October 22nd, 2013

A huge congratulations to this year’s 2014 DataStax Cassandra Rebel Elites (formally known as MVPs)!  On Thursday October 17th, at Cassandra Summit EU, DataStax hosted a ceremony bringing together 8 of the 32 Rebel Elites who joined us at the event to receive recognition for their outstanding Cassandra community efforts. During that time, we announced all 32 Rebel Elites for 2014.

(Rebel Elites from Left to Right: Dave Gardner, Richard Low, Mick Semb Wever, Theo Hultberg, Matt Kennedy, Eric Zoerner, Patricia Gorla, Aaron Morton; Hosting: Patrick McFadin)


The DataStax Cassandra Rebel Elite program 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 Rebel Elite Program provides selected individuals with the opportunity to write articles and whitepapers, speak with press, analysts and industry thought-leaders, to present both in online webinars and at key events, and to enjoy recognition amongst their Apache Cassandra community peers.


This recognition is a key differentiator in career development in this exciting market. The Rebel Elite designation is awarded annually at a Cassandra Summit conference.


During this ceremony, our 8 Rebel Elite members received the gift of a full Raspberry Pi kit, depicted below.  All 32 of this year’s 2014 Rebel Elites will be receiving this kit, as a gift of appreciation for their outstanding work in the Apache Cassandra community.


Without further ado, here are your 2014 DataStax Cassandra Rebel Elites:



Russ Bradberry@devdazed

Principal Architect at SimpleReach


About Russ

Russell Bradberry is the Principal Architect at SimpleReach where he is responsible for architecting and building out highly scalable data solutions. He has put into market a wide range of products including a real time bidding ad server, a rich media ad management tool, a content recommendation system and most recently a real time social intelligence platform. He is also the author of the NodeJS Cassandra driver Helenus.


Rick Branson@rbranson

Infrastructure Engineer at Instagram


About Rick

Rick is an Infrastructure Engineer at Instagram where he spends his days building scalable systems to deal with their meteoric growth rates. Rick is a totally impatient dude, so he’s spent the last 10 years obsessed with making complex production systems faster and more reliable. Previously he was a Solutions Architect at DataStax, and has held various engineering roles at Coroutine, Mosaik Solutions, and FedEx.


Ed Capriolo@edwardcapriolo

Hadoop Systems Admin at Media6Degrees


About Ed

Edward Capriolo is a Hadoop System Admin at m6d.com. Always interested clustered, fault tolerant, and grid computing systems he became dazzled by Apache Cassandra. He is organizer for the NYC Cassandra User Group, NoSQL NYC, and the New York Cloud and Grid Computing Meetup Group. In his spare time, he authored Cassandra High Performance Cookbook for both fun and homage.


Eric Lubow@elubow

CTO at SimpleReach


About Eric

Eric Lubow, CTO of SimpleReach, began his career building secure systems at Guardian Digital before joining Conductor.com, where he developed and ran their ad systems. After graduating from Rutgers University with a degree in Information Systems, Eric did multiple tours with the U.S. Army including serving in Iraq as a Lieutenant and Albania as a Captain. He is a board advisor for the IronMatt.org charity for pediatric brain tumors, a mixed martial artist, motorcyclist, and seasoned skydiver. Eric is also co-author of the book Practical Cassandra.



Nate McCall@zznate

Sr. Consultant, Director of Software Development at The Last Pickle, Inc.


About Nate

Nate McCall has over 12 years of server side systems and software development experience. He is currently development lead for the Usergrid platform at Apigee and is also the lead developer and release manager of the open source Hector client for Apache Cassandra. Prior to Apigee, Nathan was with DataStax where he held several positions including team lead for DataStax Enterprise, and developer evangelist while occasionally conducting Apache Cassandra training sessions for DataStax customers.



Aaron Morton@aaronmorton

C* Committer/Co-Founder and Principle Architect at The Last Pickle, Inc.


About Aaron

Aaron Morton is the Co Founder & Principal Consultant at The Last Pickle (thelastpickle.com). A professional services company that works with clients to deliver and improve Apache Cassandra based solutions. He’s based in New Zealand, is an Apache Cassandra Committer and part of the DataStax Cassandra Rebel Elite program.


Brian O’Neill —  @boneill42

Lead Architect at Health Market Science


About Brian

Brian is Chief Architect at Health Market Science (HMS) where he heads development of their data management and analytics platform, powered by Storm and Cassandra.  Brian won InfoWorld’s Technology Leadership award in 2013 and authored, Storm: Blueprints for Realtime Computation (due out 12/2013).  He has a number of patents and holds a B.S. in C.S. from Brown University.


Vijay Parthasarathy@vijay2win

Apache Cassandra Committer


About Vijay

As a Principal Engineer at Samsung Vijay is responsible for building consumer facing, distributed, high performance realtime big data solutions. Prior to samsung he worked at Netflix, he was tasked to implement distributed, highly available datastore running on commodity hardware for the next generation Netflix app’s in the cloud. Vijay is a also a Apache-Cassandra Committer and a Technical Adviser for Trap.


Eddie Satterly@eddie_satterly

Chief Big Data Evangelist at Splunk


About Eddie

Mr. Satterly has served in a variety of roles including developer, engineer, architect and CTO over his 23 year career for Fortune 500 companies. He has been a long time Splunk fan and user. More recently he was able to revolutionize the way Expedia delivers their core web applications that resulted in improved user experience. At Expedia, he created a highly scalable and flexible Splunk environment and as a result was able to retire 35 other systems and saved $14m the first 6 months of use.


Kelly Sommers@kellabyte

Mobile Developer


About Kelly

Kelly Sommers is a software developer from eastern Canada with experience in the telecom and mobile industries. Kelly has been an advisor to Microsoft’s Patterns and Practices CQRS Journey project. Kelly is well known on Twitter (@kellabyte) and her popular blog (kellabyte.com) for her interactions and bringing energy to a diverse set of communities across multiple platforms such as mobile, big data, and distributed systems.


Adrian Cockcroft@adrianco

Cloud Architect at Netflix


About Adrian

Adrian Cockcroft is the director of architecture for the Cloud Systems team at Netflix. He is focused on availability, resilience, performance, and measurement of the Netflix cloud platform, and has presented at many conferences, including the Cassandra Summit, QCon/GOTO, Cloud Connect, Velocity, Gluecon and Structure.


Dave Brosius@mebigfatguy

Apache Cassandra Committer



Jay Patel @pateljay3001

Technical Architect at eBay


About Jay

Jay is a hands-on architect within Data Infrastructure & Services at eBay. He architects data storage behind eBay.com, which can scale up to hundred billion database calls every day. He is currently leading the evaluation of NoSQL and adoption of Cassandra for various eBay projects, and is developing NoSQL knowledge bases and best practices. In the not too distant past, he built the first version of eBay’s cloud manager platform. He also developed various social apps as well as SOA and Hadoop prototypes. Before joining eBay, Jay worked on various projects at IBM, and built a Unified Messaging System at a telecom startup. Jay holds an M.S. in Computer Engineering from San Jose State University, and is currently learning cool machine learning techniques at Stanford.


Richard Low@richardalow

Software Engineer at SwiftKey


About Richard

Richard is responsible for the analytics infrastructure at SwiftKey. Previously, he worked at Acunu where he led the Cassandra and analytics team.


John Berryman@JnBrymn

Data Architect at OpenSource Connections


About John

Coming from a background of Aerospace Engineering, John soon discovered that his true interest lay at the intersections of technology, entrepreneurship, and math. In early 2011, John stepped away from his day job to take up freelance software consulting. Finally John found permanent employment at Opensource Connections where he currently consults large enterprises about full-text search and Big Data applications. Highlights to this point have included prototyping the future of search with the US Patent and Trademark Office, and integrating semantic search and product recommendations into Solr search engine, and building up the infrastructure for an ad analytics company using Cassandra.


Theo Hultberg @iconara

Developer at Burt


About Theo

Theo Hultberg is Chief Architect at Burt, a Gothenburg based startup building business intelligence products for publishers and media owners. He’s the author of cql-rb, the CQL driver for Ruby and the co-organizer of his local Ruby, and distributed systems user groups. Besides being a Rebel Elite, his only claim to fame is that he has more reputation on Stack Overflow than Jeff and Joel combined.



Michael Kjellman@mkjellman

Software Engineer at Barracuda Networks


About Michael

Michael Kjellman is a Software Engineer, from San Francisco, working at Barracuda Networks. Michael works across multiple products, technologies, and languages. He primarily works on Barracuda’s spam.



Dave Gardner@davegardnerisme

Senior Engineer at Hailo


About Dave

Dave Gardner is part of the services team at Hailo – the taxi app company. He has helped build the Hailo platform that brings together taxi drivers and passengers in 6 cities across the globe and counting, focussing on availability and resilience. Dave has worked with Apache Cassandra since 2010 and is the founder of the Cassandra London user group.



Niall Milton@NiallMilton

Senior System Architect at DigBigData


About Niall

Niall Milton is an experienced engineer/architect working in Cloud, Mobile & Enterprise spheres. He’s currently providing consultancy, helping companies adopt next generation NoSQL and Storage technologies such as Apache Cassandra, OpenStack and Hadoop, working from feasibility to installation of petabyte scale systems. Niall is a qualified as a project manager to IPMA Level C. As well as being the organiser of the Dublin Cassandra Meetup, he is also a DataStax certified Cassandra Developer and Administrator.


Nathan Milford@NathanMilford

Lead Architect at Shutterstock


About Nathan

Nathan is the Lead Architect for Infrastructure Services at Shutterstuck where he is building an self-serve infrastructure service. Nathan is Interested in large data projects, scalable architectures, distributed systems, and open source. In his spare time, Nathan is a photographer and practitioner of Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai. You can follow his blog at : http://blog.milford.io/



Christos Kalantzis @chriskalan

Engineering Manager Cloud Persistence at Netflix


About Christos

A humanitarian at heart, Christos tries to focus his efforts in creating technology that enhances lives. He has built and lead teams at YouSendIt and Netflix to scale out their persistence layers, create a cloud file system and to adopt Apache Cassandra as a scalable and highly available data solution. Christos has worked as a DB2, SQL Server and MySQL DBA for over 10 years and through, sometimes painful, trial and error he has learned the advantages and limitations of RDBMS and when the modern NoSQL solutions make sense. Christos believes in knowledge sharing, that is why he is a huge advocate of Open Source software. Christos shares his software experience through blogging, pod-casting and mentoring new start-ups. He also sits on the tech advisory board of the OpenFund Project, which is an Angel VC for European start-ups.



Eric Zoerner@Eric_Zoerner

Senior Backend Developer at eBuddy


About Eric

Eric has been a senior software developer at eBuddy for three years, working on eBuddy’s XMS messaging platform with a focus on data management and contact discovery. Previously he worked on query engine development for GemFire data management platform at GemStone Systems (technology now acquired by Pivotal).


Jon Haddad@rustyrazorblade

Senior Architect at SHIFT


About Jon

Jon Haddad is the Senior Architect at SHIFT and is one of the maintainers of CQLengine. Jon has spent the last decade at various startups in the LA area. His previous projects include Answerbag.com and Livestrong.com



Patricia Gorla@patriciagorla

Systems Engineer at OpenSource Connections


About Patricia

Patricia is a systems engineer with OpenSource Connections. Starting with Python application development, Patricia moved to data analysis after becoming fascinated with machine learning. From there, she has worked on many full-stack data projects: gathering and scrubbing the data, running analyses, and developing custom visualizations to lay out the information. She is passionate about information retrieval, and loves tackling the challenges companies face with fast-growing datasets.


Mick Semb Wever @mck_sw

Senior Developer at FINN.no


About Mick

Mick is a programmer at FINN.no, Norway’s largest classifieds website, working on core platform systems. Also a committer for Apache Tiles.


Jason Brown@jasobrown

Apache Cassandra Committer & Senior Software Engineer at Netflix 


About Jason

Jason Brown is a Senior Software Engineer at Netflix where he led the pilot project for using and deploying Cassandra in a production EC2 environment. Lately he’s been contributing to various open source projects around the Cassandra ecosystem, including the Apache Cassandra project itself. Holding a Master’s Degree in Music Composition, Jason longs to write a second string quartet.


Joe Stein@allthingshadoop

Founder, Principal Consultant at Big Data Open Source Security LLC


About Joe

Joe Stein is currently the Founder and Principle Architect at Big Data Open Source Security LLC. Joe has been a distributed systems developer and architect for over 12 years. He has built a variety of product solutions, security solutions, information exchanges and has been responsible for running them as services across different verticals.


Matt Kennedy@mattmorefaster

Solution Architect: Big Data at Fusion-io


About Matt

Matt Kennedy is a Solutions Architect at Fusion-io. He works with customers to apply the performance benefits of low-latency server-side flash technology to NoSQL databases, Hadoop clusters and other big data technologies. Matt has been a Cassandra user and occasional contributor since version 0.7 and is a co-organizer of the DC Cassandra Users meetup group in the Washington DC area.


Mark Papadakis@markpapadakis

Head of R&D at Phaistos Networks, S.A.


Robert Coli

Senior Database Administrator at Eventbrite

Robert Coli is a Senior Database Administrator at Eventbrite. Preivously, Robert has worked at PalominoDB and Digg as  a Database and Datastore Administrator, respecively.  


Christoph Hack @tux21b