Welcome everyone to our latest Meilistar interview! To our faithful readers, you already know the gist of it all, but if it’s the first time reading this type of blog post, the Meilistars are Meilisearch’s very own contributors program, populated by some of our most talented or oldest contributors.

Who is Vishal?

Today, we’re sitting down with Vishal Sodani, Mumbai-based freelancer. Not only is he a self-taught polyglot programmer, he’s also been building web-based products, mostly in Django, since 2011. He’s the developer behind learned.vcreation.xyz to which he integrated Meilisearch. Aside from his dev experience, Vishal is an avid reader and a chess enthusiast!

But that’s not all:

“I love exploring Rust now and then. I built learned.vcreation.xyz (a note taking and bookmarking site) in actix-web and published my only crate for a client https://crates.io/crates/migamake-api-cloudflare

Not unlike our very own integration manager Bruno, whose interview you can read here, Vishal discovered Meilisearch at the occasion of Hacktoberfest, the yearly celebration of open source!

An October-themed adventure

It is positively thrilling to know Hacktoberfest still remains a source of discovery for open-source enthusiasts year after year! Indeed, Hacktoberfest 2022 was far from Vishal’s first participation, but rather his fourth. We consider ourselves lucky to have managed to catch Vishal’s attention last October, especially considering it’s the only time of the year he’s able to contribute to various projects due to his busy schedule, but the developer returned our love tenfold:

“I love the easy setup and usage of Meilisearch.
While searching for open-source projects to participate in Hacktoberfest, I unexpectedly came across Meilisearch. Having already implemented full-text search using Postgres, my curiosity piqued when I learned about Meilisearch, and I became increasingly interested in exploring it.”

This is definitely a point we take great pride in: being able to easily get into the Meiliverse and use Meilisearch right away! We’re glad Vishal got that feeling too!

Coincidentally, we’d also written a blog post about Postgres (that you can read here if you wish), so we were curious to know if Vishal agreed with the content we wrote or if he’d had a different experience on his side:

“When it came to utilizing Postgres full-text search, I had a rudimentary understanding. Getting started with it involved delving into documentation and articles. Subsequently, I developed code in Golang to execute queries to the back-end for conducting searches. It was a trial-and-error process, but eventually, I managed to make it work. However, in contrast, using Meilisearch for the same use case was a breeze.”

Seeing as Vishal discovered Meilisearch during Hacktoberfest, we were curious to know how his contribution journey went at such a frantic time. Thankfully, he only had good things to share about our maintainers:

“The experience was smooth. I was able to set up the repository easily. And, during my contribution I was given timely excellent guidance. So, this made my journey enjoyable.”

The battle for constant improvement isn’t over!

As a final point, we were eager to hear about which features were Vishal’s favourite, and which ones could still use some work according to him:

“Right now my favorite features are - ease of setup, client library in golang which makes it easy to add documents from my golang web app, documentation is good which makes it easy to know the features available and their usage.
I think it would be good to have more complete examples in repository; though I have not looked at repo since sometime; collection of advice/notes from real-world usage shared by other users. Sometimes when I browse issues I find interesting comments by users which helps one to learn.”

Especially valuable feedback as we’re constantly working on improving our SDK documentation!

A big thank you to Vishal for his time, it was lovely hearing about his experience and we hope his story, as well as Bruno’s, will inspire many more to join us during future events!