We Do Need Another Hero

Nicolas Frankel | Mar 15, 2021

Please forget the pun in the post’s title, I couldn’t resist. Today, we are happy to welcome another Hero from our community, Piotr Jasina.

Piotr Jasina

In this post, I asked my usual battery of questions to Piotr.

Nicolas Fränkel: Hello Piotr! Congratulations on being promoted to Hazelcast Hero! It’s a pleasure to interview you. Let’s start easy: could you introduce yourself?

Piotr Jasina: Hey Nicolas, thank you. I’m Piotr Jasina, and I live in Lublin, Poland. I studied at the Maria Curie Skłodowska University. I’m a Java Engineer with hands-on experience in public clouds, back-end development and solving issues of scale and high-throughput in distributed systems.

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

PJ: I’ve been interested in distributed systems and Big Data in general. When I was at one of the Java conferences, I heard about the Hazelcast project, which implements features like distributed in-memory data grid, parallel processing, messaging or scheduled executing. I started learning about the project and followed a few people from Hazelcast (among others Jiri Holusa) on Twitter to stay up to date. One day Jiri posted that you are looking for contributors. I always wanted to start my adventure with Open Source, but I lacked courage. So I’ve talked with Jiri a bit and started working on my first issue. At the beginning, it was a minor change to the documentation. Then following the saying “appetite comes with eating”, I began to take on increasingly challenging tasks, going through bug fixing to implementing an entire feature in the Hazelcast Core.

NF: You seem to be a very prolific Open Source contributor. Could you tell us more about the Dapr project and how it benefits from having integration with Hazelcast?

PJ: Dapr is just a facade that provides a common REST API for several distributed services. I’ve worked in Dapr on a Hazelcast integration with their pub-sub component. From my perspective, unlike other pub-sub components (e.g. Kafka), Hazelcast heavily relies on in-memory storing and processing, so the events aren’t slowed by things like disk accesses. Thanks to that we can achieve a fast messaging system that can handle very high throughput and provide low latency. So if you don’t need message persistence in your application, then Hazelcast fits very well. Another benefit of the Hazelcast integration is that we can easily create an event broker embedded in our application and then just expose it via Dapr without the need for additional resources or redundant network traffic

NF: As a developer, you probably write a lot of code already for your job during the daytime. Why do you write code for Open Source during the nighttime?

PJ: A full-time job and open-source coding at once is indeed a challenge. I wrote most of my code for Hazelcast on weekends. Except for the more complex tasks, which required a little more coding. Usually, I came up with most ideas for solving an issue by going for a walk or doing everyday activities away from the computer. If I had an idea for a solution that was taking a long time, I used to implement the solution during work leave.

NF: You may know there are people out there who would love to contribute to Open Source, but they don’t know how to start. Would you have any advice to help them?

PJ: If you like challenges, you will certainly not run out of them here. Additionally, the Open Source people are very positive, helpful, and very experienced. There are a lot of enthusiasts that want to make the world a better place and simply believe that code should be open. Working with them is a lot of fun, so it may be an exciting springboard for you from writing typical enterprise solutions. Even if you are a super-duper developer, you just can start by making changes to the documentation and then take on more and more challenging tasks as long as you enjoy doing it. If you want to start and still don’t know how to, you can contact someone on Slack or just reach me on Linkedin.

Thanks Piotr for taking the time to answer my questions. Congrats again on being our newest Hero and keep up the good work!

And if you, dear reader, are interested in Hazelcast and want to start your journey in Open Source too, please follow Piotr’s advice and join our Slack.

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About the Author

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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