On the 20th of September 2023, I had the pleasure of attending the "Data in Motion" conference. At this event, Essent's heroes Sami Alashabi and Flavius Fernandes showcased "The Transformative Journey of Kafka at Essent".
They delved into how both Kafka and Confluent’s data streaming platform have become central in fulfilling Essent’s aspirations of fostering innovation, simplifying processes, reducing operational costs, all while maintaining an agile, customer-centric approach.
After exploring multiple solutions to integrate data streaming within the organization, the team settled on Confluent Cloud. Their decision was largely influenced by its robust capabilities and the exceptional support provided by its engineers.
During their presentation, Sami and Flavius highlighted several foundational elements that were integrated into the platform from the outset:
- Infrastructure as Code with Terraform: This approach automates the provisioning of resources. By utilizing Terraform, the team ensured streamlined and consistent deployment processes.
- Event Sourcing: This pattern ensures there is a comprehensive audit trail of all data modifications. Not only does this support transparency, but it also empowers Data Scientists by providing them with the historical data needed to create and train their models effectively.
- Delta Lake Integration: A critical component, the Delta Lake enables ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation, durability) transactions and allows data aggregates from a diversity of sources and formats. The result is enhanced reliability in analytics, data science, and machine learning initiatives.
- Privacy by Design: Given the sensitive nature of the personal identifiable information (PII) that Essent handles, it was important to embed privacy principles right from the platform's inception. This proactive approach ensured that data privacy was not an afterthought but a core tenet.
As part of the shift from legacy systems to a modern event-driven, near-real-time platform, Essent established internal communities. These communities serve as specialized forums where engineers from various teams converge to brainstorm fresh ideas and tackle existing challenges. The EDA (Event Driven Architecture) is one such community, but there are others, including Cloud, Data, and Backend, just to mention a few.
The audience was very engaged and asked insightful questions to our heroes! It's always a delight to witness such curiosity, with attendees eager to dive deeper into the platform's design.
Essent is proud of both Flavius and Sami. For the work they do in their teams, in the communities they lead, and for being brave to stand on the stage sharing with the community their story of Essent’s journey.
Were you there at the talk? If you have any lingering questions for them or are simply curious to know more about Essent's transformative journey, do not hesitate to drop a comment below. We will ensure you are promptly connected.