July 17th, 2013

If you’ve been keeping up with DataStax’s ‘Next Great Data Developer‘ $10,000 scholarship program, you’re likely on the edge of your seat wondering which of our two student developers have officially won! If you need to catchup on all the action, check out this blog posting to find out what our talented student contestants have been up to over the last few months in preparation for the contest:



On June 11th at Cassandra Summit 2013 in San Francisco, CA each of the five student developers did an incredible job presenting their Apache Cassandra powered applications (via 5 minute videos) to an audience of over 1,200 developers, entrepreneurs, C-level executives and Cassandra enthusiasts.  After individually presenting, the students took part in a 5 minute ‘lightning round’ of questioning by our rigorous judging panel:

  • John Vrionis – Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners
  • Patrick McFadin – Solutions Architect at DataStax
  • Jonathan Ellis – Apache Cassandra Chair and DataStax Co-Founder & CTO
  • Cathy Daw – QA Director at DataStax
  • Vrushali Channapattan – Software Engineer at Twitter


Two of these student developers walked away from Cassandra Summit 2013 with a full-ride to OSCON2013 (Open Source Conference), taking place next week, July 22nd – 26th, in Portland, OR.  At this conference, our two winners will be presented with $10,000 scholarships by Jonathan Ellis, DataStax Co-Founder/CTO & Apache Cassandra Chair.


Without further a due, here are the Next Great Data Developers and their Apache Cassandra powered applications:


Victoria Mo


Columbia Unveristy: Manhattan, NY

Master’s of Computer Science with emphasis in Machine Learning

GitHub: Vickimo

Website: www.NurserySmiles.com


NurserySmiles was built to digitize and simplify how nurseries record, manage, and share data with parents. Administrators and parents will enjoy this application because they gain better insight into what goes on in the classroom. Nursery caregivers historically give papers to the parents at the end of the day that detail the child’s behavior, growth, and actions, but it ends up taking a lot of time to fill out each form for each child. NurserySmiles would solve this problem by implementing a simple interface for caregivers to batch update the parents, and a real-time application that then updates parents/administrators on the fly.


Lyuben Todorov (@LyubenT)


University of Dundee: Scotland, UK

Undergraduate in Computer Science

Github: Lyubent


The aim of CassTor, the secure replacement for email, is to create a distributed system that can scale proportionally with it’s user base without the need of additional investment allowing for secure and anonymous access to a messaging service for each user whom is part of the system.  Email is used by everyone on a daily bases, but current systems’ security focuses on restricting access between individual users without being concerned about how much ISPs can see. Current systems that provide online anonymity rely on proxy-servers and VPNs to tunnel traffic, with the interface of these services being located in an online web-application. This means that users must first access these services through their web-browser meaning their ISPs still monitor their access to “anonymous” email systems.


Pictures from the event:

Left to Right: Del Bold (San Francisco State University), Yuan ‘Vivien’ Wang (San Francisco State University), Victoria Mo (Columbia University), Brady Gentile (Community Manager, DataStax), Shehaaz Saif (McGill University), Lyuben Todorov (University of Dundee)


 Left to RIght: Vrushali Channapattan (Software Engineer, Twitter), Del Bold (San Francisco State University), Shehaaz Saif (McGill University), Patrick McFadin (Solutions Architect, DataStax), Yuan ‘Vivien’ Wang (San Francisco State University), Victoria Mo (Columbia University), Jonathan Ellis (Co-Founder, DataStax/Apache Cassandra Chair), Cathy Daw (QA Director, DataStax), John Vrionis (Partner, Lightspeed Venture), Lyuben Todorov (University of Dundee)


 Left to Right: Victoria Mo (Columbia University), Christian Hasker (Cassandra Community Marketing), Vrushali Channapattan (Software Engineer at Twitter), Patrick McFadin (Solutions Architect at DataStax),  Cathy Daw (QA Director at DataStax), John Vrionis (Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners), Jonathan Ellis (Apache Cassandra Chair and Co-Founder/CTO at DataStax)


And video presentations from all of our Next Great Data Developer finalists:

Shehaaz Saif (@Shehaaz)

Bargain for Android

McGill University: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Undergraduate in Computer Science and Psychology 

Github: Shehaaz



Yuan Wang


San Francisco State University: San Francisco, CA

Graduate Student in Software Engineering

Github: PinkDatura


Del Bold

Mushroom Hunter

San Francisco State University: San Francisco, CA

Masters in Computer Science

Github: Del42