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Dev of the Week: Itamar Haber

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Dev of the Week: Itamar Haber

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Every week here and in our newsletter, we feature a new developer/blogger from the DZone community to catch up and find out what he or she is working on now and what's coming next. This week we're talking to Itamar Haber, Chief Developers Advocate at Redis Labs, startup veteran, and database maven. Some of his recent posts on DZone include:

1.   What have you been working on lately?

Redis Labs is preparing a couple of major releases that are due before the year's end. While most of the announcements are still confidential, one major area that we've been working on lately is our clustering technology. While the open source Redis Cluster is still in beta (expected to be production ready by the end of the year or early next year), Redis Labs' cluster is already used by hundreds of cloud applications today. Developers who use our clustering technology do not need to change anything in their application and can immediately benefit from the data volume and throughput that our scalable Redis Cloud databases offers.

2.   You recently wrote about an "unbenchmark" with Redis. Were the results what you expected, more or less? What advantages does Redis provide when it comes to performance?

 The "unbenchmark" was an amazing experience and the results were very encouraging. We set out to test Redis Cloud on a single EC2 server but given other activities and priorities, we didn't invest too much time in designing and optimizing the test - we ran it as is just to get a ballpark figure. The results we got - 1.2M ops/sec - were incredible and blew everyone else out of the water. We're planning on following up on this with a real benchmark, i.e. a carefully planned one, and I'm sure the results will be much better.

3.   Are there any particular developer tools or resources you couldn't live without?

Dzone :) Seriously though, as far as resources go, I lean heavily on the community: the Redis mailing list and IRC channel, StackOverflow and Twitter are my most-used go-to channels when I need help. The tools that I use vary depending on the task at hand, but a decent text editor (Notepad++ on Windows and Vim on Linux) are usually my default starting point.

4.   Do you have a favorite open source project (or projects) that you've contributed to recently?

I'm a Redis geek, so Redis is the open source project I spend most of my time with. Since Redis is so popular, there's also a wide range of related projects that I get involved with - there are numerous clients and functional open source libraries that our users and the community develop and use, in any conceivable language and for every use case. I make it my business to be familiar with most of these.

5.   Do you follow any blogs or Twitter feeds that you would recommend to developers?

Most of the content I read is obtained proactively - I search for research topics that interest me - but there are several resources that I follow regardless. Firstly, Antirez's blog is a must for anyone interested in Redis. For more general news and topics, there's Alex Popescu's MyNoSQL and Todd Hoff's High Scalability. I also subscribe to Josiah Carlson's blog - I find his insights extremely valuable.

6.   Did you have a coding first love -- a particular program, gadget, game, or language that set you on the path to life as a developer?

Definitely! The first computer I was really able to get my hands on was a Kaypro II - a portable computer, mind you, that had a 9" green CRT screen and ran CP/M. One of the few things it could do was run an arcade text game called "Ladders," and I was set on understanding how that worked. I had spent countless hours using the "TYPE" command and staring into what (I only learned much later) was the game's binary. I took my first step as a developer when I edited that binary using a text editor and promptly crushed the system when I tried running the modified file.

7.   Is there anything else you'd like to mention?

These are extremely interesting times for me. Most of my experience has to do with databases of all shapes and kinds, and today we're living in a golden era of polyglot persistence. There are so many possibilities for managing data and the challenges have become much more interesting. Big and small data are among the proponents that usher us into an age where data is an unlimited commodity and people are doing wonderful things with it.

Thanks, Itamar!

Be sure to check out Itamar's GitHub and follow him on Twitter.

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