Troy Yang is Plural's Open-Sourcerer of the month. 

Featured Open-Sourcerer: Troy Yang

This month, I talked to Troy Yang, who’s been a champion and early adopter of Plural. Troy is a Senior Software Engineer at DignifiHealth.

Abhi Vaidyanatha
Abhi Vaidyanatha

Every month, we feature an individual who has stood out in our community as a notable contributor or user of Plural. This month, I talked to Troy Yang, who’s been a champion and early adopter of Plural.

Troy is a Senior Software Engineer at DignifiHealth, where he's helping improve health systems for providers and patients.

What does your day-to-day look like?

My day-to-day mostly involves working with ETL processes and backend services. We have a web app with a backend that requires ETL for the analytics service that we offer, which I manage.

Our bread and butter as a company is enabling providers at hospitals to provide better patient care using the data that they already have on hand. We ingest their data and serve it back to them in a more meaningful way in our web app or backend services.

How has your journey with Plural been?

Honestly, what I perceived to be our main use case for Plural shifted dynamically since I first stumbled upon it. In a way, that speaks to the usefulness of Plural. It’s basically this 3D printer where you pay for the materials and what you want to print… but for software.

The original idea for using Plural was about the ability to scale our ETL pipelines. However, this clearly proved to be a non-issue, as the upper bound of data in the health domain was not high enough to warrant prematurely optimizing. We kept thinking of ways to push our backend services and although we didn’t use Plural for hosting our ETL tooling, things started to shift when we were exploring.

One of the other developers on my team was asking for Sentry for a long time and I saw that you had it on your marketplace. Plural lowered the barrier for adding that service to our stack, which is a concern for development in the health domain. Stakeholders have a built-in hesitancy because there is a lot of red tape to cut through. We’ve also added a Superset instance to our Plural installation and are looking at adding Jitsu for creating an event pipeline. Things have definitely shifted, but Plural remains a constant for our engineering team.

How is working with Plural as a developer?  

It enables the engineer to an extreme degree. The fact that I can throw anything in the catalog on the cluster is honestly just fun. There are so many services that I’ve thought about signing up for but never wanted to enter credit card information for a SaaS. For protected domains like healthcare, it’s always technically possible to do, but SaaS is a non-starter. So with Plural, I can host a bunch of open-source projects easily on my own without worrying about PII data leaving our infrastructure.

What would you consider your most unique or nerdiest hobby?

I’ll be spending some time in Malta… because of Age of Empires 3. When you start the single-player campaign, it starts with you playing as the Maltese defending against the Ottoman empire. But I always thought, what the **** is Malta? This place doesn’t seem real.

So I’ve always had this fascination with Malta and I’m going there next year for 2 weeks, which is funny because it all started from Age of Empires. I’ve always been a fan of RTS games, but I’m more of a Total War guy than a Civilization guy. Less thinking, more smashing things.

But I go for everything in terms of video games. Lots of sports games, like Madden, FIFA, NHL, 2K, and MLB… but the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 probably consumed the most time out of anything for me.

What content or art do you primarily consume?

Music is a big part of my life. I really like music that doesn’t have words though. I love music in foreign languages because you don’t always know what they are saying but you know what the songs are about. Food and music are great equalizers. I don’t need to understand you to experience it.

But I also like heavy metal; Atreyu and Architects are cool. The drummer of Architects got cancer, wrote a bunch of music about it, beat cancer, got cancer again, and wrote music about it again. All of this transcends culture and is universally appreciable.

Another thing I like about metal is that I really like music that has a complex composition and a bunch of moving pieces coming together. You can hop in and out from focusing on one particular section of music to another. Every time you listen to the song it’s different.


To learn more about how Plural works and how we are helping engineering teams across the world deploy open-source applications in a cloud production environment, check out our Github to get started today.

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