Speaker: Ben Stopford, Confluent.
Synopsis: Databases represent some of the most successful software that has ever been written and their importance over the last fifty years is hard to overemphasize. Over this time they have evolved to form a vast landscape of products that cater to different data types, volumes, velocities and query characteristics. But the broad definition of what a database ‘is’ has changed relatively little. Databases are passive receptacles that store our data and wait to be queried: an approach designed to help humans carry out the activities that businesses need to perform. But today’s world is far less dependent on human interaction. Booking a taxi, buying groceries or applying for a loan to buy a house, are all increasingly automated processes driven by machines. This change in purpose forces a fundamental question: is the database in its current form the right abstraction for this machine-driven world?