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 Rafał Kuć, software architect and Solr and Lucene specialist. Some of his most recent DZone posts include:
1. What have you been working on lately?
I'm a consultant and a software engineer and my work usually concentrates on those two parts. My recent consulting work included both Apache Solr projects and Elasticsearch ones. Different use cases, different stories - but in general - relevancy, scaling and performance issues. As a software engineer I was mostly busy with our own product called Logsene (http://sematext.com/logsene/index.html). It's a log and data analysis tool, which exposes Elasticsearch API, where you can push your logs and search and analyze them. It is currently free, so if you have logs (I bet you have) and you want a centralized logging solution, go ahead and try it out. I'm also working on a book update, but for not it was not announced, so I don't want to give any specifics :)
2. How did you come to be a Solr and Lucene specialist? Have you worked on any particularly huge or otherwise notable projects that have really stressed the capabilities of these tools?
I was into information retrieval during my masters course at the university and after that I came across Lucene during a few projects in my first work. But I was only using Lucene back then. I've played with it, because it was fast and provided full text search capabilities, but nothing more. After some time I was engaged in a search project for one of the major Polish e-commerce sites with a friend and we've decided to go for Solr and it was a great decision. During that time we had to modify Solr and we got deep into internals of both Solr and Lucene and this is how it all started. After some time we started solr.pl and we met Otis Gospodnetić. I always wanted to work only on search and big data so I couldn't miss that opportunity and become a part of Sematext.
3. Are there any particular developer tools or resources you couldn't live without?
I'm used to Eclipse IDE which I use during development (but not only). I think I couldn't live without tools like JMeter and OS related tools - iostat, dstat and so on. Of course we can't forget the tools that come with the JVM. JMeter helps me with performance testsing. The other ones are life savers when you don't have any monitoring solution installed and you need to diagnose performance issues. They can let you see what is happening at least on the operating system level and that can help a lot, especially during consultancy.
4. Do you have a favorite open source project (or projects) that you've contributed to recently?
Yes, I have - and this is no surprise, Apache Lucene and Solr. I've submitted a few patches recently and I try to contribute whenever time allows.
5. Do you follow any blogs or Twitter feeds that you would recommend to developers?
Yes I do. Of course you should read DZone :) On Twitter I tend to follow people involved in projects I'm interested in - like committers, community managers and so on. I also read their blogs - planet Apache is a great aggregator here (http://planet.apache.org/). I don't want to mention all the sites, because there are just too many of them, but I would like to mention one thing. If you are really interested in an open source project or projects it is really worth it to join the mailing list. It is a very good portion of knowledge reading about people's problems and possible solutions.
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?
A long time ago I was pretty sure that I will use C in my everyday work. I can say that this was my first "love" in terms of programming languages. But before that, when I was a little kid I remember playing video games like River Raid and Road Race on Atari and wondering what magic had to be done to make all those things work :)
7. Is there anything else you'd like to mention?
Thanks for all the good work you are doing and keep it up ;)