Episode 3:

Data Council Week: A Decade of Supporting the Data Community with Pete Soderling

April 18, 2024

It’s a special edition of The Data Stack Show as we come to you from the Data Council in Austin, Texas. Brooks and Matthew co-host the show to bring you some bonus episodes from some of the leading voices in the data space. This episode features Data Council founder Pete Soderling. In this conversation, Pete reflects on the conference’s evolution, its pause during the pandemic, and its successful return with community support. The episode highlights the technical depth of the conference, its vendor-neutral stance, and the diversity of its attendees, ranging from engineers to industry leaders. Pete shares his pride in the community’s growth and the conference’s role in nurturing data professionals and founders, the careful curation of speakers, the conference’s expansion through the years across the data stack, and more. 


Highlights from this week’s conversation include:

  • Pete’s background and the origin story of Data Council (1:04)
  • Reflecting on 10 years of Data Council (2:07)
  • Impact of the pandemic on conferences (5:25)
  • Rebuilding after the pandemic (7:42)
  • Evolution of Data Council (10:33)
  • Balancing content and sponsorship (16:17)
  • Selecting speakers and content at Data Council (19:39)
  • Highlights from the conference this year (21:58)
  • Realization of AI Future (22:45)
  • Embracing AI at Data Council (23:31)
  • Announcement of Prime Ventures (25:43)
  • Improving Data Council (27:45)
  • Trends and Technologies (29:46)
  • Cautions for Startups (31:47)
  • Connecting with Data Council and Final Takeaways (33:09)


The Data Stack Show is a weekly podcast powered by RudderStack, the CDP for developers. Each week we’ll talk to data engineers, analysts, and data scientists about their experience around building and maintaining data infrastructure, delivering data and data products, and driving better outcomes across their businesses with data.

RudderStack helps businesses make the most out of their customer data while ensuring data privacy and security. To learn more about RudderStack visit rudderstack.com.


Eric Dodds 00:03
Welcome to The Data Stack Show. Each week we explore the world of data by talking to the people shaping its future. You’ll learn about new data technology and trends and how data teams and processes are run at top companies. The Data Stack Show is brought to you by RudderStack, the CDP for developers. You can learn more at RudderStack.com.

Brooks Patterson 00:23
All right, what’s up with the dataset show listeners. And welcome to the final episode of data Council week 2024. If you missed the other episodes, they’re online, so go check them out and subscribe to the show while you’re at it, because we’ve got some great stuff coming down the pipe in May. And this is our third consecutive year recording actually at data Council, which is kind of hard to believe. Eric and Kostas both had conflicts this year. So it did not make it to the conference. So I’m filling in. I’m the producer of the show coming out from behind the scenes to bring you a few special episodes this week with Matt kg, my colleague, and I’m Brooks producer. And today, we have a really special treat. We’re here with Pete Soderling, he’s the founder of Data Council and really the driving force behind getting the data community together in Austin, every single year, for 10 years running. Now. That’s it a whole decade is just such a massive milestone, Pete So we’re really excited to sit down with you today. Congrats on another year of data Council, another amazing conference, and welcome to the show.

Pete Soderling 01:30
Thanks, Brooks. It’s great to be back. I always loved talking to you guys and have appreciated your support at the conference itself, and talking to speakers and then really just showcasing some of the awesomeness that’s happening. I did a council over the last few years. So thanks again for that.

Brooks Patterson 01:47
Yeah, absolutely. We love attending and getting to be a part of it. Well, Pete, last year, we talked, we talked about the origin story of data Council last year. So I would encourage our listeners, if you want to get kind of the full blown origin story. Go check that episode out from last year. But we’re a decade in now. And we’d love to hear just some highlights from you, Pete of I mean, just reflecting on 10 years of running this event, you know, from kind of where it started to where it is today. What are some of your favorite memories? Yeah, well,

Pete Soderling 02:23
one of the interesting things, just to step back in time for one second, because I don’t think I covered this last time. Yet one lesser known fact about the origin data Council is that one of the things that turned beyond starting my own conference is I had helped other people with their conferences, Trier, and one of the conferences that I had worked with was que QCon. And I was lucky enough to be a track host there and was able to select some great speakers. And as I was thinking about sort of the great moments across not just data Council, but you know, my own conference experience, even before data Council, I think the greatest thing that’s really impressed me and stood out to me over the years is this chance that we’ve had to see so many engineers basically grow up in their careers to become heroes. And, you know, it’s been so many people that have crossed these events, you know, especially data Council. But I think of folks like Eric Bern Hartson from Spotify, who spoke at our first meetup in New York City, probably in 2013. Before we had actually been turned the data and meetup into a conference, I think of Greg Brockman, who, you know, became the co founder of open AI, who spoke on one of my tracks previously, I think of Nick Schrock from Facebook, starting Dexter, Ito, from AWS starting pine cone. There’s just like so many folks that it’s really been amazing to see them grow up to develop their careers, and then to sort of come up the other side and become founders of amazing breakout companies. And that’s something that I’m so fortunate to have in the front row. And so you know, it’s hard to sort of pick one, one particular highlight, but that’s definitely a highlight for me is having seen all these engineers grow up and really do amazing things with their lives and in their careers.

Brooks Patterson 04:24
Yeah, it’s so cool. And me just Yeah, listening to you just list off in that’s just a small handful of all the people who have kind of come to data Council, but a number of whom had been on the show before, which is cool for us. And

Pete Soderling 04:43
it’s done. Dozens and dozens of engineers who have started companies coming out of data Council and there’s a lot of great names in there. I mean, even Wes McKinney and others read you know, I’ve participated in data council at various points in their career and started multiple companies, obviously over his career, and it was back at data Council this year, packed the room out. So anyway, you know, that’s been really great in terms of like, you know, a specific story, I was kind of thinking of what I might want to share with the audience. And, you know, one of the most interesting things I think that’s happened in recent memory was, was the pandemic, and the pandemic was absolutely devastating for conferences, and many, most maybe conferences, you know, obviously had a very hard time making ends meet, and many didn’t survive. And I think data counsel, you know, as being sort of a scrappy, for cash, like Bootstrap business that didn’t have any venture funding. I mean, I say it’s my first startup, but, you know, it was purely bootstrapped and didn’t really have the benefit of, you know, of a flush bank account. And so, during the pandemic, I was forced to make some really difficult decisions, we had to lay out the staff. You know, I basically put data counsel on mothballs, we tried to do one online event, one virtual event, and I realized never again, will we go down that road, because it just was not satisfying for me, or the community. So that was sort of a chance to sort of crystallize, you know, what your IRL values really are. And I think that’s become one of the things that people really appreciate about the Data Council at the end of the day. Yeah. But, you know, coming out of the pandemic, it was unclear to me if it would make sense to ever run a data Council again. And we somehow, you know, pulled it together with a super small, even smaller, scrappier team than normal, just a bunch of contractors and myself, basically, you know, ran the conference in 2022, with a couple, one or two people behind the scenes. But it turned out that, you know, that conference was just a breakout event for data counsel, and I remember the palpable, like energy and smiles and hugs that people had, you know, coming out of the pandemic. And I think I probably told that story on the show before, you know how special of an event it was. But it really gets special and special, or as we get further and further away from it, because it was, so it was such a breakout year for data Council. And it really showed me the power of this community and, and the power of the small brand that we had built. And I just felt so fortunate that, you know, basically, we had somehow saved data counsel with the community and books, and were ready to come back and storm the gates again, and be back with us IRL. So that was a pretty special time for me and something that I to be honest, I didn’t fully expect.

Brooks Patterson 07:40
Yeah, that’s so cool. Yeah, that wasn’t early 2021. Right. I mean, kind of right, when things were able to be safely opened back up, right?

Pete Soderling 07:49
Yeah, we ended up running it in 20, q1 of 2022 22, running it through 21. And then there were some false starts, like we, there were, you know, further outbreaks of COVID. And so there was a tight window where we had to actually run the conference and where people were sort of game to meet up in person and things were a little bit unstable. And so it was quite challenging. I think we were one of the first conferences to probably go out the door IRL, in the tech world, at least in the data world. And so there was a lot of risk involved there. But the community really backed us up and I couldn’t be more grateful. Yeah.

Brooks Patterson 08:21
So what would you say that it sounds like that you’re really kind of galvanized, you’re maybe even like a belief and data Council and have kind of fueled the past few years of a really just amazing, vibrant conference?

Pete Soderling 08:35
Yeah, it really did. I mean, we’ve always had, you know, sort of similar positioning, right. We’ve always been to this no BS data conference. And we talk about that every year. And I smile when I say it, and people smile, and they hear it because everyone’s been to a shitty data conference before. So you know, it’s, I think, when people really step into the room and see who they’re next to, and see the quality of the people they get to hang out with Brooks, I think you mentioned to me, it’s like you’re able to access data’s leading minds, like all in one room and all at one events. And just the camaraderie that you have with these folks and chatting with basically heroes of the data world data science, data analytics, data engineering. This year, we had a lot of AI speakers, which was really exceptional. You know, those are the things that really make data Council special. And so yeah, it was all in full force this year again, and very excited to come off that event. Yeah.

Brooks Patterson 09:34
So we talked about it. Maybe it sounds a little ridiculous, but I mean, truly are kind of like data here as a new people that have built just foundational technologies. And are, you know, continuing to just drive innovation in the data space, really any kind of rock stars within, you know, within the data community. One thing I mentioned to us is how cool it is for someone like me or Matt to be able to come to a conference. And it’s not just being around these people but having real access. I mean, they’re running workshops, but they also have office hours where anybody can come and talk, you know, one on one, get their input, get their advice, and kind of perspective. But who so we talked about this data here, who else comes to data counsel? And what would you say, you know, to some of our listeners that may not have been to the event before?

Pete Soderling 10:33
Yeah, well, I think data counsel has evolved and morphed with the data world since we’ve been going for so long. And there’s always this requirement to kind of evolve and reinvent yourself a bit each year. And so, you know, we started off as the data engineering meetup. And I remember there were all these folks who are ex SQL DBA. Is and Java engineers and distributed systems, engineers and 2013. And they’d come to me at the meetup and they say, this is the data engineering meetup. Right. And I’d be like, yeah, and they’d say, Well, am I a data? I’m a DBA? I’m an X DBA. Am I a data engineer? And everyone was kind of, are you my mother, kind of a, you know, kind of a moment where we had put ourselves we just basically hung a shingle over the door like this? Is the date engineering meet up like we scarcely know what date engineering is, but common, like, let’s figure it all together? Because it was such a new thing at the time. Yeah. Well, from there, you know, we’ve gone into all the layers of the data stack. And so data counsel has been a full stack data conference now for many years, From those humble origins. And so you get everyone playing at every layer of the stack, from data edge to infrastructure, to analytics to science and models. Now, obviously, there’s all these AI driven product features. We had a data culture shock this year, which is amazing. So it really tends to attract a cross section of folks who are deeply technical. First of all, you know, most of the folks that data counsel are engineers, or scientists, or in some way technical. But it really is a cross section of roles from startup founders, to CTOs to heads of data, to systems designers, to data scientists, to AI researchers. And then now increasingly, we have investors at data Council, we have community builders data Council, when any sort of shape and flavor and form of data hacker at large people who have jobs, people who don’t have jobs, students, you know, come sometimes from local community and help volunteer, it’s really it’s a really interesting cross section of the data world. And I think that, because it’s a vendor neutral Conference, which is another one of our core tenants, you don’t see anything tips, or the tables are not, you know, slanted towards one vendor, or one lake house, or, or one Redshift or anything, and it’s quite an egalitarian eclectic group of folks. And I think that you get that energy in that field, that there’s just a lot of diversity in the data coastal community, at least. That’s how I see it. And it seems like from the comments from others, they feel that too. Yeah,

Brooks Patterson 13:07
for sure. I love how you said, you know, there’s just kind of Alright, are you my mother? Maybe, you know, especially starting out as data engineering, is that really being defined. Met. I’m curious to know, in your kind of, you know, over a decade in data, have you ever had that? Are you my mother kind of moment, like, am I a data scientist? What I actually am? Well, mine

Matthew Kelliher-Gibson 13:31
came more coming out of grad school where like, I didn’t know what job titles, I should even be looking for what I was trying to do. So I mean, this was like, might have been shortly after the kind of data scientists was first introduced, but like, there was still kind of a, what people didn’t know what to call anybody, really. So it was really hard to kind of figure that out and kind of weed through it a little bit. You know, then we started with all of these catch all titles. And we kind of started breaking those downs. And I remember, we used to joke that a data scientist was the webmaster of data, things like that, because it just was. Anyone can be a data scientist, but no one could be. It was really confusing at the time.

Brooks Patterson 14:16
So we I mean, would you say, Matt, we both have been at the RudderStack booth a good bit this year. In New we have we talked to like, like you said, a cross section of

Kostas Pardalis 14:30
data rows.

Brooks Patterson 14:33
And it’s clear, like everybody is getting something helpful from an educational standpoint, but also, you know, able to make connections with so many people in the industry.

Pete Soderling 14:48
Absolutely. That’s really that’s really magic. And you almost have to experience it to believe that it can really be as good. I mean, I’m obviously talking about my own book, so to speak, which is a shame because people You know, will tend to believe me as much and they shouldn’t. But I just said the community, you know, LinkedIn and Twitter have been on fire the last week and people sharing pictures and talks, you know, talk, favorites and all kinds of things. So, yeah, that’s a special event. And I hope that everyone out there can experience it for themselves at some point. Yeah,

Matthew Kelliher-Gibson 15:23
I think it’s also impressive how I’ve been to other conferences in my life where like, you go to first year, second year, and you can really talk to people and you can really kind of like, the speakers are interesting. And you can get really close to them, and really ask them questions and stuff, and then you come back five years later, and it’s like, it is literally 80%, just vendors. And that’s all that’s going on. And there’s a few people up on a high, up on a high stage, and they talk for 20 minutes, and they’re rushed out the door, and you never see him again.

Pete Soderling 15:51
Yeah, and we’ve had to actively, you know, sort of fight against the domination of vendors, but still really appreciate the the supporters the sponsors that come because, you know, because we’re vendor neutral, it doesn’t mean that we’re anti vendor, it just means that we don’t get to be a marketing arm, we’re a platform Dev Rel arm, like off the edge of some large cloud vendor. And so, you know, we, we basically, sort of require sponsorship support from the community. And we’re really careful about how we integrate those sponsors, and those partners in a high quality way, so that they can meet their goals. And, you know, engage with attendees and have workshops and do all that great stuff. But the attendees don’t feel like they’re being dominated by, you know, an overly sponsored conference, a lot of suits running around, I’m trying to sell them things. And that’s always been the challenge and the magic of data councils that we’ve been very conscious about that evolution over the years, and we’ve really fought hard to have it both ways. And, you know, data counsel, to be honest, it doesn’t make a lot of money. You know, usually, like most years, it’s a breakeven business, if that. And so that’s sort of been part of the constraint, I think that’s kept the creativity high. And it really keeps the attendee experience at this level where they believe that they’re going to have high quality, neutral, objective content, and they’re not going to be blasted by one vendor. And that’s, that’s part of the secret.

Brooks Patterson 17:26
Yeah, I think, you know, the proof in the pudding for that, as you can just look through the, the content tracks, you know, what are the talks on who’s doing those talks, and sure, some of them are from vendors who maybe are sponsoring the conference, some of them are from vendors who aren’t sponsoring the conference. And some of them are, you know, totally independent. But the subject of the content, you know, is another, I think, telling piece there, you know, people are talking about ideas, and, you know, processes, different things that aren’t, you know, necessarily directly tied to what they are trying to sell, you know, to, to get a paycheck. And I think that’s, you know, just a quick look through the content tracks is kind of proves there.

Pete Soderling 18:21
Absolutely. No,

Matthew Kelliher-Gibson 18:23
I think also, especially for anything in technology, and like that, like just like, how do you kind of deal with that, the balancing of you want to make sure that you’ve got like things that are innovative and new and are going to possibly we trailblazers, while not like, leaning in and just hitting a height all the time with it.

Pete Soderling 18:42
Yeah, I mean, parties like we have a couple of tricks. I think in the way that we coach, we select and coach speakers for data counsel. You know, one of the things is that we sort of distribute the selection process across this plurality of track hosts, right. And so we had about 10 track hosts at data Council this year, who sort of joined me on speaker committee in choosing talks and selecting speakers and screening speakers. And so and they’re all hands on, they’re more technical than I am, right. They’re actually practitioners in the field. And leaders in the field have themselves these track posts. And so they’re, you know, they’re able to sort of scope up their networks, they have their ear to the ground and the latest research. They’re the ones who are the arbiters of content on their track. And they’re the best positioned to do that. So that’s one way we do it is by farming it out so that it’s not just a couple people on a conference committee or in a room making all these decisions. The other thing is that, you know, even the vendor is like, I’ve coached vendors over the years. If you want to speak at data Council, send us a talk abstract that doesn’t talk about how to use your project your product like we don’t like these are mostly advanced data people. You know, these are not junior engineers who need to know how to connect to API As are what, uh, you know, an overly pedantic tutorial on your product and how it works and what the features are, send an engineer to tell us how they built your thing. How did they build the tool? What architectural trade offs? Did they make? What, you know, what did they consider before implementing it a different way. And so once you start to get that, sort of peel off the layers of the onion, and even if you’re talking about a data tool, but you’re talking in some interesting way about the architecture behind it, and how problems are solved and building it, you know, it creates a halo effect around your tool, mister or miss vendor. So that’s good. But you’re also like giving the world like some interesting, like engineering depth, that usually tends to be very precious, and modern and interesting to the attendees, because they’re all like serious engineers and serious data scientists that data counsel, so I think those couple of things have kind of helped us keep the content fresh, and irrelevant. And sometimes it surprises me, like, the quality of the content that we get, just because, you know, because of the sort of, you know, workflows that we’ve put in place that that prevents it from just being me trying to pick what seems to be fashionable, you know, which Lakehouse format is the best, like, wants to be in that position? Like not me? Yeah, that’s good. We’ll be

Brooks Patterson 21:17
tell us some about the conference this year. Some amazing content. And, you know, we’ve talked about AI a bit. I think one of the interesting things I’ve noticed this year is yes, everybody’s talking about AI. The Data Council is talking about AI. But not I mean, it’s very clear, this is not just like doing service to the hype right. In. I think that kind of goes with the theme of the no BS data conference. Yeah. Tell us a little bit about the conference this year. And maybe some, maybe it’s a maybe it’s not, but just some highlights from you, or maybe some learnings that you’ve had so far.

Pete Soderling 21:57
Yeah, I mean, absolutely want to stay relevant, we want to hit the hot topics, without selling out to the hype. And that’s, again, always been this trade off that we’ve had to make or try to make a data Council. And so this year, the theme of the conference was, AI meets its maker, which is data. And you know, we had a lot of fun, you know, putting those words together and sort of, you know, setting that up as the theme of the conference and as a team and trying to think of how we’re going to position things. And the idea was that we wanted to honor like all of the past 10 years of data Council, all the time that we’ve spent nurturing the community around tooling, data, infrastructure, data, analytics, machine learning workflows, all these amazing things. In the realization that we sort of always knew that we were building for an AI future. And, you know, funny stories, like, my mom asked how the conference was, and you know, my mom doesn’t really understand a lot about tech. And she’s like, so was it all about AI this year? And I said, Well, yeah, mom, but you know, like I’ve been talking about, you know, remember 10 years ago, when I started the conference, I was talking about data science. And then I was talking about machine learning. And now we’re talking about it. Well, they’re all kind of the same thing. And we’ve been in this space for a long time. And the world just sort of woke up, especially to the consumer world, to the fact of AI through chat GBT. But we’ve been building towards the future for a long time. And we’ve been believers in the power of data, because data makes all the AI, you know, work and meaningful. And so, you know, just had a like, very simple level, I think we wanted to highlight that fact. And it gives us a lot of headroom at the data council to also raise the future. And so we did have lots of AI talks. We had folks from anthropic from together cohere pine cone, love Mehta, who spoke about llama, and many others, honey hive, folks building AI ops companies, which is sort of the next generation of ml ops companies. So there was like really a focus on embracing, you know, a lot of the new reality in the new stack around AI, but without forgetting where we came from, which is that we’ve all sort of as a community have been building toward this future for a long time.

Brooks Patterson 24:14
That’s almost exactly what we talked to Christian Zion, from continual earlier this week, and almost exactly what he said is, you know, he started over a decade ago really kind of with today in mind. And, you know, he’s just expressing how exciting it is to kind of be here today. Wind is kind of what, you know, the whole data world and community has been working towards for over over a decade.

Pete Soderling 24:47
So that’s true. And you know, the just to share the other quick highlights of the conferences here, besides just the theme, I mean, we had packed rooms, lots of office hours as you might agenda community parties, multiple community parties every night, which were super fun, and everyone had a great time was hard to get up in the morning to go back to the auditorium for more talks, but the talk was so good that people had no choice. We really had him there. And, you know, we had really cool keynotes. Roger Margolis, who used to help organize and was really a co founder of the strata conference, participated this year, sort of behind the scenes with me, when he got to do a really cool keynote session with Bhaskar Ghosh was BG from LinkedIn used to be the head of data and for LinkedIn, you know, so we had some old, we had some new, we had a really interesting cross section of content. The lightning talks were really great, as usual. But one of the things that was particularly special to me is that I got to announce zero prime ventures, which is the new name of the venture fund that we’ve been quietly building next to the Data Council for the last couple of years. And we announced our fund to fundraise, successful fundraise at the conference. And now we have a fresh pool of capital to deploy into more startups that are coming through the data Council. And, you know, one of my personal goals in life is to help 10,000 engineers start companies. And so this new pile of capital allows us to continue to invest in the data Council community and beyond, and really support engineers. So we’re at that pre seed and seed stage, because I’ve been an engineer founder myself, and I know how hard it is. So that was very exciting for me to be able to have that as kind of a subtext of the conference. You know, we announced the fund just before the conference the week before, and the energy was still palpable during the conference itself. So that was for me, that was a really gratifying time. Yeah,

Brooks Patterson 26:46
That is an audacious goal. 10,000 engineers, starting companies, but just from being around even for a few years. I know. You are well, on your way there, Pete.

Pete Soderling 26:57
No, thanks. I appreciate that. And hopefully the growth of the platform and data Council globally, and get me to be able to reach that goal. Yeah.

Brooks Patterson 27:10
Well, we’re hitting at it now. I think, but I would love your thoughts on just kind of first what’s next for data counsel. And then maybe just coming off of a week packed with so much learning from, you know, like we talked before, really the leading minds kind of kind of folks who are leading the charge, pushing data forward. I would also love to just hear kind of your thoughts and commentary on what’s next for data?

Pete Soderling 27:38
Yeah, for sure. I mean, I think we’re always trying to improve the UX of the Data Council, we think of the data council as a product. And there’s all kinds of stakeholders involved, from the speakers, to the attendees, to the sponsors, to the track posts, and we’re always someone who tweeted something about the UX of data Council this year, and how they felt that it was special. And, you know, that’s by design, like high quality UX doesn’t happen by accident. And I think, obviously, engineers, you know, know that. And so we’re in a really amazing community that recognizes that. And there’s a bunch of things we want to make the conference more valuable for speakers and more valuable for partners and sponsors. And we have a bunch of ideas. We haven’t announced anything yet, but we’ll be sort of incrementally improving the conference experience, towards next year, we just expanded to the 3d format, two years ago. So we really like growing into that. And I think that will likely stay the same. That gives us a lot of surface area for content, tons of office hours. So I think it’ll be like, a lot of the same, just better, we’ll continue to find the best speakers that are on the cutting edge of data and AI, especially as sort of this new as Doc evolves. So yeah, those are some of the ways that we’re thinking about next year’s edition of data Council, in terms of, you know, highlights and what might be next for data. I mean, there’s a couple things that jumped out at me, you know, over the course of last week, one is Arrow, Arrow everywhere. As a theme, you know, I think we had a joke at the data council that people had to put a border in the jar, like every time, they mentioned Apache arrow. And I think, you know, it was apt because it was popping up in so many conversations. So that was quite cool. And you know, Wes, his talk that was standing room only about the composable data stack. It’s really the product of many years of work by him and others on the arrow format. And so I’m sure that was quite rewarding for him to see that arrows being embedded in us now in so many different places in so many different tools. So I think a lot of his hard work has paid off and the community was there to prove that. So that was one thing. You know, the other thing I noticed is that lay causes really seem to be becoming a thing. Obviously There’s some Lakehouse tableware formats, you know that rage on. But I thought one of the cool projects actually that came up at the conference which really aggregates a lot of these formats, at least the metadata on the formats together is x table. So I would encourage folks to check that out. Because x tables are quite cool if you want to be able to interop across Hudi and Iceberg and delta x tables, a shared metadata format, where you can sort of interop across, you don’t actually swap out the storage formats themselves, they’ll stay the same. But you can interact across them all in a more efficient way. And I think the x table thing, which is now an Apache project, I believe it could really take off. So I encourage people to check that out. Because that’s a cool one. You know, the other things are that people are struggling to figure out the right abstractions for AI ops and AI infrastructure. And I think we’ve learned now over the last couple of years, that probably going to be a whole new stock, right? Like the ML ops companies don’t necessarily get to be the AI ops companies, because there’s so many different things around deterministic models, which ml Ops is used to and non deterministic models, which AI Ops is wrestling with. And so, yeah, we had a lot of talks in that vein, you know, not just monitoring, but evaluation of models is a huge thing. So the eval space, there’s tons and tons of companies popping up there. So that was something that I had my eye on. And, you know, finally, I would just mention one thing that I encourage folks out there not to build, please don’t build more talk to your database applications, right? Like, there’s just a glut of these things floating around. And in my opinion, they’re mostly undifferentiated. So if you’re a founder out there, and looking for a startup to start, you know, I’m not sure that this sort of talk to data through LM thing is necessarily going to be a great option for you just because the space is so crowded, there’s hallucinations, abound, you need a semantic layer to make a work anyway. Right? There’s all these kinds of things. So I think unless you really have previous experience, that you know, elevates you to the top of the crowd, and you know who you are probably when I say that, just not sure it’s a fertile ground for startups, even though everyone seems to think it is. So that’s one word of caution I’d throw out there. But the end of a lot of optimism.

Matthew Kelliher-Gibson 32:27
I think that everyone thinks I’m gonna get the VPS to use this. And it’s like, no, you’re just gonna have an analyst interfacing with your LLM at that point. So it’s just, it sounds good in theory, but I question whether it’s gonna get adapted.

Brooks Patterson 32:49
wise, wise words to end there. Pete. Again, congratulations on a decade of data Council. And before we kind of sign off here, folks want to learn more about data Council, maybe access some of the content from the conference. Where do they go? And how can they connect with you?

Pete Soderling 33:08
Yeah, please check out data council.ai. That’s the conference side. All of the videos for the conference will be posted in the next couple of weeks, we open source all the content for the community on YouTube. So you can search for the data Council channel on YouTube, subscribe there to get notifications. My venture fund zero prime Ventures is zero prime.vc. So for any engineer founders out there, or thinking about taking the jump start a startup. You don’t even have to start it yet. You can just reach out. I’m PETA zero prime.vc. So reach out to me anytime. And yeah, otherwise, I look forward to meeting as many of the community as I can and IRL, every year at the data council. So you can find me there. I’m also in San Francisco. So look me up as well, you know, if you’re there, and yeah, like, I’m typically pretty active and not a hard guy to find. So I look forward to chatting with as many folks as I can. Amazing.

Brooks Patterson 34:05
Well, Pete, thank you so much. We’re excited to head back next year, and see just the progress that I mean. I know it’s exciting for you to see the progress that all these founders make year over year. And also just the technology themselves. I mean, you caught our x table and I spoke with the folks from one house about that, you know, announcing this at the conference, it’s going to be exciting to see where things aren’t next year. And same with their kind of composable data stack. Just so so much really incredible stuff going

Pete Soderling 34:37
on. Absolutely. I can’t wait. Yeah. Awesome movie.

Brooks Patterson 34:41
Thanks so much.

Pete Soderling 34:42
Thank you guys. This was great.

Eric Dodds 34:45
We hope you enjoyed this episode of The Data Stack Show. Be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast app to get notified about new episodes every week. We’d also love your feedback. You can email me, Eric Dodds, at eric@datastackshow.com. That’s E-R-I-C at datastackshow.com. The show is brought to you by RudderStack, the CDP for developers. Learn how to build a CDP on your data warehouse at RudderStack.com.