About: Arjun Narayan

I'm the CEO of Materialize, a real-time stream processing platform that I co-founded with Frank McSherry. This is my personal blog.

I live in Brooklyn. Previously, I was a software engineer at Cockroach Labs, working on performance and distributed query execution in CockroachDB. I finished a PhD in computer science at the University of Pennsylvania (snapshot of my final academic webpage), where my dissertation was on distributed systems that computed differentially private things. In my undergraduate days I studied computer science and economics at Williams College, and did a one-year stint at the Computer Lab at the University of Cambridge. I grew up in Bangalore, India.

I wrote this blog platform in order to force myself to write more database queries in a production setting. Building high-quality data infrastructure requires empathy for the end-user, and this blog is one of the main ways I've educated myself as to how databases actually get used. As a result, this blog is written in Rails/ActiveRecord, that being one of the most popular web frameworks. As a result of this janky one-off construction, this site breaks a lot. So please do send me bug reports. I'll likely learn quite a bit!

As for my writing, most of the things I've written are fairly technical, with the possible exception of my best performing blog post: The Philosophy of Computational Complexity.

For the technical database reader, you can read about database transaction isolation semantics, or a history of log structured merge trees. I also wrote the CockroachDB Performance Guide, as well as a RocksDB deep-dive over on the Cockroach Labs blog. For a while, Justin Jaffray and I wrote a database newsletter.

Alas, these days most of my writing consists of internal company memos. We'll soon have a Materialize company blog, so keep an eye out for that.

Finally, you can also follow me on Twitter.