9 NoSQL Pioneers Who Modernized Data Management - InformationWeek

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8/30/2015
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Charles Babcock
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9 NoSQL Pioneers Who Modernized Data Management

The folks profiled here are tackling data management for the Internet Age, helping us all understand what can be done with a mass of unstructured information. See how their work has transformed the way we handle databases.
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Damien Katz
CouchDB is similar to MongoDB in its design as a document or software object storage system. Damien Katz, a former Lotus Notes developer at IBM, first aired in an April 2005 blog that he was working on a 'large scale object database' that would be a lightweight, document-oriented system.
Katz self-funded the project through 2005-2006, until it became in February 2007 an Apache open source project. Katz, meanwhile, was serving as CTO of CouchOne, the firm he founded to support CouchDB. Its name is an acronym of a core cloud-computing concept: Cluster Of Unreliable Commodity Hardware. 
In January 2012, Katz announced in a blog he was leaving Apache CouchDB behind to work on Couchbase Server, a combination of CouchDB and memcached. Parts of CouchDB were rewritten from Erlang into C. Meanwhile, CouchOne merged in February 2012 with Membase to form Couchbase, a NoSQL system managing JSON objects with scalable cache management. Katz was chief architect and CTO of Couchbase through August 2013.
In establishing Couchbase, Katz was joined by James Phillips, senior VP of products and former chief strategy office of NorthScale. Zynga implemented NorthScale's data caching system for use with Mafia Wars, Farmville, and other online games for millions of users. 
'For years I've tried my damnedest to get away from C. Too simple, too many details to manage, too old and crufty, too low level. I've had intense and torrid love affairs with Java, C++, and Erlang. I've built things I'm proud of with all of them, and yet each has broken my heart,' Katz wrote in 'The Unreasonable Effectiveness of C,' his January 2013 tribute to the C language. 
Two years ago, Katz left Couchbase as it received $25 million in venture capital funding. He became an architect for Salesforce.com in 2014, leaving after a year to become a self-employed programmer, a job he described as 'CEO and janitor.' That seemed about right for a developer whose favorite saying was: 'Just relax. Nothing is under control.' 
In July 2015, Katz began producing Focus and Drive, an online show in which he and friends drive to different startups to talk about what they're doing. 
(Image: Twitter @damiankatz)

Damien Katz

CouchDB is similar to MongoDB in its design as a document or software object storage system. Damien Katz, a former Lotus Notes developer at IBM, first aired in an April 2005 blog that he was working on a "large scale object database" that would be a lightweight, document-oriented system.

Katz self-funded the project through 2005-2006, until it became in February 2007 an Apache open source project. Katz, meanwhile, was serving as CTO of CouchOne, the firm he founded to support CouchDB. Its name is an acronym of a core cloud-computing concept: Cluster Of Unreliable Commodity Hardware.

In January 2012, Katz announced in a blog he was leaving Apache CouchDB behind to work on Couchbase Server, a combination of CouchDB and memcached. Parts of CouchDB were rewritten from Erlang into C. Meanwhile, CouchOne merged in February 2012 with Membase to form Couchbase, a NoSQL system managing JSON objects with scalable cache management. Katz was chief architect and CTO of Couchbase through August 2013.

In establishing Couchbase, Katz was joined by James Phillips, senior VP of products and former chief strategy office of NorthScale. Zynga implemented NorthScale's data caching system for use with Mafia Wars, Farmville, and other online games for millions of users.

"For years I've tried my damnedest to get away from C. Too simple, too many details to manage, too old and crufty, too low level. I've had intense and torrid love affairs with Java, C++, and Erlang. I've built things I'm proud of with all of them, and yet each has broken my heart," Katz wrote in "The Unreasonable Effectiveness of C," his January 2013 tribute to the C language.

Two years ago, Katz left Couchbase as it received $25 million in venture capital funding. He became an architect for Salesforce.com in 2014, leaving after a year to become a self-employed programmer, a job he described as "CEO and janitor." That seemed about right for a developer whose favorite saying was: "Just relax. Nothing is under control."

In July 2015, Katz began producing Focus and Drive, an online show in which he and friends drive to different startups to talk about what they're doing.

(Image: Twitter @damiankatz)

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Charlie Babcock
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9/4/2015 | 6:25:03 PM
How about Chris Lindblad as the 10th?
A nominee that's come in as the tenth pioneer is Chris Lindblad, co-founder of MarkLogic predecessor Cerisent in 2001. It became MarkLogic in 2005 with headquarters in San Carlos, Calif. He is the former chief architect of the Ultraseek search engine at Infoseek; Ultraseek is now part of Autonomy. Lindblad still works as chief of development at the firm. MarkLogic is a document-oriented database that evolved out of XML database roots, which can also conduct relational's ACID transactions. The BBC used MarkLogic for its 2012 Olympic Data Services. So is Chris a NoSQL pioneer or a combined database system pioneer? Any votes for Chris Lindblad?

 

 
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
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9/4/2015 | 5:53:11 PM
Altiscale CEO describes Cutting's sense of system design
This comment came in from Raymie Stata, who hired Doug Cutting at Yahoo at the time Stata was chief architect of algorithmic search. (He's now CEO of Hadoop company, Altiscale.) "What I appreciate about Doug is that he has a great design sense--relatively few programmers have that--and yet he's also very practical (and prodigious), so he gets things done fast.  Lucene and Avro demonstrate Doug's originality and creativity, and the result is clean but practical systems that have become very popular. The case of Hadoop is different: his good design sense told him that the Google guys did a great job and that there wasn't much sense in trying to improve upon that. He stated this quite explicitly. While those around them (some inside Yahoo!, some out) were busy trying to improve upon the MapReduce paradigm, Doug used Google's paper as the blueprint and (with Mike Cafarella) cranked out the initial implementation amazingly fast. This was important, because it turned out that the important engineering was more about building an implementation that could scale, rather than improving upon the abstraction. It's unusual for a single developer to have two 'smash hits' in Open Source (Lucene and Hadoop). I chalk that up to Doug's combination of design sense and practicality." - Raymie Stata, CEO of Altiscale

 

 
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
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8/31/2015 | 4:22:55 PM
NoSQL system builders are not necessarily data scientists
Asksqn, Few NoSQL pioneers would ever claim to be data scientists. They're system builders for big data purposes, not data scientists working with big data. But you might try Lisa Morgan's: 6 Characteristics of Data Drive Rock Stars. http://www.informationweek.com/big-data/big-data-analytics/6-characteristics-of-data-driven-rock-stars/d/d-id/1320502

 
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