To kick things off, we asked Markus to introduce himself.
“I'm Markus, a software developer at devjob.at. I enjoy experimenting with new technologies and packages, prototyping ideas, and improving the code base. My main area of interest lies in backend and infrastructure topics. During my free time, I read a lot of tech articles and follow Tech Twitter to see what's new in our ever-changing dev world.”
You can find him on Twitter as @m4ch4tschek
“Apart from the tech stuff, I also enjoy spending time in nature. Since owning a dog, I got interested in dog training. I dedicate a significant amount of time to it and consider it time well spent.”
Curious minds want to know! We couldn’t help but ask for account recommendations. If you are dying to know too, don’t worry, here’s the list of Markus’ top Twitter accounts:
- @marcelpociot: Markus praised Marcel Pociot for creating the best developer tools around Laravel and other projects, and for quickly providing working solutions to developers' issues.
- @JackEllis: He finds Jack Ellis' journey as a CTO challenging Google's analytics business to be very inspiring.
- @mathemagic1an: This account covers all things AI, and he recommends it to anyone interested in the field.
- @mattpocockuk: Markus believes this account owner has "TypeScript superpowers"
- @tobias_petry: For SQL content, he advises following Tobias
- @mjackson and @kentcdodds were recommended for their work with Remix
And, of course, he also suggests following @meilisearch 😎
Love at first sight
Markus discovered Meilisearch in late 2020. While he couldn't recall exactly how he first heard of Meilisearch, he did remember being drawn to its simplicity:
“Finally, something fast and configurable, that I can easily understand and deploy without a PhD.”
He ended up implementing it into two projects, with one of them, DEVWorkplaces, being highlighted in our newsletter. DEVWorkplaces focuses on job search and dev workplace discovery in the DACH region. It was already using Algolia in production, but it didn’t fully meet the product’s needs.
When asked what Meilisearch brought to the table that Algolia couldn't, Markus listed a few key advantages. First, Meilisearch offers a self-hosting option, which was a big plus for his team. Second, he appreciated the local development environment and the fact that Meilisearch is open-source. Finally, Markus found that Meilisearch was easy to use and understand for team members, making it a more accessible tool for everyone involved.
We were curious to know Markus’ take on how Meilisearch has evolved from 2020 to 2023. Has Meilisearch gone from good to great, or has it gotten worse? Thankfully, Meilisearch seems to have evolved in the right direction 😀
“Seeing the community grow is the biggest point. Increased adoption of framework/language integrations has been wild. Also, there are a lot more team members now. Everything is way more professional (in a good way), from the releases, product decisions to communication, blog posts, and community interaction.”
As a developer advocate and one of the earliest team members, I love to hear that! The truth is that everyone at Meilisearch is very proud of how far we have come and very excited about the future! We are moved to see that there are people who have been supporting us from the beginning 🥰
From user to contributor
We're always intrigued by how individuals take the leap to contribute to a project. In Markus’ case, it was a matter of necessity. When he encountered an issue, he saw no other option but to fix it himself. As he became more involved with open-source projects, Markus began contributing to Meilisearch and KeystoneJS, two projects that he uses in his work.
“As open-source projects are mostly dependent on user contributions, this was the way to go. Also, contributing to an open-source project (no matter which size) is something I enjoy, even though I would like to contribute more.”
Markus’ contributions have evolved over time. Although he still contributes to code fixes, he has become more involved in non-coding tasks. Markus is particularly interested in Laravel Scout-related issues or questions and tries to provide helpful answers whenever possible. He’s been also participating actively in product discussions.
“I've subscribed to topics that make my daily usage of Meilisearch easier. Guillaume Mourier (Meilisearch's Product Manager) makes a big effort to try to collect as much information as possible about new features or changes. This is great as we (contributors and users) can add input to any product decision before it gets implemented.”
It's feedback like this that has helped us continue to improve Meilisearch over time, and we are grateful for Markus’ and our community's contributions. We are excited to continue improving our product with his and our community's input. That's why we asked him about the features he would like to see in the near future, and he did not disappoint! He’s got plenty of ideas:
“I think it would be great if Meilisearch would be upgradable without the need of creating dumps and re-importing them. Just shutting down Meilisearch and starting it with a newer version. Currently, if we want to implement a zero downtime deployment (having the old Meilisearch instance and a new one and syncing the changes to both instances until everything is up to date), it leads to extended downtime on the search endpoint and overhead on the implementation side.”
“Furthermore, for my current project at work, we would appreciate multi-geopoint support. As this is missing, we need to use the distinct attribute feature, which unfortunately is extremely slow on search requests with a lot of hits.”
It was great chatting with Markus and learning about his experience with Meilisearch. It's always a pleasure to hear from our community members and learn about the diverse ways in which they are using Meilisearch. We are grateful to Markus for taking the time to share his thoughts and experience with us, and we look forward to continuing to work with him and our community to create fast, powerful, and reliable search experiences.
If you are interested in learning more about how Meilisearch is being used by other developers and organizations, check out our previous Meilistar interview with Minoru Osuka, one of our main language contributors.