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A New Hero is Born: Lenny Primak

January 27, 2021

Since we announced the nomination of Tomasz Gawęda, a new Hero has popped up. We are very happy to officially nominate Lenny Primak from the USA to be our latest Hero in the program.

Lenny is a long-time contributor, but some of the Pull Requests he made couldn’t be merged by our teams in a timely fashion. Recently, we could finally manage it. In this picture, you can see Lenny celebrating this merge!

Lenny was kind enough to spend some of his time answering our questions.

Nicolas Fränkel: Hello Lenny! My warmest congratulations on you being named a Hazelcast Hero! I’m glad you accepted this interview. Let’s start easy: could you introduce yourself?

Lenny Primak: Thank you, Nicolas! I’ve been in and out of the tech industry for the past 30 years. I started my career in the telecom space, then spent 20 years on Wall Street in various technology roles, and 13 years as an airline pilot. Covid-19 likely ended my airline career and now I am back in the technology industry, probably until I retire.

NF: Could you tell us how you began to be interested in Hazelcast?

LP: Distributed computing has always been my specialty. I have witnessed many iterations of distributed computing frameworks. I discovered Hazelcast through Payara, and found it to be a well-designed, pragmatic distributed computing solution. People also call me “the breaker” because I break all the software I touch. Hazelcast wasn’t excluded. I found many bugs and improvements that needed to be made and was interested in contributing fixes and solutions to those problems.

NF: You seem to be quite involved with Payara and a couple of other open source projects. How did you choose those projects?

LP: I discovered Jakarta EE when looking for a solution for a consulting client of mine. It just fits into the distributed computing framework that the client desired. While developing an architecture for them, I started using GlassFish, and then Payara, because I liked how these products worked and they pragmatically solved problems that I needed to solve. By proxy, I discovered Apache NetBeans, Apache Groovy, Apache Shiro, and Hazelcast.

NF: How different it is to write code at your job and to write code for open source projects?

LP: None at all. My job currently is working for an open source software company! I started contributing to Payara when I was consulting for my client. My contributions were to fix bugs that I found as I was implementing the solution. After the project ended, I asked Payara if they would hire me and they did!

NF: Some people who are reading this interview might want to start contributing to open source but they don’t know how. Do you have some advice for them?

LP: Just do it! Start small, get your pull request accepted, and bite off bigger and bigger chunks. Don’t get frustrated. You will get into the same issues over and over again. Every new project you may want to contribute to will question your code, your qualifications, your way of thinking, your motivations, etc. This is normal. Don’t get frustrated and be persistent.

NF: Thanks a lot for your time, Lenny, and thanks for your contributions! Congratulations again for your nomination as a Hazelcast Hero! Keep up the good work.

For more information, check out our Hazelcast Heroes program. Remember that you can always keep in touch on Slack.

About the Author

About the Author

Nicolas Frankel

Nicolas Frankel

Developer Advocate, Hazelcast

Nicolas Fränkel is a Developer Advocate with 15+ years experience consulting for many different customers, in a wide range of contexts (such as telecoms, banking, insurances, large retail and public sector). Usually working on Java/Java EE and Spring technologies, but with focused interests like Rich Internet Applications, Testing, CI/CD and DevOps. Currently working for Hazelcast. Also double as a teacher in universities and higher education schools, a trainer and triples as a book author.

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