New tracks? No tracks!

As one of our program committee members put it: Taxonomies – generally – are not great. This is why from 2023 on we will replace our four conference tracks by tags.

Before I explain further, let me briefly recap: Originally #bbuzz had three tracks Search, Store and Scale and although there always were some overlaps, they served us well for a few years. Then topics evolved and a fourth track, Stream, was brought in to reflect that.

After a few years now we feel it has stopped working again – and feedback from attendees, speakers and members of the program committee backs that feeling up. Our discussions finally lead to this: We get rid of tracks and instead will allow each session to have up to three tags.

We reckon this has a number of advantages: It’s easier for speakers to categorize their session, participants can find talks that are interesting to them much easier (and without overlooking any, because they are classified as “Scale”, but also contain lots of “Search”) and it opens Berlin Buzzwords up to new, exciting topics, that so far didn’t fit our tracks.

The tags we’ve chosen are:

  • Search
    for talks about any aspect of search: From search engines to relevance engineering, etc
  • Data Science
    Making sense of data: AI, ML, Data Wrangling, Data Engineering, MLOps, A/B-testing, …
  • Stream
    Everything stream processing
  • Store
    Storing data and everything that entails
  • Scale
    Scaling up (i.e. taking better advantage of a single machine, with threads, accelerators, specialized libraries, …), scaling out (distribution) or even scaling down (including e.g. moving from centralized services to “on device”, etc)
  • Operations
    Includes building and maintaining infrastructure, but also delivery, testing and everything connected to that.
  • Stories
    Covers experiments, hacks and novel approaches, but also lessons learned, generally-useful algorithms, and experience reports.
  • People & Community
    Talks about Management, Leadership and Team Culture, as well as the interaction with the wider community: Open Source, Governance, etc
  • Society, Ethics & Sustainabilty
    Talks about the social, enviromental and ethical impact of tech

The changes will first be visible in our Call for Papers (opening in December), where from now on everyone can choose up to three tags. Our program on the website will of course also feature filters for those tags later, to make it easier to find the talks you are interested in.

If you have any questions, comments or additional ideas, I’m happy to hear from you:

See you in June!