Kafka is at the center of modern streaming systems. Kafka serves as a database, a pubsub system, a buffer, and a data recovery tool. It’s an extremely flexible tool, and that flexibility has led to its use as a platform for a wide variety of data intensive applications. Today’s guest is Gwen Shapira, a product manager at Confluent. Confluent is a company that was started by the creators of Apache Kafka–Jay Kreps, Neha Narkhede, and Jun Rao, who have all been on the show in previous episodes.