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On Cheating with Big Data

To achieve the scales of Big Data, you have to cheat in some way. Sometimes people call these tradeoffs. In Big Data, I prefer to call them cheats. A tradeoff makes it sound like a small thing, but the reality is that Big Data tradeoffs can make a use case possible or impossible. I don’t […]

When You Have the Wrong Team for Big Data

In my book, Data Engineering Teams, I talk about the right skills and people to be on a data engineering team. The right skills and people are incredibly important to the success, or failure, of a Big Data project. Sometimes it’s easier to understand this point with some real examples. Instead of telling you what […]

Integration Testing for Kafka

We’re creating more and more complicated data pipelines and systems with Kafka. These interactions are becoming even more complex as we create microservices. As we create these complex systems, we aren’t thinking about how to test, debug, or fix them. These 3 parts are the defining factors of a project’s ongoing success. What Are Integration […]

How Training is Delivered – From the Beginning to the End

Teams will often tell me how much better my training classes are than what they’ve had before. They go on to tell me how the training they’ve attended previously were useless. My students are surprised that I can answer programming questions, no matter how difficult they are. I want to share some of the behind […]

Two Halves Don’t Make a Whole

In Chapter 3 of my Data Engineering Teams book, I show you how to do a skill gap analysis. During the analysis of the team, you either say the person has the skill or not. It’s a very binary decision. Some people have written me asking if it can be a fraction. Instead of a […]

Apache Kafka and Amazon Kinesis

This post will focus on the key differences a Data Engineer or Architect needs to know between Apache Kafka and Amazon Kinesis. Cloud vs DIY Some of the contenders for Big Data messaging systems are Apache Kafka, Amazon Kinesis, and Google Cloud Pub/Sub (discussed in this post). While similar in many ways, there are enough […]

This is Useless (Without Use Cases)

Sometimes I’ll write a post and the comments will say something to the effect of “this is useless.” Other times I’ll be finishing up a class and a student will ask me why I didn’t cover what they’re trying to. I’ve written example code and people will ask me why didn’t write it on something […]

The Blame Game

When a Big Data project fails, there’s plenty of blame to go around. When I do the retrospectives with teams who are failing or about to fail, their blame is often misplaced. There’s a focus on blaming the technology. The more difficult considerations of looking inwards at the team itself is often skipped. The teams […]

What It Looks Like From the Outside

I teach and mentor teams that have started or are several months into their projects. I see what happens after they’ve experienced problems. I view the teams from the outside looking in. I see the manifestations of problems and I have to figure out what the root of each problem is. These issues often come […]

Medium Data

Most companies aren’t experiencing Big Data or small data problems. They’re experiencing a witching hour of sorts. This a point in their growth where their data is too big for small data and too small for Big Data. As I’m teaching at companies, I’m finding as much as 80% of use cases are falling into […]