Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Confluent KSQL Workshop in Saint Louis

Recently Confluent and World Wide Technology held a hands-on workshop on Stream Processing with KSQL. Nick Dearden, from Confluent, led the training and did an excellent job.  He gave a very clear introduction to the problem space, and the role that KSQL plays.

Then we launched into the hands-on lab.  Wow!  I have never been to a hands-on that was so smooth.

There were 50 students in the rooms and each of us had a pre-assigned AWS user account, with which we could ssh into a server running KSQL and MySQL.  There was a data generator running, I believe using the Kafka Connect Datagen connector (though I  could be wrong on that).  So, everything was ready to go and we were all working through the exercises within minutes.

Along the way, if anyone got stuck, Brian Likosar and Cliff Gilmore were on hand to help out.  From what I could see, nobody was stuck for long.

The exercises were simple, yet detailed enough to show some of the cool features of KSQL. I had seen several video demos of KSQL before, but this was my first time trying it out.  It was pretty fun.

For me the highlight—beyond just being in a room with so much Kafka brainpower—was when we ran  explain on one of the queries we had written, and lo and behold, there's the KStream topology!  I guess I should have figured this, but it was still cool to see.  KSQL is basically a really slick Kafka Streams app.

So, the workshop was fun and informative, and KSQL is a pretty powerful tool, especially for those who are not living in the JVM. But the real take-away, for me, was that the Kafka Streams API is amazing!

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