In the run-up to Scylla Summit 2018, we’ll be featuring our speakers and providing sneak peeks at their presentations. This interview in our ongoing series is with Martin Strycek of Kiwi.com. His presentation at Scylla Summit is entitled Kiwi.com Migration to Scylla: The Why, the How, the Fails and the Status.
Martin, before we get into the details of your talk, we’d like to get to know you a little better. Outside of technology, what do you enjoy doing? What are your interests and hobbies?
Thank you for the great opportunity to speak at Scylla Summit. I really like outdoor sports such as snowboarding and mountain biking. I find my peace while mountain biking with my 2-year-old daughter in a trailer. Before she was born it was all about kiteboarding for me. Wind and water is a wonderful combination! One of my dreams is to captain a sailboat.
How did you end up getting into database technologies? What path led you to getting hands-on with Scylla?
Like many developers I started with relational databases, but found interest and application of NoSQL databases while working at piano.io. There I got hooked into Hadoop and big data analyses. This continued while working as head of technology for Exponea. It’s a marketing automation platform based on a proprietary in-memory engine combined with Hadoop. At Kiwi.com I’m trying not to slow things down by being hands-on with Scylla. There are better engineers than I am. 😊 As an engineering manager, it’s my job to keep the ball rolling.
Martin Strycek spotted in his native habitat.
What will you cover in your talk?
For Kiwi.com the move from Cassandra to Scylla is one of our strategic initiatives. It’s not just a portion of our systems that would be using it.
You are an engineering manager. What do you think is the most crucial factor in leading a technical team in this revolutionary time in technology?
I don’t think there exists one “silver bullet” factor for it, but since I have to pick one it definitely would be never stop innovating. Or as a wise man said, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” If you are not selling your technology as a primary business, nurture your technology stack the same way you nurture your business. Your business is nothing without the technology and the technology is nothing without your business.
If you were to give any other technical leader a piece of advice in managing change in their organization, whether a technical platform change like a database, or an organizational change to meet new corporate needs, what would you say?
Take your time when introducing any significant decision or change. Disagree, but commit to it.
Thank you, Martin.