May 2nd, 2016

Jeff Jirsa, Sr. Systems Engineer, CrowdStrike
Currently a Sr. Systems Engineer at Crowdstrike, Jeff has been running Cassandra clusters in production since 0.6. His current focus is managing clusters that power Crowdstrike's cloud platform, tracking hostile adversaries by correlating billions of endpoint events.

The DataStax MVP Program for Apache Cassandra™ recognizes key individuals who have gone above and beyond to share their knowledge and expertise to help the Cassandra community learn about the massively scalable NoSQL database.The MVP Program provides these selected individuals with the opportunity to write articles and white papers, speak with press, analysts and industry thought-leaders, to present both online in webinars and at key events, to blog as an official MVP member, and enjoy recognition amongst their community peers. This recognition is a key differentiator in career development in this exciting market. The MVP designation is awarded annually and announced at the Cassandra Summit.

If you have someone you’d like to nominate as an 2016-2017 DataStax MVP for Apache Cassandra, you can nominate them here. The nomination period will end June 30th, 2016.

Each year, DataStax opens nominations for their MVP Program for Apache Cassandra™. In 2015, I was fortunate enough to be selected, and it’s been a great experience. Looking back on the year, a few things stand out:

  • I’ve met a lot of great people. One of the beautiful things about the Cassandra community is that many of us face the same challenges in our day to day jobs. Cassandra is fairly young, so meeting people that can provide educated second opinions is priceless. Prior to being an MVP, I spent a lot of time reading the user mailing list and trying to help (and get help) on IRC and Stack Overflow. Being an MVP introduced me to many of those people in person, as well as a new set of friends, many of whom have large or complex installations. Together, we’ve spent countless hours talking about Cassandra and tech in general.
  • I’ve had a bunch of opportunities talk about our experiences running Cassandra. At Cassandra Summit, I spent some time talking about how Crowdstrike used DTCS, as well as talked to quite a few people about reasons we prefer EBS rather than ephemeral disks (a talk colleagues at Crowdstrike presented at both Cassandra Summit and AWS re:Invent 2015). I also gave a presentation on Cassandra’s read and write paths at a local Seattle Cassandra Users meetup. While being an MVP doesn’t require giving presentations, it certainly provides a lot of fun opportunities, and those opportunities always lead to meeting new people and learning about new ways to use Cassandra.
  • I’ve learned a lot about Cassandra. A lot of what I learned came from talking to other MVPs about challenges they have, and how they’ve overcome those challenges in novel ways, like using coordinator tiers, techniques for batching counters, D2 instances, and even watched some crazy hackers get to the root of a regression that caused blocked threads. The opportunity to bounce ideas off of others trying to solve similar problems is almost invaluable.

Overall, being an MVP has been fantastic. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I heard I had been selected, but I’m very happy with the people I’ve met, discussions I’ve had, and knowledge that was shared. Sincere thanks to the DataStax community team (especially Lina! Thanks Lina!) for all that they do.