If you’re currently enrolled in a technology degree program, there are a number of ways you can proactively improve your skills outside the classroom. One way to do that is by taking the time to learn more about some of the different programs, platforms, and concepts that you’ll need in your career after you graduate. Many of these skills will also be valuable while you’re in school, allowing you to excel in class and qualify for internships and opportunities that can help you get ahead. One of the platforms you’re likely to encounter if you work in data science is Apache Kafka. If you’ve never used it before, keep reading to learn more about what Kafka is and how it works.
What is Apache Kafka?
Apache Kafka is an open-source publish-subscribe messaging platform with a number of uses and applications. It was built primarily to handle organization of data streams in real time in order to facilitate pipelining, data relay, and distributed streaming. The platform is written in Scala and Java, and it is able to connect to external systems.
Kafka Connect is another useful tool, which enables you to connect Kafka to other non-Kafka systems. Kafka Connect can do this without requiring the creation of undifferentiated integration code to connect you to the systems the rest of the world is using, which can save you and your business a lot of time. Connect operates as a fault-tolerant cluster that is fully scalable. Instead of creating bespoke code, prebuilt connectors can be utilized, and Connect can read the data from the source systems and write it automatically.
You can also manipulate the data streams Kafka tracks as soon as they arrive. The Streams API is a library that allows you to process data as it comes in. You can perform joins of data within streams, aggregate, create parameters, and much more. Since Streams API is built as a Java application, which runs on top of Kafka, your workflow will be intact, and you won’t need to maintain extra clusters of data.
How does Apache Kafka work?
Understanding how Kafka software works is essential if you want to improve your ability to analyze data streams in real time. Kafka also provides durable storage that can be distributed across multiple nodes, which enable highly available deployment within an individual center or across multiple data centers and availability zones.
There are an ever-increasing number of business and commercial applications for Kafka. It can help facilitate passenger and driver matching within rideshare apps like Uber, for example. It can also be used for analytics and predictive maintenance by British Gas’ smart home. It is also used throughout the networking platform LinkedIn to perform numerous real-time functions.
TIBCO can help you get the most out of Apache Kafka. Working together, they can create the equivalent of a central nervous system for any business or enterprise. TIBCO can even help you combine Kafka’s unmatched ability to track streams in real time with historical event data, significantly improving your company’s predictive analysis.
There’s a lot of pressure on students to keep up with the relevant technology in their fields, even when it is rapidly evolving. In competitive industries, it’s important to give yourself every advantage that you can. One effective way to do that is to improve your skills with commonly used software like Apache Kafka. As many businesses are moving away from traditional databases and toward event-based data solutions, Kafka’s use is likely to become even more widespread. Not only that, but Kafka Connect enables individuals and businesses to harness Kafka’s tools and use them to work within other systems, too. If you’re a tech student looking for areas in which to improve your skills, Kafka is a great place to start.