July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

Becoming friends with Cassandra

Dani Traphagen (GridGain), Jon Haddad (The Last Pickle)
1:30pm–5:00pm Tuesday, 07/21/2015
Scale E145/146
Tags: Linux, Devops
Average rating: ***..
(3.86, 14 ratings)
Slides:   external link

Prerequisite Knowledge

  • Basic Command Line Skills
  • Linux Familiarity

Materials or downloads needed in advance

  • Laptop
  • GitHub Account
  • Please install Virtual Box on your laptop before coming to this tutorial


In this three-hour Cassandra tutorial, we’ll explore all the basics you’ll need to become best buds with this radically scalable, always-on, and increasingly popular database solution. So, what do you need to know to make new friends?

  • Understand how they tick: We’ll talk about architecture and data modeling
  • How to communicate: We’ll look at the SQL-like query language, CQL, that will get you talking to Cassandra like a champ
  • Learning to work together: We’ll introduce deploying a Cassandra cluster for different use cases, how to hook up an application with a plethora of drivers and even a Spark connector.

Jon Haddad will be presenting the “Learning to Work Together” section and will be standing by to help out with questions you might have along the way. He’ll help get you even better acquainted with this paradigm-shifting technology. All in all, you should walk out with some shiny knowledge and a new pal.

Presenter assistants:

  • Patrick McFadin
  • Tupshin Harper
  • Luke Tillman
Photo of Dani Traphagen

Dani Traphagen


Dani Traphagen is a technical enablement developer for DataStax, where she develops and runs their internal training programs. Her passion for teaching began while working in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at the University of California-Berkeley, where she taught scientists technical skills, helped create a Data Science course, and raised awareness about the growing open science community. Dani has since volunteered with or generated training content for a number of organizations including software carpentry, women in technology, rOpenSci, and GitHub. Prior to that, she worked in Cartilage Tissue Engineering at the University of California, San Francisco. This was where her interests for heavy machinery, science, and code first fused. If you don’t catch Dani behind a computer, you’ll often see her in the wild, backpacking, riding her bike, or climbing things. She also makes sure to keep the coffee business afloat where she resides in Portland, Oregon.

Photo of Jon Haddad

Jon Haddad

The Last Pickle

Jon Haddad has 15 years experience in both development and operations. For the last ten he’s worked at various startups in southern California. For the last two years he’s been the maintainer of cqlengine, the Python object mapper for Cassandra, now integrated into the native Cassandra driver. He’s now a Technical Evangelist at DataStax, continuing to focus on advancing Cassandra in the Python operations and data science communities. Jon holds a degree in computer science from the University of Vermont.

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Picture of Dani Traphagen
Dani Traphagen
07/23/2015 8:14am PDT

Hi everyone:

I had heard that some folks that were registered were turned away, so if you are one of those people I wanted to make sure you have access to all the materials from the session.

Here they are as follows:

1. To download the VM zip file: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4OC-YC_YFRxclpZbTJxdmJ6NEU/view?usp=sharing
2. For the slides: http://dtrapezoid.com/oscon-deck/#/ (external link listed above as well)
3. For the most updated gist instructions for the 1st half of the tutorial on CQL: https://gist.github.com/dtrapezoid/42c13b7daba65cee03ef
4. For the instructions on the second half of the tutorial on Spark and Data Frames w/Cassandra: https://github.com/rustyrazorblade/spark-training
5. The chat room that will be active following the talk to get help or ask questions: https://gitter.im/DataStaxCommunity/Cassandra_Spark

As an update on getting running:
1. The .vmx file has been fully tested, so that will work.
2. Windows users: use 7zip to unzip the VM file.


Picture of Dani Traphagen
Dani Traphagen
07/23/2015 7:13am PDT

Hi Sri,

You are all set! :) Enjoy!


Srivatsa Radhakrishna
07/23/2015 3:54am PDT

Hi Dani,

I just requested access to your Google Drive link, can you please give me access?


Picture of Dani Traphagen
Dani Traphagen
07/22/2015 10:25am PDT

Hi Ricky,

I’ve replied to your comment on Gitter and gave you the link to the google drive there. Here’s the link for your convenience: https://drive.google.com/a/datastax.com/file/d/0B4OC-YC_YFRxclpZbTJxdmJ6NEU/view?usp=sharing

I believe OSCON is also throwing it up on the local server as well.

Let me know if you need anything else…super sorry you couldn’t make it! Hope this helps!



Ricky Adkins
07/21/2015 10:22am PDT


I was registered for the Cassandra workshop but arrived a bit late and wasn’t allowed in because the room was at max capacity. I am going through the slides right now and was wondering if the VirtualBox workshop .vdi file is up anywhere?


Picture of Dani Traphagen
Dani Traphagen
07/17/2015 2:08pm PDT

Hi Mark!

Added the .vmx file to the mix. Haven’t had time to test it fully though so buyer beware. :)

Hope this helps! See ya soon!

Mark Pokorny
07/07/2015 10:25am PDT

I use VMware Workstation can this be used instead of Virtual Box?