Milco Numan

Kafka Summit London 2024

Onlangs bezocht ik samen met mijn collega’s Doreen Scheepens en Jacco van Bavel de Kafka Summit 2024 in Londen. Voor mij was het de eerste keer dat ik zakelijk met de trein reisde, en ik moet zeggen dat het me niet tegenviel. Hoewel ik vlak bij Schiphol woon, was de ‘van-deur-tot-deur’ reistijd naar Londen voor mij niet veel langer, maar de treinreis was zeker comfortabeler dan het vliegtuig. Het enige punt ter verbetering voor de volgende keer is om de vroege, rechtstreekse trein te verkiezen boven een latere trein met overstap in Brussel: bij vertraging loop je dan in ieder geval niet het risico om de aansluiting te missen en twee uur extra op een Brussels station te moeten doorbrengen!

Milco NumanKafka Summit London 2024
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Sudoku? Makkie!

Sudoku oplossen?

Tegenwoordig heeft bijna iedereen wel eens een Sudoku puzzel gezien. Eenvoudig samengevat is een Sudoku “een puzzel bestaande uit negen bij negen vakjes die gegroepeerd zijn als negen blokken van drie bij drie vakjes. In de vakjes moeten de cijfers 1 tot en met 9 ingevuld worden op zo’n manier dat in elke horizontale lijn en in elke verticale kolom en in elk van de negen blokjes de cijfers 1 tot en met 9 één keer voorkomen” (bron: Wikipedia).

Milco NumanSudoku? Makkie!
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Kafka Streaming – First Gulp

After setting up the environment, it is now time to simulate the beer ratings flowing in. As explained, I will start off several generators simultaneously. To generate some (intended) data skew away from the average, several generators will have the same structural event definition, however they will be different in the combination of users, beers and ratings upper and lower bounds. Of course this is also based on my personal preference – who said my demonstration scenario should be fair?

Milco NumanKafka Streaming – First Gulp
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Kafka Streaming – Setting Up


In this blog, I am going to zoom into KSQL and the opportunities it offers for manipulating streaming data in Kafka, by merely using SQL-like statements. One of the neat things about the Confluent Kafka platform, is that it provides additional utilities on top of the core Kafka tools. One of these utilities is the ksql-datagen, which allows users to generate random data based on a simple schema definition in Apache Avro.

Milco NumanKafka Streaming – Setting Up
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Kafka streaming


For a long time I have been interested in Apache Kafka and its applications. Unfortunately, forced by circumstances, work and other personal endevours, I had not been able to really dive deeper into the matters until Spring 2019. In April I have finally finished the Udemy course “Apache Kafka for Beginners“.
At work, my exposure to Kafka had only been limited, as we were (ultimately) publishing messages onto a Kafka topic using Oracle Service Bus. However, this was actually a Java-built integration, as we wer just pushing the messages onto a JMS queue, which had a MDB listening that propagated the messages to the Kafka cluster.

After completing the first training I got interested, especially in the role of Kafka in real-time event systems and I decided to take another course on Kafka Streams. I was a bit disappointed that this specific course focussed on the Java development quite heavily, and as an exception I decided to abandon the course uncompleted. During one of the Kafka Meetups, I found out that Confluent was actually offering a very interesting alternative to programming the Kafka Streams API in Java, viz. KSQL.

Milco NumanKafka streaming
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Custom CloudWatch Metrics – revisited

In my previous blog I have investigated how to create custom metrics for an EC2 instance using Python and Boto3, the AWS SDK for Python. At the time I was specifically interested in demonstrating that it was not necessary to use these “old fashionedPERL scripts to post custom metrics from your EC2 instance, but you could also do this yourself rather easily using Python. All steps I’ve taken in the process have been performed manually, but that’s not really something you’d like to do whenever there’s more than [insert your threshold here] instances to provision.

Milco NumanCustom CloudWatch Metrics – revisited
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Custom CloudWatch Metrics in Python? Yes we can!


Currently, AWS has three associate level certifications: Solutions Architect, Developer and SysOps Administrator. In 2017, I have passed the certification exams for the first two certifications and as I visited AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas last year, I decided that I would like to also pass the one that is missing from my curriculum right now.

On Course For Certification

One of the ways to prepare for the AWS Associate certifications (apart from reading the documentation), is completing one of the many courses being offered on the on-line learning platforms. For my first two certifications, I used the certification training offered by A Cloud Guru which were very good. However, in the meantime I have also completed some trainings on the Udemy Platform by Stephane Maarek on miscellaneous topics related to Amazon Web Services (CloudFormation Masterclass, AWS Lambda and the Serverless Framework) that I also like very much, so I decided to start my certification course with Stephane’s wonderful “Ultimate AWS Certified SysOps Administrator Associate 2019” (quite a mouthful, but it’s a 17 hour journey).

Milco NumanCustom CloudWatch Metrics in Python? Yes we can!
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AWS re:Invent 2018 – mostly serverless

Where we’re going, we don’t need servers!

One of the best soundbites I read during the week of re:Invent, was on the t-shirts of one of the vendors right there … (see the title of this section). I cannot recall which one it was and I must confess that I just put all my summer clothing in storage. Anyway, going serverless is one of the big trends and for me, as an integration consultant, this is the most natural fit for moving into the cloud,

Milco NumanAWS re:Invent 2018 – mostly serverless
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AWS re:Invent 2018 – new launches

The Event

In the first part of my blog I commented on Las Vegas itself and my experiences travelling to Las Vegas; in this part I will describe my experience with the actual reason for travelling to Las Vegas, viz. attending the AWS re:Invent 2018 event.

As you may already know, re:Invent is the yearly conference from Amazon Web Services (AWS), this time its seventh edition, held in Las Vegas, for customers, partners and vendors from the AWS ecosystem. The size of re:Invent is astonishing, during this conference (starting on Monday and ending around noon on Friday), it welcomes 53,000 participans, spread across 7 different venues for a total of over 2,200 sessions of content.

Milco NumanAWS re:Invent 2018 – new launches
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Las Vegas, or Tinseltown in the Desert

Sin City

This weekend I have returned from visiting my first AWS re:Invent. This seventh edition was (as always) held in Las Vegas – aka Sin City as it caters for the many vices people may pursue. Needless to say I have been a good boy and only indulged into drinking a few beers …

Milco NumanLas Vegas, or Tinseltown in the Desert
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