🎧 Explaining Stream Processing and Apache Kafka ft. Eugene Meidinger

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Many of us find ourselves in the position of equipping others to use Apache Kafka® after we’ve gained an understanding of what Kafka is used for. But how do you communicate and teach others event streaming concepts effectively? As a Pluralsight instructor and business intelligence consultant, Eugene Meidinger shares tips for creating consumable training materials for conveying event streaming concepts to developers and IT administrators, who are trying to get on board with Kafka and stream processing.

Eugene’s background as a database administrator (DBA) and immense knowledge of event streaming architecture and data processing shows as he reveals his learnings from years of working with Microsoft Power BI, Azure Event Hubs, data processing, and event streaming with ksqlDB and Kafka Streams.

Eugene mentions the importance of understanding your audience, their pain points, and their questions, such as why was Kafka invented? Why does ksqlDB matter? It also helps to use metaphors where appropriate. For example, when explaining what is processing typology for Kafka Streams, Eugene uses the analogy of a highway where people are getting on a bus as the blocking operations, after the grace period, the bus will leave even without passengers, meaning after the window session, the processor will continue even without events. He also likes to inject a sense of humor in his training and keeps empathy in mind.

Here is the structure that Eugene uses when building courses:

  1. The first module is usually fundamentals, which lays out the groundwork and the objectives of the course
  2. It's critical to repeat and summarize core concepts or major points; for example, a key capability of Kafka is the ability to decouple data in both network space and in time
  3. Provide variety and different modalities that allow people to consume content through multiple avenues, such as screencasts, slides, and demos, wherever it makes sense


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