Tendü Yogurtcu was working on Big Data before you heard of it. She likes open source and rates imagination over knowledge
For many of us, Big Data is new, but Tendü Yogurtcu has been working in the field at Syncsort, as Big Data emerged from analytics. She is vice president of engineering there now, and has led work on Hadoop & Cloud ETL, 0pen systems and Hadoop Sort, as well as application modernisation products.
What has been your favourite project so far?
My favourite project has been our recent delivery of Hadoop products and our participation as a contributor to the Apache Hadoop project. This was challenging not only from a technology perspective but also from an overall cultural transition. Syncsort has been a proprietary software vendor with a culture of protecting intellectual property. Developing a relationship with the open source ecosystem and contributing to an open source project was a great experience for the entire team ─ it was very exciting and rewarding. We are continuing with our open source contributions – you’ll be hearing more about that soon.
In at the start of Big Data
What tech were you involved with ten years ago?
I was working in Big Data before it was everyone’s favourite buzzword. Ten years ago I worked on development of a lean data integration product with high performance native connectors to pretty much all relational databases.
What tech do you expect to be using in ten years’ time?
Mobile is changing the world and IT infrastructure. I expect Cloud infrastructure to be matured, leveraging energy efficient hardware, and highly optimised for remote processing. The next ten years will be an era of unprecedented connectivity, with more sensor data and increased usage of digital health devices. I expect a completely different data management paradigm to be in place for storing, processing and analysing Big Data as a result of disruptive new technologies that are being introduced now. Hadoop is part of the current data management revolution that is shaping the modern data architecture.
Tendü rates Stallman, Lovelace and Gates
Who’s your tech hero?
I wouldn’t call anyone a hero, there are several people that I admire. Richard Stallman is certainly one of them as the idea of free software and GNU project has changed how software products are delivered and disrupted pricing models for proprietary solutions. Look at Linux, and Apache Hadoop projects as significant examples. There are also leaders such as Bill Gates who I started appreciating after seeing his philanthropic dedication to solve some of the fundamental world health problems, and Steve Jobs for making mobile so accessible that political movements are leveraging mobile devices and social media around the world.
My admiration for people who advanced problem solving and computing goes back to Augusta Ada King (also known as Ada Lovelace) for ‘poetical science’ and her analysis about the capabilities of computing devices, foreshadowing the capabilities and implications of the modern computer. I do look at Einstein’s quote on imagination over knowledge every day in my office to remind myself that innovation is much more critical than knowledge.
Who’s your tech villain?
I wouldn’t call out anyone as a tech villain. People make ‘not so great’ decisions, I prefer not to judge them without understanding the circumstances under which they took these decision and actions.
What’s your favourite technology ever made? Which do you use most?
The integrated circuit (semiconductor chip) sparked incredible technological progress by making the computer revolution and the digital age possible. I use my iPhone a lot. It is my scanner, my camera, my email, my connection to remote family and my GPS ─ it is my technology Swiss Army knife.
What is your budget outlook going forward? Flat? Growing?
It is certainly growing. In the past year, we have transformed Syncsort into a company focused on leveraging our experience and expertise to help solve the Big Data challenges organisations face today. We are making a lot of investments in R&D for new Big Data, Hadoop and Cloud products both via organic and inorganic growth.
Strong ownership needed
Apart from your own, which company do you admire most and why?
I admire companies that are built on core values, enabling a foundation for success, sustainable profit and revenue growth. Aso Tavitian, co-founder of Syncsort, established Syncsort as one of the first software companies after IBM, with core values around treating people well and expecting a lot, cultivating innovation. Our new leadership and investors protected these values because they are so critical to the success of the organisation. We still feel like we are all working for our own company, such a strong ownership is displayed across the R&D organisation. I admire Google in this sense as well, it has created a culture of innovation built on its core values.
What’s the greatest challenge for an IT company/department today?
Scalability. Transitioning from a traditional enterprise architecture to the modern architecture where the growing needs of the business can be met via scalable, performing and cost effective modern data architecture.
To Cloud or not to Cloud?
Absolutely ‘to Cloud’. We are at early stages of Cloud adoption, however it’s the future, in whatever shape or form it evolves. I believe that with more public cloud vendors going after this market aggressively, the quality of enterprise ready deployments will increase. It will be interesting to see Amazon, Google and Microsoft compete in this space with their differentiating value propositions. ARM processors and Containers instead of VMs will also improve the infrastructure over the next couple of years and we will see more and more public cloud deployments. The opportunity is there for vendors to create a seamless user experience whether it is public cloud or on-premise deployments.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
I wanted to be an astronaut. I loved maths, anything with maths was and still is fascinating for me. I consider myself privileged to have a profession that I am passionate about.