Nathan Bijnens



Nathan Bijnens

On request
9042 Ghent
Nathan Bijnens

I am Nathan Bijnens, a developer with a passion for great code, Big Data and the Internet of Things. I am interested in programming and system administration, especially where they meet, from scaling platforms to designing the architecture of new and existing products and everything in between.
I am a passionate speaker and evangelist, on Big Data and IoT.

I am focused on data analysis and building Big Data applications. Using Spark, Storm, Hadoop, Cassandra and Kafka. I am especially interested in real-time Big Data, actively developing applications on top of Spark Streaming and Storm, designing Lambda-like architectures. I advise on Big Data Strategies and evangelize Big Data and IoT to clients and at conferences.

I have a lot of experience with Java, Scala and a general interest in Functional Programming.

I am a passionate Linux system engineer, follower of the DevOps movement, with experience in Puppet, Chef, NixOS and the Cloud.

I enjoy working with clients and partners, from giving advice, talking about the Business and Technological value of Big Data and Internet of Things, to Requirement Analysis.

I am inquisitive, I love learning about new things and improving what I know. I am very passionate about what I do, and I have strong analytical skills.


Virdata: lessons learned from the Internet of Things and M2M Cloud Services

at the

IBM Big Data Developers (San Jose, CA) Meetup of June '14


A real-time (Lambda) architecture using Hadoop and Storm


NoSQL Matters Cologne '14


A real-time architecture using Hadoop and Storm


Devoxx '13

, the biggest European Java conference.

A real-time architecture using Hadoop and Storm


JAX London '13

, a Java Enterprise and Big Data conference.

Big Data, Hadoop and HDInsight

, together with Wesley Backelant of Microsoft Belgium at the

SQLUser Group Belgium

meetup of February 2013.
A Series of 3

Apache Storm Workshops

in the context of

, during 2013.

A real-time architecture using Hadoop & Storm

at the 2013 edition of the


, an open source conference, it has been viewed over 24500+ times.

A Vision on Data

at the 2013

Big Data & Security Conference




Getting More out of Your Big Data


Microsoft Inspirience the Future 2012


Hadoop Pig: MapReduce the easy way

at the 2011 edition of the

FOSDEM DataDevRoom

, an open source conference, it was featured on the front page of and has been viewed over 18000 times.


As from October 2013 I work for


a start-up funded by


, as a

sr. Big Data and IoT Engineer

, previously as a

DevOps Engineer

. Virdata is an Internet of Things Cloud platform, scalable to millions of devices, from tiny sensors to TVs to Cars.
I work on our Data Processing stack, on top of Spark and Spark Streaming, mostly in Scala. I also worked as the lead on our Spark as a Service Infrastructure.
  • Data Engineer
    From January 2014.

    As a Big Data Engineer, I am working on our Data Processing and Analytics stack, creating a Lambda Architecture. Working with Spark, Spark Streaming, Storm, Cassandra, Kafka and HDFS. We mostly use Scala and bits of Java. We deploy using Chef on Mesos in the cloud.

    IoT Big Data Analytics Lamdba Architecture Software Architecture Scala Java Spark Spark Streaming Storm HDFS Cassandra Mongo Mesos Docker
  • Spark as a Service Lead
    From May 2014 till December 2014.

    We created a Spark as a Service, where Data Scientists can on demand request a Spark and Mesos cluster in the Cloud. We leveraged our existing Chef & Mesos architecture. We also added tools for ad hoc analytics, like IPython PySpark & Scala Spark notebooks. It is also possible to launch Docker containers.

    IoT DevOps Big Data Analytics Scala Python Spark HDFS Chef Mesos Amazon EC2 Softlayer Linux Docker Project Management
  • Cloud & DevOps Engineer
    From October 2013 till December 2013.

    As a Big Data and DevOps Engineer, I was responsible for the scalability, quality and Operational Intelligence of a new platform. I introduced the Continuous Integration platform, using Jenkins, added unit tests. The platform is build using Chef, tries to be cloud independent (runs on Amazon AWS, Softlayer, ...).

    DevOps IoT Big Data Scala maven Jenkins Unit Testing Storm Spark HDFS ElasticSearch Ruby Chef Mesos Scalability Amazon AWS Amazon IAM Amazon EC2 Softlayer Vagrant Linux Docker
At the end of 2013 I co-founded, a website about the

Lambda Architecture

. The Lambda Architecture is a data-processing architecture designed to handle Big Data by combining both batch- and stream-processing, while attempting to balance latency, throughput, and fault-tolerance. Batch Processing is used to provide comprehensive and accurate (although slightly out of date) views, while simultaneously using real-time stream processing to bridge the gap.
As from April 2012 till March 2014 I worked for


, as a

Hadoop and Big Data Consultant

. DataCrunchers is the leading Belgian consultancy firm around everything Big Data. I co-developed on our internal Semantic Analysis Engine on top of Storm, in Java, I co-presented our Hadoop Ecosystem course, I created a new website using Drupal and I was responsible for our Microsoft Big Data partnership.
I have been working for the following clients: Technicolor, Flemish Government, AWV (Macq), a social media startup, HSHMRK & Ewals Intermodal.
  • Big Data & DevOps Engineer, Technicolor
    From October 2013.

    As a Big Data and DevOps Engineer, I was responsible for the scalability, quality and Operational Intelligence of a new platform. I introduced the Continuous Integration platform, using Jenkins, added unit tests. The platform is build using Chef, tries to be cloud independent (runs on Amazon AWS, Softlayer, ...).

    DevOps IoT Big Data Java Scala maven Jenkins Unit Testing Storm Spark HDFS Ruby Chef Scalability Amazon AWS Amazon EC2 Softlayer Vagrant Linux
  • Project Manager ABBAMelda, Flemish Government (Macq)
    From June 2013 till October 2013.

    Project Manager and Lead Developer of ABBAMelda, a ticket and maintenance management system, originally developed by Siemens. ABBAMelda consists of a Java EE backend, an Informix database, with a PHP/jQuery frontend. Under my lead, we created an enhanced Tablet intranet site, improved the bulk upload possibilities, additional REST services, introduced unit testing and switched to git. I was responsible for coordinating with different teams within the Flemish Government, as well as the contractor (Macq).

    Software Architecture Project Management Agile Scrum Java JPA3 EclipseLink maven Informix REST SOAP PHP jQuery Refactoring Unit Testing Puppet Linux Mobile Development ETL
  • A social media startup
    From February 2013 till June 2013.

    Defining and implementing the architecture for a social media analytics startup. I designed and implemented a Lambda Architecture (in Java), on top of Storm and Hadoop, using Redis, Voldemort as well as Thrift.

    Java Spring DI maven Storm Hadoop Thrift Kafka Zookeeper Voldemort Redis JSoup Guava jUnit Puppet Nagios Logstash Ganglia Linux Software Architecture Lambda Architecture
    From December 2012 till January 2013.

    Defining and implementing the architecture for hshmrk, a data visualization startup. The application backend is written as a Jersey REST (Java), service, using ElasticSearch as storage. The frontend is an AngularJS and D3 web application. This approach allowed us to easily scale.

    Java ElasticSearch AngularJS D3 Jersey maven Spring DI jUnit Data Visualization Software Architecture Puppet
  • Ewals Intermodal
    From October 2012 till June 2013.

    Developing Oracle database views for integration of Greencat and Crystal Reports.

    Oracle Greencat Crystal Reports ETL
  • Microsoft Big Data Partnership
    Responsible for the contact with Microsoft. Speaker at the Microsoft Inspirience Day about Big Data.
    Client & Partner Relationships Public Speaking Business Strategy Technology Evangelism Big Data Azure Hadoop
  • Solution Architect

    Discussions, presentations and conversations with prospects, clients and partners, discussing potential Business Ideas and architectures. Evangelizing the Belgium market for Big Data.

    Client & Partner Relationships Public Speaking Business Strategy Technology Evangelism Big Data IoT
  • Internal Projects
    1. I co-developed on our internal Semantic Analysis Engine on top of Storm and ElasticSearch. The web interface is build around a Java, Jersey backend and a frontend in AngularJS.
    2. Setting up an internal Hadoop, ElasticSearch & Storm test cluster using Puppet and Cloudera Manager. I created some Puppet modules to manage Storm, ElasticSearch and Ganglia.
    3. I co-developed on IHarvest project. It is a distributed HTTP Fetcher & Parser on top of Storm, written in Java, the results are stored on HDFS for more extensive querying using Hadoop.
    Cloudera Manager Storm ElasticSearch Puppet Hadoop Hadoop Pig HDFS Ganglia Java AngularJS Jersey Bootstrap
From March 2011 till April 2012 I worked for


, as

Lead Application and Warehouse Developer

. We build a credit management web application, written in PHP. I managed a small group of developers, took the lead on everything technical and coordinated with the directors, partners and clients.
My job involved lots of PHP, refactoring, performance tuning, system engineering and bits of data analysis.
  • Lead Developer iController

    I developed our credit management web application in PHP, I managed a small group of developers, took the lead on everything technical and coordinated with the directors, partners and clients.

    Project Management Requirement Analysis PHP symfony Propel PHPUnit FPDF Jenkins ant git MySQL jQuery Prototype PDO XML XSchema
  • iController Server Setup

    I virtualized and automated the whole iController server setup using Puppet. I created and extended several open-source Puppet modules.

    Puppet libvirt KVM Ubuntu MySQL PHP Release Management Jenkins git Amazon S3 BIND LVM
  • iSubscriber

    Creating a small web application to organize and input subscriptions into Octopus.

    MySQL PHP symfony
  • Various clients
    From July till November 2011.
    1. Analyzing the requirements, estimating and taking the lead.
    2. Extracting data from various Accounting software to iController.
    Accounting Software AS400 ETL XML XSchema Oracle MSSQL Navision
  • LeasePlan
    From July till November 2011.
    1. Analyzing the requirements, coaching my co-developers and coordinating with the client.
    2. Extracting data from and linking SAP FI to iController.
    3. Developing a custom workflow engine.
From September 2010 till February 2011 I was employed at


as a

Warehouse and Web Developer

, creating an analytical warehouse based on Hbase. I also created large parts of the processing infrastructure using Hadoop and Hadoop Pig. I also advised on new technologies, git migration, best practices & unit tests. Netlog is a social community network, with over 70 million members, mainly active in Europe and the Arabic world.
  • Warehouse Developer

    Setting up the Hadoop infrastructure, analyzing data with Hadoop Pig and creating a dashboard using Symfony2 and Hbase & Thrift.

    Hadoop HDFS Hadoop Pig Syslog Thrift Hive Hbase git Symfony2 Google Graphs PDO Memcached Redis MySQL
  • Twoo Core Framework Developer

    Creating a new PHP Framework (no existing frameworks were allowed) as base for the new dating site Twoo. I advised on Design Patterns and Best Practices. I developed the Security and ACL platform as well.

    PHP HTTP Request routing Security ACL Design Patterns Best Practices Unit Testing PHPUnit git
  • Web Developer (Netlog)

    I introduced an open source Event framework and presented it to my co-developers. I introduced new application log functionality, for logging to Hadoop. I evangelized Unit tests, including an initial implementation and presentations. I evaluated Redis, Memcached & Membase (now Couchbase).

    PHP PHPUnit Unit Testing Syslog Event Processing MySQL Design Patterns Best Practices git svn Memcached Redis Performance testing Membase
From October 2009 to August 2010 I started working at


, a small SME in Ghent, as

web application developer

. I developed a new, greatly improved debtor & credit management web application. We used the symfony framework as a starting point to create a stable and easy to maintain application.
From March 2007 till December 2014 I was the

Consultant, Managing Director and founder



BVBA; mainly active as a (part-time) IT consultant in the field of Big Data & Spark, Scala, web applications (PHP, sql, scalability, ), DevOps & Linux system administration and hosting applications.
  • From April till August 2011 I worked as a consultant for


    , the Belgian yellow pages, doing a

    hadoop deduplication

    job. I used Hadoop & Hadoop Pig, wrote custom UDFs in Java for Ngram matching and solved performance issues. At first Amazon Elastic MapReduce was used, later I setup a Hadoop cluster.
    Hadoop Hadoop Pig Cloud Amazon EC2 Amazon Elastic MR Java
  • In 2009 I was active as a consultant to a Dutch services organization. The assignment mainly consisted of

    creating a link between existing systems and a new website

  • From 2008 till present I perform various

    short term consultancy

    tasks commissioned by


    . For a
    semi government organization
    I set up a new tomcat server and did a general check up on their Linux servers. For another company I configured an ASP.Net application and installed an IIS server. For
    Sio Hosting
    (Formerly Sinergio Hosting) I planned and executed the move from traditional servers to a virtualized xen cluster. I also checked the integrity and security of their hosting platform on a regular basis. I advised them on strategic planning.
During my secondary education I created a


, with features as native PHP templates, module in module support (recursion) following a very basic MVC pattern. It was used and expanded by two web agencies to create over 30 websites.


I am very interested in and work with

Big Data

, from the processing and storage of large volumes, to real-time stream processing, and machine learning. I read, tweet, and try out as much as I can about new Big Data technologies, like Spark, Samza, Storm and Kafka, as well as more established technologies like Hadoop and Cassandra and learning as much as I can in the process. I use Scala, Java and bits of Python and Hadoop Pig Latin. I setup, administered and monitored Hadoop, Mesos, Storm, Cassandra & Zookeeper clusters.
Big Data related skills:
  • Do interactive ad-hoc analytics using Python based IPython Notebooks, as well as Scala based notebooks, combined with Spark SQL.
  • Query the data with Spark, Spark SQL, Hadoop Pig & Hive.
  • Using & administrating Spark, Hadoop and Mesos clusters, including Storm, ElasticSearch, Cassandra, Kafka and Zookeeper.
    • Deploying Hadoop on Azure, Amazon & Softlayer.
    • Using Amazon Elastic MapReduce.
    • Chef, Puppet and NixOps to deploy Mesos and Hadoop to the Cloud.
  • Developing solutions for real-time Big Data using Spark Streaming, Storm and Kafka.
  • Combining batch and real-time technologies to create a Lambda architecture (of Nathan Marz), that is resilient to failure, scalable and fast.
Next to programming I have always been passionate about


and open source. I have used over the last 10+ years several distributions from Debian & Ubuntu, CentOS over Gentoo to Linux From Scratch, lately I am very interested in NixOS. NixOS is a purely functional Linux. I have setup countless servers from Cloud to virtualized to bare metal servers.

I am following the DevOps movement. I am using Puppet, Chef and NixOps to automate and Ganglia to monitor critical infrastructure. I have open sourced and contributed to several NixOS and Puppet modules.

I follow and try out with great interest Cloud related techniques and technologies, in all its forms: IaaS, PaaS, MaaS, … I have used as test or in production OpenStack, Amazon S3, Amazon EC2, Amazon MapReduce, Amazon IAM, Google BigQuery2 (private beta tester), Windows Azure Platform and Hadoop on Azure (private beta tester) and Softlayer.

I currently mostly develop using


. Scala is a JVM-based language, with both full support for OO as well as Functional Programming approach. I started with Scala at the end of 2013.
  • Using Scala to create Spark and Spark Streaming jobs.
  • Using Akka and Akka Persistence to create a CQRS application, in Scala.
  • Creating Thrift based services, using Finagle.
  • Unit testing using Scalatest and Cucumber.
I am interested in

Functional Programming

, mostly looking at Scala, and a bit at Clojure. Especially functional programming in relation to Big Data has my focus.
I am using


, mostly using Spring, maven and Jersey in combination with the JavaScript MVC framework AngularJS.
  • Developing a Java EE application, with Glassfish, using JPA with EclipseLink.
  • Creating Threaded servers, using Thrift.
  • Autowiring & Dependency Injection using Spring.
  • Consuming the Twitter & LinkedIn APIs, using OAuth.
  • Creating a REST and SOAP based services, using Jersey or JAX-WS.
  • Using the common libraries like Guava, Apache Commons, Joda Time & slf4j.
  • Unit testing using JUnit and Mockito.
I have used




for over 10 years, mostly in a combination with the symfony & Symfony2 frameworks as well as a multitude of SQL and NoSQL databases, as MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, Informix and Redis, Membase, Memcached and ...
  • html5, CSS & jQuery
  • Creating a Drupal site, using Bootstrap and deploying on Windows Azure.
  • Creating browser based applications using AngularJS.
Some basic knowledge, but willing to improve:
  • Graph databases: Neo4J, HyperGraphDB & Titan.
  • Various NoSQL data stores, like MongoDB, Voldemort, riak, ...
  • Clojure, Ruby and Python.
  • Scrum, Extreme Programming
  • Security & penetration testing.


Mother tongue
Very fluent

Other skills

In possession of a driver's license.


IBM Big Data Fundamentals Technical Mastery (N32)

IBM | 000-28363001 | January 2013

IBM InfoSphere BigInsights (Hadoop & Big Data) Technical Professional

IBM | 000-28146057 | October 2012

SARA Hadoop workshop

SURF SARA, Amsterdam | December 2010
University of Antwerp
Social-Economic Sciences
2005 - 2007
Not Achieved
Hibernia Steinerschool in Antwerp
ASO, Higher Secondary education
1999 - 2005