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Gold Sponsor • Kontagent

Photograph of Charles Marker, VP of Engineering at Kontagent.

Q & A with Charles Marker, VP of Engineering

What is your mission?

The Kontagent mission is to enable our customers to deliver the perfect customer experience through the use of actionable data. The Kontagent development team is responsible for developing the platform for efficient collection of this data and applications which enable customer insight. Currently our system supports millions of active users and processes trillions of events resulting in petabytes of data.

Tell us about the technologies/platform you use.

We use a number of Open Source products along with internally developed solutions to provide the Kontagent data platform and applications. External products include Kafka, Storm, Hadoop, Hive and MySQL. Internal solutions are developed in Python and Java. We continue to build out our product offerings with both Open Source software and internally developed solutions as appropriate to provide a flexible platform which efficiently scales and applications which provide deep insight.

Why did you choose to sponsor PyCon Canada?

We make use of Python a lot in our products and want to ensure its ongoing success. In addition, we want to be aware of the up and coming Python technologies that will allow us to further grow and scale our infrastructure. Finally, we want to build strong relationships with other members of the Python development community.

Tell us about some of the technical challenges your developers will be working on in the next 6-12 months.

We are always focused on how to effectively scale our system which currently processes over six billion events per day. As the number of events continues to grow we must build systems which can scale by orders of magnitude beyond our current capabilities. In addition, we need to enable our customers to better utilize this data through applications which provide the deeper insight and broader automation. In order to achieve our mission, we need to develop the core technology and algorithms that help us understand complex systems and markets. This way we can anticipate a customer need before they know they need it.

What is a day in the life of a developer at Kontagent like?

Our teams are self managing and are encouraged to work together in a open environment. This includes daily stand ups for information sharing and collaborative discussions among team members throughout the day. We encourage iterative feature development with a focus on decreasing lead-time in order to increase the actual value of our deliverables. We utilize modern developer workflows using git and pull requests and strive for complete unit test coverage with continuous integration. We like to have fun which includes everything from discussing brain teasers over the company provided lunches to shooting a team member with a nerd dart to scavenger hunts and playing board games late into the evening.

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