Interview with Nikita Salnikov-Tarnovski

Nikita Salnikov-Tarnovski is the co-founder of Plumbr, the memory leak detection product. Besides his daily technical tasks he is an active blogger, a JavaOne RockStar and a frequent conference speaker at Devoxx, JavaOne Russia, 33rd Degree, TopConf, JavaDay, GeekOut, Joker, and Jazoon.

Q: What are your JavaOne sessions about this year?

Salnikov-Tarnovski: My two talks are about identifying and solving memory leaks in applications, one conference session titled “keep memory leaks at bay” and one tutorial called “where is my memory.” Both sessions relate to how Java applications consume and use memory while running. I will discuss how to monitor your production environment; how to detect memory leaks and other memory inefficiencies; what to do if your application fails because of memory leak or becomes unbearable slow due to Garbage Collection taking too long, and so on.

Q: Are you giving tips and tricks during those sessions on how they can use Plumbr’s product?

Salnikov-Tarnovski: Last year, I talked about Java memory leaks and I used our product to present solutions. This year, I will talk about general methodology and techniques on how these problems can be detected and solved with the aid of the best tools on the market including our tool and any other freely available tools.

Q: Why are memory leaks important?

Salnikov-Tarnovski: Memory leaks are one of the top reasons why Java applications crash in production. Other memory related problems, such as inefficient Garbage Collection can make your application just stall for some arbitrarily long time. And your clients will be effected. E.g. when you hit the search button on Amazon.com and this all of a sudden takes too long, it is probably because GC kicked in and said: “Wait some 10 seconds, I will look for some garbage”.

Q: Aside from your sessions, what do you have planned for JavaOne?

Salnikov-Tarnovski: The main reason why I attend conferences - apart from talking about our product, of course – is to meet the many bright speakers and attendees. When you're a senior engineer with 12 years of experience, you want to go to conferences like JavaOne to meet your peers - people who are smarter than you- because you can learn a lot from them. You can discuss your problems and get feedback, and share your ‘war’ stories. This is the main reason why I attend conferences and I advise all my fellow engineers to go to JavaOne and other Java conferences. I'm planning to go to Java conferences as long as I am in this profession.

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