DURBAN: Elastic SA Meetup - Aug 2019

South Africa

Aug 29, 2019, 4:00 – 6:30 PM


About this event

Hello Durban!

We're excited to announce that our next Elastic SA Meetup will be taking place at LexisNexis in Durban on the 29th of August. We'll start at 18:00 and have three presentations for the Elastic community.

Here is what we have lined up for the evening:

18:00 - Arrival with snacks and drinks
18:15 - "Enterprise Search: Manipulating Relevance in the age of AI and NLP" (Morné Olderwagen, LexisNexis)
18:40 - "Painless Scripting in Elasticsearch" (Neil Maderthaner, Knowledge Focus)
19:05 - "F5 + Elasticsearch = catching baddies trying to exploit our systems" (Thomas Parry and Nicholas Waring, Derivco)
19:30 - Networking with snacks and drinks
20:30 - Closing

Here is some more information on the presentations and presenters for the evening:

Morné Olderwagen - LexisNexis
Enterprise Search: Manipulating Relevance in the age of AI and NLP

This talk covers the journey LexisNexis went through, and are still going through, to adjust the relevance of search results returned to the customer. Every search solution will be different and in this session we will look at specific problems that required solutions to allow LexisNexis to increase the relevance of the search results it returns, including migrating from FAST ESP, working around legacy logic of an old search system, different content types in one general search, attempting to identify “intent” to allow for Query manipulation and also looking at Learning to Rank.

Morné is the DevOps Team lead at LexisNexis South Africa, based in Durban. Morné joined LexisNexis in 2005 as a PHP developer and soon expanded onto C# development after a brief stint as an SEO Specialist for the Marketing department. In 2012, he joined the Enterprise Search team working on the FAST ESP platform. After Microsoft acquired FAST in 2008 and stopped full supporting it some years later, LexisNexis needed a new Enterprise Search platform and decided on Elasticsearch. Morné led the project to migrate from FAST ESP to Elasticsearch and collaborated with Knowledge Focus on the venture. Morné is still the Technical Lead for Search at LexisNexis.

Thomas Parry & Nicholas Waring - Derivco

F5 + Elasticsearch = catching baddies trying to exploit our systems

Thomas is an ex-DBA turned devops - who started working with Elasticsearch about 3 years ago where he used it to develop a replacement to an old expensive and cumbersome monitoring solution. Now he helps to manage a fleet of ES clusters and ECE deployments and they process just over 1 billion events per day.

Nicholas has been with Derivco for over a decade and is an F5 Security specialist.

Neil Maderthaner - Knowledge Focus
Painless Scripting in Elasticsearch

Painless is a simple, secure scripting language designed specifically for use with Elasticsearch. But why build a brand new language when there are already so many to choose from? What are the benefits of using Painless and when / how should it be used? In this session Neil will introduce you to Painless and dive into the whats, whys, whens and hows along with giving practical scenarios and demonstrations of Painless in action.

Neil Maderthaner has over 20 years experience working with almost all the prominent search based products in the market, both past and present. He currently plies his trade on the Elastic Stack and is one of the first certified Elastic Engineers in South Africa. He thrives on digging his teeth into all aspects of deployment and development on top of Elastic and is most happy when solving complex search related issues.

Important information:
Snacks and refreshments will be available at the event.
Parking will be available at the building.

We look forward to seeing you on the 29th of August!



Thursday, August 29, 2019
4:00 PM – 6:30 PM UTC


  • Timothy Brophy


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