Bringing The Modern Data Stack To Everyone With Y42 - Episode 295

Summary

Cloud services have made highly scalable and performant data platforms economical and manageable for data teams. However, they are still challenging to work with and manage for anyone who isn’t in a technical role. Hung Dang understood the need to make data more accessible to the entire organization and created Y42 as a better user experience on top of the "modern data stack". In this episode he shares how he designed the platform to support the full spectrum of technical expertise in an organization and the interesting engineering challenges involved.

PostHog LogoPostHog is an open source, product analytics platform. PostHog enables software teams to understand user behavior – auto-capturing events, performing product analytics and dashboarding, enabling video replays, and rolling out new features behind feature flags, all based on their single open source platform. The product’s open source approach enables companies to self-host, removing the need to send data externally. Try it out today at dataengineeringpodcast.com/posthog


Your data platform needs to be scalable, fault tolerant, and performant, which means that you need the same from your cloud provider. Linode has been powering production systems for over 17 years, and now they’ve launched a fully managed Kubernetes platform. With the combined power of the Kubernetes engine for flexible and scalable deployments, and features like dedicated CPU instances, GPU instances, and object storage you’ve got everything you need to build a bulletproof data pipeline. If you go to dataengineeringpodcast.com/linode today you’ll even get a $100 credit to use on building your own cluster, or object storage, or reliable backups, or… And while you’re there don’t forget to thank them for being a long-time supporter of the Data Engineering Podcast!


Acryl Data LogoThe modern data stack needs a reimagined metadata management platform. Acryl Data’s vision is to bring clarity to your data through its next generation multi-cloud metadata management platform. Founded by the leaders that created projects like LinkedIn DataHub and Airbnb Dataportal, Acryl Data enables delightful search and discovery, data observability, and federated governance across data ecosystems. Signup for the SaaS product today at dataengineeringpodcast.com/acryl


RudderStack LogoRudderStack provides all your customer data pipelines in one platform. You can collect, transform, and route data across your entire stack with its event streaming, ETL, and reverse ETL pipelines.

RudderStack’s warehouse-first approach means it does not store sensitive information, and it allows you to leverage your existing data warehouse/data lake infrastructure to build a single source of truth for every team.
RudderStack also supports real-time use cases. You can Implement RudderStack SDKs once, then automatically send events to your warehouse and 150+ business tools, and you’ll never have to worry about API changes again.
Visit dataengineeringpodcast.com/rudder to sign up for free today, and snag a free T-Shirt just for being a Data Engineering Podcast listener.

Announcements

  • Hello and welcome to the Data Engineering Podcast, the show about modern data management
  • When you’re ready to build your next pipeline, or want to test out the projects you hear about on the show, you’ll need somewhere to deploy it, so check out our friends at Linode. With their new managed database service you can launch a production ready MySQL, Postgres, or MongoDB cluster in minutes, with automated backups, 40 Gbps connections from your application hosts, and high throughput SSDs. Go to dataengineeringpodcast.com/linode today and get a $100 credit to launch a database, create a Kubernetes cluster, or take advantage of all of their other services. And don’t forget to thank them for their continued support of this show!
  • This episode is brought to you by Acryl Data, the company behind DataHub, the leading developer-friendly data catalog for the modern data stack. Open Source DataHub is running in production at several companies like Peloton, Optum, Udemy, Zynga and others. Acryl Data provides DataHub as an easy to consume SaaS product which has been adopted by several companies. Signup for the SaaS product at dataengineeringpodcast.com/acryl
  • RudderStack helps you build a customer data platform on your warehouse or data lake. Instead of trapping data in a black box, they enable you to easily collect customer data from the entire stack and build an identity graph on your warehouse, giving you full visibility and control. Their SDKs make event streaming from any app or website easy, and their state-of-the-art reverse ETL pipelines enable you to send enriched data to any cloud tool. Sign up free… or just get the free t-shirt for being a listener of the Data Engineering Podcast at dataengineeringpodcast.com/rudder.
  • The most important piece of any data project is the data itself, which is why it is critical that your data source is high quality. PostHog is your all-in-one product analytics suite including product analysis, user funnels, feature flags, experimentation, and it’s open source so you can host it yourself or let them do it for you! You have full control over your data and their plugin system lets you integrate with all of your other data tools, including data warehouses and SaaS platforms. Give it a try today with their generous free tier at dataengineeringpodcast.com/posthog
  • Your host is Tobias Macey and today I’m interviewing Hung Dang about Y42, the full-stack data platform that anyone can run

Interview

  • Introduction
  • How did you get involved in the area of data management?
  • Can you describe what Y42 is and the story behind it?
  • How would you characterize your positioning in the data ecosystem?
  • What are the problems that you are trying to solve?
    • Who are the personas that you optimize for and how does that manifest in your product design and feature priorities?
  • How is the Y42 platform implemented?
    • What are the core engineering problems that you have had to address in order to tie together the various underlying services that you integrate?
    • How have the design and goals of the product changed or evolved since you started working on it?
  • What are the sharp edges and failure conditions that you have had to automate around in order to support non-technical users?
  • What is the process for integrating Y42 with an organization’s data systems?
    • What is the story for onboarding from existing systems and importing workflows (e.g. Airflow dags and dbt models)?
  • With your recent shift to using Git as the store of platform state, how do you approach the problem of reconciling branched changes with side effects from changes (e.g. creating tables or mutating table structures in the warehouse)?
  • Can you describe a typical workflow for building or modifying a business dashboard or activating data in the warehouse?
  • What are the interfaces and abstractions that you have built into the platform to support collaboration across roles and levels of experience? (technical or organizational)
  • With your focus on end-to-end support for data analysis, what are the extension points or escape hatches for use cases that you can’t support out of the box?
  • What are the most interesting, innovative, or unexpected ways that you have seen Y42 used?
  • What are the most interesting, unexpected, or challenging lessons that you have learned while working on Y42?
  • When is Y42 the wrong choice?
  • What do you have planned for the future of Y42?

Contact Info

Parting Question

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

Closing Announcements

  • Thank you for listening! Don’t forget to check out our other show, Podcast.__init__ to learn about the Python language, its community, and the innovative ways it is being used.
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Links

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

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