Friday, 6 March 2015

Starting a Podcast about Graph Databases and Neo4j

Been wanting to do this for months, and last week at Qcon I decided to take the bull by the horns, and just try it out. I want to create a podcast about Graph Databases and the Neo4j ecosystem, featuring a weekly short post about what is going on in the wonderful world of Graph Databases. We'll try to publish a session every week - or perhaps more often if people like it a lot.

You can subscribe to the podcast on this feed url, this iTunes link or on the Soundcloud playlist. I will also embed it here.

The first session is an interview with my friend and colleague Michael Hunger. General lovely guy, but also one of the driving forces in the Neo4j community. Someone to listen to:
You can find the transcript of the podcast below:

RVB: Hi everyone. My name is Rik Van Bruggen, I work for Neo Technology, and this is a test of a series of podcasts that we want to be doing in the next couple of months, and I have invited someone that I would love to ask a couple of questions to about graph databases in general and where this whole thing is going. So with me today is Michael Hunger, Chief Evangelist at Neo Technology. Michael, do you mind introducing yourself?

MH: Yeah. I am Michael Hunger, I have been with Neo Technology now for almost 5 years, and I love to help people be succesful with Neo4j and make them happy - that’s what I like to do.

RVB: That’s fantastic. So how have you been with Neo, and how did you get to Neo?

MH: Actually I met Emil Eifrem, the CEO of Neo Technology, in 2008 on a Geek Cruise, where he talked about this Graph Database thing and he got me pretty much excited, I tried it out, we stayed in contact and in 2010 I joined the company - and have been active and happy ever since.

RVB: So awesome. Really I have only two questions for you, Michael. The first thing I wanted to ask you was - what do you love about Graph Databases? And then I would also like to talk to you about what you see in the future? So let’s start with the beginning: what do you love about graph databases, and why do you think they are the best thing since sliced bread?

MH: So the best thing about graph databases is this intuitive and flexible data model. So you can just grab your domain, take a whiteboard, your business expert, and just sit down and draw what you want to talk about, what you want to ask - and then take this data and these relationships and put them in your database without having to destroy it or change the structure … you kind of stay in the same model all the time. Graph databases and Neo4j specifically are really great at keeping this rich connected dataset and making managing and accessing it super fast and super efficient.

RVB: so do you think this would be something that anyone could use, that the average developer could be using? Or are we going to need a PhD. before we can start using it?

MH: fortunately you don’t need to have a PhD. It’s actually as easy as using a relational database. Just get Neo4j dowloaded, start it on your server machine and get started directly because it comes with this really intuitive trial image out of the box that is super easy to learn and super easy to use. You can get up and running within a few minutes, and be productive after this already.

RVB: so do you have any favourite use cases that you think are super applicable for it?

MH: there are a lot of cool use cases out there, but my personal favourite is software analytics, actually - because software is a graph and there is a lot of connected information in a software project - and I love to use Graph Databases for that.

RVB: so that means like analysing dependencies and all of those types of things?

MH: exactly. There are so many connections - there are static class and method structures, information about heaps and database connections, and lots of other things.

RVB: Super. So one more question for you. Where do you see this going? Where do you see it and where do you want it to go in 2-3-5 years from now for graph databases like Neo4j.

MH: So first of all I would love for people being addicted to graphs because I think it is a really universal data model and there are so many interesting domains that you could use it for, So I want to see it more broadly adopted, in general. And then of course I want more interesting use cases. From the feedback in the user community I want Neo4j to grow in many dimensions. From versatility to handling new data types, like spatial and time/versioning better. That would enable new applications. But then also integrated with other technologies: so to be able to take all of the infrastructure that you have, integrate it with Neo4j and have a really nice roundtrip experience.

RVB: So thanks so much Michael. We are going to keep it at that - I think it was a super interesting conversation. If you want to know more about Neo4j, just go to, reach out to us on Twitter @neo4j or just come and see us at one of our events near you. Thanks for listening - talk to you soon.

Hope you like it. Feedback welcome.




  1. Hello, I can't understand english very well. Could you provide the content in text too? Thanks.

  2. Just added it! Hope it is useful!