Wallaroo with Sean T. Allen - Episode 12


December 24th, 2017

59 mins 13 secs

Your Host

About this Episode


Data oriented applications that need to operate on large, fast-moving sterams of information can be difficult to build and scale due to the need to manage their state. In this episode Sean T. Allen, VP of engineering for Wallaroo Labs, explains how Wallaroo was designed and built to reduce the cognitive overhead of building this style of project. He explains the motivation for building Wallaroo, how it is implemented, and how you can start using it today.


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  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Sean T. Allen about Wallaroo, a framework for building and operating stateful data applications at scale


  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data engineering?
  • What is Wallaroo and how did the project get started?
  • What is the Pony language, and what features does it have that make it well suited for the problem area that you are focusing on?
  • Why did you choose to focus first on Python as the language for interacting with Wallaroo and how is that integration implemented?
  • How is Wallaroo architected internally to allow for distributed state management?
    • Is the state persistent, or is it only maintained long enough to complete the desired computation?
    • If so, what format do you use for long term storage of the data?

  • What have been the most challenging aspects of building the Wallaroo platform?

  • Which axes of the CAP theorem have you optimized for?

  • For someone who wants to build an application on top of Wallaroo, what is involved in getting started?

  • Once you have a working application, what resources are necessary for deploying to production and what are the scaling factors?

    • What are the failure modes that users of Wallaroo need to account for in their application or infrastructure?

  • What are some situations or problem types for which Wallaroo would be the wrong choice?

  • What are some of the most interesting or unexpected uses of Wallaroo that you have seen?

  • What do you have planned for the future of Wallaroo?

Contact Info

Parting Question

  • From your perspective, what is the biggest gap in the tooling or technology for data management today?


The intro and outro music is from The Hug by The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA

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