Once upon a time: a year later...

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I joined Elasticsearch Inc one year ago. Those were pretty exciting days!

But now…

It’s more than that! Really! You could think that after one year, my motivation would start to decrease. I have the total opposite feeling. Still excited by my job, by the company and by the project, but most of all by the amazing team I’m lucky to work with! Everyone is different and each of us adds different value to Elasticsearch. Personally, I learn a lot from my co-workers.

So? What was 2013 like for me at Elasticsearch?

My job consists of two main activities:

  • developer
  • evangelist

As an evangelist, I did 58 talks in 4 countries: France of course, plus Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium. I spoke in 37 towns and did about 18 000 kilometers! W00t! I find it very exciting to meet so many people at conferences and have the opportunity to talk with them.

Some talks and venues were fantastic. For example, for Devoxx France 2013, the room was packed with about 200 attendees and Devoxx Anvers 2013 with about 400 attendees. Very exciting, right?

Devoxx 2013: attendees coming…

Devoxx 2013: attendees coming…

In addition to these talks, our French speaking community is getting more and more members: from almost 0 to more than 400 members in our Elasticsearch-fr meetup group in just one year! Plus, all of our meetups are packed with 80 to 100 attendees for each session. That’s really great.

I’m always very proud to talk about Elasticsearch’s products: Elasticsearch, Kibana and Logstash. These are fantastic open source tools and each developer around the earth should at least know about them. Of course, I think it would be wonderful if everyone also used them. :-)

But let’s focus on France: I’m not such a fan of comparing Elasticsearch to other open source search engines or talking about other tools I don’t know much about. Sometimes, though, I am interested to see how our popularity grows and I do some comparisons with Apache Solr.

Starting in October 2013, in France, for the very first time, the number of searches about Elasticsearch (blue) was above the number of searches for Solr (red).

More than that, France is one of the top countries which downloads Elasticsearch. I really like to think that theses numbers could be related to my evangelist work! 😊

All this success has a price, though. I’m not talking about my health, but about my second job at Elasticsearch: coding!

I did not code so much in 2013. That’s a bit frustrating, as I like coding very much! The other downside is that I don’t learn as fast as some of my other colleagues. But besides this fact, I enjoy doing some pull requests, patches and creating or maintaining some Elasticsearch plugins. Probably, 2014 will help me to dig more and more in Elasticsearch and Lucene internals! :-D

Another important part of my job is to give support for the community and for our customers: training, development and production support. It’s really important for us as developers to make sure everyone has a good experience with our code. We help by building a strong community and we also are very reactive and efficient when your production cluster is down for any reason. Production support is very well organized and I can feel our excellent team spirit in operation when we work on support cases. Even if you the dedicated support contact for a given customer, you are always getting help from your co-workers on a trouble ticket when you haven’t seen this type of problem before or when you are not available.

Two other major events happened this year at Elasticsearch. You probably know that we have a distributed team; just like Elasticsearch nodes, we all form a cluster of engineers, sales, marketing, accounting, office management. So, creating a team spirit or building company core values could be hard.

But that’s not the case here. This year, our management team organized two company meetups in Amsterdam. One in April, where we were about 30. The second one took place in October and we had grown to about 50 employees. That was very cool, as we decided a lot during our meetings; we brainstormed, we shared, we debated. I really enjoyed meeting my co-workers in real life and creating real links between us! I don’t know if we as a company will be able to do such all hands meetings again but I really hope we can!

On an additional note, I also improved my English! And that’s cool after years of no practice at all!


2014 will be at least as exciting as 2013 for me. First, we are going to release Elasticsearch 1.0. It will be a significant version in term of adoption, as well, which means probably more conferences and more support.

From a code perspective, I have lots of stuff in my backlog, such as moving the Elasticsearch Spring factories project to Elasticsearch Spring data project, work on Azure and Google Compute Engine cloud plugins, adding source code analysis, moving some rivers to Logstash, and more …

Beside the list and numbers, it will be a great year working with such a crazy team and welcoming new comers.

Exciting days, right? 😀


David Pilato

20+ years of experience, mostly in Java. Living in Cergy, France.