Brainiac Corner with Shlomi Noach

Posted by VividCortex on May 1, 2014 7:25:00 AM

The Brainiac Corner is a format where we talk with some of the smartest minds in the system, database, devops, and IT world. If you have opinions on pirates, or anything else related, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Today, we interview Shlomi Noach, who, in addition to receiving MySQL Community Member of the Year and Oracle Technologist of the Year Awards, runs data infrastructure at Outbrain.

How did you get from stork to brainiac (i.e. what do you do today and how did you get there)?

I’m an engineer drawn into the world of MySQL. My first serious experience with MySQL was when having to deal with growth of a company I co-founded. I later began training and consulting for MySQL, and was exposed to many interesting companies and use cases. I began developing open source tools and started blogging, both actions quickly drawing me into the MySQL community.

What is in your group’s technology stack?

Linux, Hadoop, Hive, MySQL, Cassandra, Kafka, Zookeper, Java, Scala and a lot more.

Who would win in a fight between ninjas and pirates? Why?

Obviously ninjas. They are professional service providers with an established training program and clear ownership of skills (stealth, poison, disguise, combat). Albeit bad profession. Pirates, on the other hand, are a bunch of uneducated, unshaven, misbehaved, untrained, disloyal drunks.

Also, you wouldn’t want to have a pirate neighbor, but a ninja would make a very quiet neighbor. In fact, you might already have a ninja neighbor, you just don’t know it.

Which is a more accurate state of the world, #monitoringsucks or #monitoringlove?

#monitoringlove of course. You just need to monitor the important metrics, all of the important metrics and nothing but the important metrics. That and being able to make sense in thousands of metrics.

In six words or less, what are the biggest challenges your organization faces?

Growth, growth, monitoring, automation. Six words.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

“Follow your gut feeling”. It is your de-facto indicator for happiness, both at work and in life.

What principles guide your expertise in your given domain?

Try to point out the biggest pains and target those. Accept that perfection cannot be achieved due to various constraints imposed on you. Strive for visibility; it improves your quality of work.

What is your vision for system administration in 5 years?

A whole lot more automation. I don’t think the job will look very different in 5 years, but I expect a larger set of handy, trusted tools.


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