An Apache Cassandra committer and PMC member, Gary Dusbabek is a life-long programmer specializing in distributed systems.  His past experience includes working with large-scale text and image indexes in the newspaper industry and high-volume advertisement booking software.  Recent work at Rackspace includes working on Cassandra full-time and being a founding member of the Cloud Monitoring team.  Gary currently works on the Cloud Metrics team that created the open source Blueflood metrics engine.


An internationally known community manager, speaker and author, Leslie Hawthorn has spent the past decade creating, cultivating and enabling open source communities. She created the world’s first initiative to involve pre-university students in open source software development, launched Google’s #2 Developer Blog, received an O’Reilly Open Source Award in 2010 and gave a few great talks on many things open source. In August 2013, she joined Elasticsearch as Community Manager, where she leads community relations efforts.


Georgi is a Platform Engineer who works on the High Availability team at GitHub. Originally from Sydney, Georgi now lives in Brooklyn, NY. Her current nerd crush is on distributed systems and Go. When not geeking out she likes to loose convincingly in her shuffleboard league, attempt science victories in Civ5 and dress up her cats in costumes.


Grant is the CTO of the Wikimedia Foundation, the co-founder and ex-CTO of Lucidworks, lead author of the award winning Taming Text, co-founder of Apache Mahout and a long-standing committer on the Apache Lucene and Solr open source projects. Grant is also the co-author of “Taming Text” from Manning Publications. Currently, he is interviewing people in tech for his newly - founded platform "Develomentor"that offers career advice in tech. https://develomentor.com

In 20109 he sat on the other side of the microphone answering Nina's questions in our "Conversations with..." anniversary series.



Ted Dunning is a member of the Board of Directors at Apache and mentor on many recent projects. Ted is the Chief Technologist at MapR whcih is now part of HPE and previously was the chief architect behind the MusicMatch (now Yahoo Music) and Veoh recommendation systems. He built fraud detection systems for ID Analytics (LifeLock) and he has over 20 patents issued to date and several pending. Ted has a PhD in computing science from the University of Sheffield. When he’s not doing data science, he plays mandolin and guitar.

In our "Conversations with..." series made last year for our tenth anniversary edition, Project Manager Nina Müller chatted with Ted Dunning. Nina and Ted discussed the mood and atmosphere of Berlin Buzzwords and the importance of serendipity. Listen to our third conversation to hear about Ted’s views on the evolving scope of Berlin Buzzwords and much more. 



Holden is a transgender Canadian open source developer advocate @ Google with a focus on Apache Spark, BEAM, and related "big data" tools. She is the co-author of Learning Spark, High Performance Spark, and another Spark book that's a bit more out of date. She is a committer on the Apache Spark, SystemML, and Mahout projects. She was tricked into the world of big data while trying to improve search and recommendation systems and has long since forgotten her original goal.

photograph of William Benton, a man with stubble and glasses

William Benton is passionate about making it easier for machine learning practitioners to benefit from advanced infrastructure and making it possible for organizations to manage machine learning systems. His recent roles have included defining product strategy and professional services offerings related to data science and machine learning, leading teams of data scientists and engineers, and contributing to many open source communities related to data, ML, and distributed systems. Will lives in the midwestern United States with his wife and three children and spends some of his spare time chasing light on bicycles or capturing it with cameras.


Owen O'Malley is a Principal Engineer at LinkedIn. Owen has been working on Hadoop since the beginning of 2006 at Yahoo, was the first committer added to the project. He used Hadoop to set the Gray sort benchmark in 2008 and 2009. In the last 10 years, he has been the architect of MapReduce, Security, and now Hive. Recently he has been driving the development of the ORC file format and adding ACID transactions to Hive.


Fabian Hueske is working as a software engineer on streaming things at Snowflake. He is a PMC member of Apache Flink and one of the three original authors of the Stratosphere research system, from which Apache Flink was forked in 2014. Fabian is a co-founder of data Artisans (now Ververica), a Berlin-based startup devoted to fostering Flink. He holds a PhD in computer science from TU Berlin and is the author of "Stream Processing with Apache Flink".

Monica Sarbu

Monica Sarbu is founder and CEO of xata.io, providing a serverless database service for Jamstack applications. In 2013, she started Packetbeat, the first open source solution for monitoring your infrastructure, that was acquired by Elastic in 2015. She joined Elastic with the mission to continue her vision of building a more comprehensive monitoring solution. This is how Beats family was started, one of the most downloaded products of Elastic. 

When she’s not busy with the data grokking, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and travelling the world.




Michael is on the Apache HBase and Hadoop Project Management Committees and is an Apache Software Foundation member. He works for Apple's Open Source Technologies group out of San Francisco.

Mandy Chessell

Mandy Chessell is an IBM Distinguished Engineer and PMC leader of the ODPi Egeria and ODPi Data Governance Projects. She is also an Apache Atlas committer. Her focus is on supporting organizations in their transformation towards becoming data-driven. This includes working with them to develop their strategy and architecture relating to the governance, integration and management of information. It was through this work that the vision for open metadata and governance was born and eventually lead to the two ODPi open source projects that she leads.  More information about Mandy’s work and publications can be found on LinkedIn and her blog.


Photo of Caito speaking at a conference

Caito is a Developer Advocate for Ververica (creators of Apache Flink), representing the US region, and is based in Portland, Oregon. Previously, she was a software engineer at a data analytics company and loves geeking out about metrics and stream processing. Outside of tech, Caito does woodworking/construction, dance, running, and appreciation of terrible puns.