In our latest installment of Get to Know Our Couchbase Community, we catch up with Dave Starling, CTO of Seenit, a London-based company helping brands and organizations create video with their audiences. Dave is the first member selected for the Couchbase Experts group based on his vast experience with Server and Mobile development of Couchbase.
Tell us about yourself and what you do in your daily role?
Dave: I’m the CTO at Seenit – a London-based startup that formed in January 2014, focusing on enabling video collaboration and storytelling for enterprises and brands, including the BBC, HSBC, and Hilton Hotels. I’ve come through the ranks of development to architecture to CTO, and still keep extremely hands on at Seenit, and write a lot of Python code. I’ve held Chief Architect positions at Picsolve and Pearson, where my initial interest in Couchbase began.
Where are you based and what do you like to do in your spare time?
Dave: I’m based in London, where I’ve lived for 14 years. I’m a gamer, and recently got an Oculus Rift, so my spare time has been spent playing around with that lately.
What made you choose Couchbase?
Dave: I’ve been using Couchbase Server since the early 2.0 days, initially as a way of handling extremely fragile network and hardware conditions, and later as a low-cost Raspberry Pi datastore using Couchbase Mobile.
Since then, I’ve been using 3.x and 4.x in production at Seenit as our primary datastore, using the whole gamut of features, from XDCR to map/reduce views, and more recently N1QL for our new video analytics platform.
As a startup, we’re constantly trialling new product ideas, and the schema-less approach and simple integration with Python means that our database doesn’t become a barrier to development.
If you could have three wishes for Couchbase what would they be?
Dave: The ability to have a non-enforced schema is huge for us, as it means we can be extremely agile in our development process, and having the documents mapped to Python dictionaries and lists makes it super easy for us to reduce our code complexity.
We’re also doing a lot with Full Text Search right now, enabling the search of video content based on machine learning analysis.
What is your favorite book or author, and why?
Dave: Frank Herbert’s “Dune.” I’ve read it every year for the past 20 years. It’s a phenomenal book and series, and there are few authors who build such a rich environment and history for their universes.