Shai Rosenfeld: “We're seeing a fair amount of adoption of node.js on Engine Yard"

Ofer Dak@startupmania

Shai started out playing with Ruby and Rails in 2006. After supporting and helping scale some of the largest Ruby production systems, he moved on to development of one of the leading Platform as a Services and is an Engineer at Engine Yard. He has his hands full with work and says “there’s never enough time”, but somehow he finds it: “I take an occasional open university course when I have time outside of work. I'll spike small side projects once in a while, but mostly for fun. Also I have a band I meet with on the weekends and play some jazz standards with”.

Hi Shai, What are you working on these days?

“I'm mostly focusing on adding features to cloud.engineyard.com. Some work on the add-on partner program (which a big part of that work is how I've come up with the talk I’m going to give). I'm also on the Security team so any related work, bug/security fixes, in the product, as well as general maintenance etc.

Tell us a bit about your talk
“Basically it's a talk about testing HTTP APIs with Ruby; API's are the foundation of SOA / distributed systems. It’s the "aaS" in all the SaaS/PaaS/IaaS. So pretty crucial. But I haven't seen much talk about testing APIs, and the fact of the matter is, it's a pretty unintuitively complicated problem, especially if you take client libraries for those API's into account. So I'll go into various different approaches and problems that can happen when you use each approach. Hopefully you'll be a little more confused, and smarter by the end. :)”

Shai Rosenfeld

What technologies are you currently interested in?
“I dabble in NoSQL databases (been playing with Riak recently) even though for most cases traditional Relational db's are completely sufficient. There are use-cases where they can be helpful. Recently we've been working on converting a simple app we have (so it'd be easy to normalize to key-value since the data model is fairly straightforward) to use riak on the backend. Since it's a SPOF system, we need HA. Riak seems to work pretty well. You can destroy a node in a cluster of riak nodes and data doesn't get lost. That’s pretty amazing”.

Any technologies worth keeping an eye on? Any trends you think are going to catch on?

“There’s so much going on nowadays, it's hard to keep up! Node.js certainly seems to be catching a lot of traction. We’ve recently added it to cloud.engineyard.com and there's a fair amount of adoption of it recently. But I haven't done much with it myself, so it's hard to say. I think it has more followers than rails does, on Github. Which is some form of an indicator, but I think for a full-fledged project, rails still has the overhand. I'd think node.js is more for certain specific systems, or parts of systems, that it could work well for”. 

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