Get to know our latest champion—and how you can nab the title next time

ByChristina LinJenny MedeirosonSeptember 13, 2023
Meet Erlend: our new Redpanda Community champion

If you’re active in our Redpanda Community on Slack, then you've probably seen Erlend around, always ready to lend a hand and give feedback on different projects. His willingness to contribute and knack for being awesome hasn’t gone unnoticed.

From helping fellow developers on Slack to raising issues on GitHub and even assisting the Redpanda team to catch bugs—Erlend became somewhat of an unofficial champion in our eyes. Well, today we’d like to make it official.

So, we’re shining the spotlight on Erlend Faxvaag—this quarter’s Redpanda Community Champion!

With a special swag pack on the way (fit for a champion) and a personalized badge he can showcase on his online profiles, Erlend lent us some of his time to share his story with the Community.

Let's meet the mind behind so many highlights in our buzzing Community.

Getting to know Erlend

Erlend started his professional journey in automation engineering but decided to switch tracks and earn a Master’s degree in Cybernetics with a strong focus on AI and web programming. While his dream job was to become an astronaut, Erlend was happy to help build and launch software products instead.

Nowadays, Erlend is a data analyst and full-stack developer with nearly half a decade of experience. When he’s not coding, he leads an action-packed life that balances both nature and urban. By day, you can often find him biking through the mountains. By night, he swaps his biking gear for DJ equipment, playing sets in various clubs across Oslo. (Check him out on Instagram @erlendfax!)

As for his professional side, Erlend works at a startup called Hark Technologies, which installs IoT devices that monitor electrical consumption across Scandinavia and broadcast vast amounts of data.

Their small (yet mighty) team interfaces with third-party systems like heaters and electric vehicles, amplifying the need for efficient data processing systems. Erlend himself wears many hats – from setting up Redpanda to developing the company's landing page in React.

A peek into what Erlend is working on

For Erlend and his team over at Hark Technologies, the biggest challenge was managing the flood of data streaming through their IoT devices. Scaling their systems was also a huge issue, so they embarked on a quest to find a robust solution that could efficiently handle their increasing datasets.

One day, their CTO introduced Erlend to Redpanda, and he quickly realized its simplicity, efficiency, and high-throughput capacity were precisely what they needed. They performed some preliminary testing, and when Redpanda passed without a hitch, Hark Technologies confidently adopted it for their more mission-critical operations.

Here’s a quick look at the architecture:

Architecture of how IoT devices streams and processes incoming data
Architecture of how IoT devices streams and processes incoming data

For the curious, these IoT devices use 4G/LTM to send messages to a big MQTT broker. This broker takes in all the messages, but to ensure no data gets lost, Erlend’s team uses a system called metamorphosis (courtesy of his Redpanda Community friend, Per Buer), to bridge the data to Redpanda.

Most of this data is read by a program written in TypeScript. Messages are then saved in a database called Influx (a time series database), which is simple to search. Some data is also cached to be quickly given out through an API.

All in all, the ability to quickly deploy and scale systems—thanks to Redpanda—was a game-changer. This powerful framework combined with Kubernetes ultimately allowed for dynamic data management, without compromising on efficiency.

From IoT to joining the Community

Excited about how it all turned out, Erlend decided to share his experience with the Redpanda Community. Inevitably, as time passed, he and his team ran into a few speed bumps and would jump into the Community Slack for aid.

Erlend actively participated in discussions on GitHub, pointed out issues, and closely followed up on subsequent updates. He was particularly impressed by how seriously the Redpanda team would always take his feedback and quickly return with a solution.

“In the general Community [Slack] channel it’s just crazy how fast the team jumps in to help! You can get answers so easily from real developers. It’s an amazing space to be in.” - Erlend Faxvaag

Want to be our next Redpanda Community Champion?

If special Redpanda swag and a chip on your shoulder is something of interest to you too, now’s the time to rack up your “panda points.” Here’s what you can do to get noticed by our team (and featured on our blog):

It’s really that simple.

For now, a huge congratulations to Erlend and a heartfelt thanks from all of us pandas for his contributions. Every movement needs a community, and Erlend is one of the many heroes helping us build ours.

Want to join Erlend and thousands of other developers, engineers, and everyone in between? Come on in and introduce yourself in our Redpanda Community on Slack! See you there.

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