About Writing GitHub Pub

My name is Ryan Zezeski. I sometimes go by the handle Z. I’m a computer programmer living in South Baltimore City. I was once a core contributor to the Riak distributed database. Now my focus is on operating systems, especially the illumos kernel. My software interests have varied greatly over the years: including distributed systems, databases, information retrieval, and systems programming. These days I either have my nose buried in an old Unix book or I'm debugging something with DTrace.

Programming has been a passion since 14, but not my sole interest. I enjoy reading, weight lifting, golfing, movies, gambling, and drinking with friends.


  • try-try-try

    A four part series on building a distributed application using Riak Core. It walks you through the creation of a toy application; explaining the workings of Riak Core along the way. This series is aging but still relevant.
    Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4

  • Yokozuna

    A part of the Riak database. Allowing one to index Riak Objects and CRDTs in Solr. Write your data like Riak, query it like Solr.
    Concepts Resources


  • Basho Bench

    A benchmarking tool written in Erlang. Primarily used to benchmark Riak, but can benchmark other databases as well as storage subsystems like LevelDB. Most of my contributions were bug fixes but I also created a driver to test search systems like Riak Search and Yokozuna.

  • Erlang

    The Erlang Virtual Machine and OTP library. I fixed DTrace support in the build.

  • illumos

    I’ve made several contributions to illumos and the illumos-based operating system SmartOS. It’s where I spend most of my time these days.

  • Riak

    I was a core contributor to the Riak database from the years 2010 to 2014. And employed as a senior developer at Basho for most of that time. I contributed to many parts of Riak including Riak Core, Riak KV, Riak Search, Luawk, Merge Index, and Riak Test. My initial focus was on fixing bugs and reviewing code in the fundamental parts: Core and KV. But after fixing a few bugs in Riak Search I became very interested in Information Retrieval. At that point the majority of my focus was turned to bettering Riak’s query potential by improving Riak Seach. This ultimately lead to the creation of Yokozuna, the successor to Riak Search.