. I read and re-read every single submission. I tried to find the special points in all of them (Did it have a positive effect on society? Was it a big name that would draw people to the session? Or did I just nerd out when I read the abstract?). There were submissions from companies whose services I use every day and some that I had never heard of. There were simple search use cases, and some use cases that even the most seasoned Elasticsearch employee hadn't thought of.

You folks made me dread getting up in the morning, because I had no idea how I could choose. How could I say that one person's story was better than the next?

Well, thanks to several internal meetings, a multitude of confectionary therapy sessions, and our hard working events team finding more space for us to hold a few more talks, we found ourselves with our final agenda – which you can see here. We have a diverse line up and one that I'm proud to stand by.

That said, I couldn't find a spot for everyone and that realization truly made my job terrible for a while. But then I remembered, the best part of our community is that whether it's at our first Elastic{ON} or on a webinar or at a meetup down the road, there will always be people – especially me (seriously, I'll be there with bells on) – wanting to hear the story of how you are changing the world one cluster at a time.

Thank you for making my life difficult – the pleasure was all mine.

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