My conversation with the great Nathan Marz

Three months ago I attended the NoSQL matters conference in Barcelona. The keynote speaker was Nathan Marz. Nathan is the creator of Storm, an open source real-time processing framework on top of which I’ve leveraged heavy scaling in the past 1.5 year. His blog is motivating (it’s probably the reason I started this blog) and he writes a new book on Big Data. So overall, I had solid reasons I wanted to meet and discuss with a person I admire.

Having missed the chance to meet him at the conference, I e-mailed him 5 hours before my return flight to London. To my surprise he was happy to have some churros with me on such a late notice! We discussed how inefficient Google-like interviews are for both the programmer and the company, how Storm had helped my previous company and how life was at Twitter / San Francisco.

I was impressed when he said that they were using the 1-hour algorithm/coding question interviews at Backtype until they realised that really smart people with significant open source accomplishments were struggling with the easiest problems. Reason being is that programmers at such interviews do not work under real life conditions (whiteboard not fast tools they’re used to, people looking at you when you code, and in many times, you don’t get to solve algorithms every day at work). We also discussed about blogging and how much trolling and misinterpretation can occur depending on the way you write. I am glad he had read and found my first blogpost useful and well-written.

I truly enjoyed our conversation and I encourage you to contact the respective people on your list. If you don’t have one, make one. Every person’s desire is to be significant and to be recognised. What better way is there to show appreciation to those you admire and to take an interest in who they are and what their mission is?

The results will always be beneficial.

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