MAGE - A Homage to the Team and the Magic
If you’re familiar with Memgraph or just started exploring its products, you must have heard about MAGE - a Memgraph library for data science and machine learning on graphs. But how did it all start, who came up with the idea, and who are the masterminds behind the product? Find out below!
First of all - what is MAGE, and who came up with the name?
Matak: MAGE stands for Memgraph Advanced Graph Extensions. Shortly, the open-source graph algorithms library is on its way to becoming the best in the world! The library's goal was to enable anyone using graphs to quickly extend their functionality by providing an easy-to-use interface in many programming languages.
As for the name itself, there was a competition organized within the company with plenty of valuable proposals. Toni (our head of the Platform team) came up with the acronym "MAGE," which won the competition. The name itself was an excellent opportunity to provide some story behind the library - there is something magical about it, just as it is about graph algorithms.
Teamwork makes the dream work, but what is each of you responsible for, and what does your typical day look like?
Fico: My role in the team is to research new algorithms that can bring value to our current and potential users, develop such algorithms, and present them in a blog post. As for the typical day, I think I can speak for Ante and myself and say that it starts with a morning meeting where we discuss what we worked on the day before, what obstacles we are facing, and how we plan to solve them. If there are no obstacles (which is pretty rare), we discuss what we will work on next. And that is pretty much it for our daily stand-up. Then we all continue to work on defined tasks for the rest of the working day.
Ante: As a junior R&D engineer, I can be caught following what people do with graphs, researching graph methods, or turning them into MAGE code.
Matak: I am the lead engineer for the MAGE product. I liked the role because I had time to think about the new directions for MAGE and deliver new features. My day often involves many meetings, between which I work on development. The hardest part of being the manager in the MAGE team is the uncertainty - there is no clear path forward, and sometimes you need to be creative to enhance the product while helping others with their features. Since MAGE is a complex product, grasping the entire domain has sometimes been challenging but fun to conquer.
Who should use MAGE?
Fico: MAGE is here for all developers who want to have ready-to-use graph algorithms for exploring graphs, running various graph analytics, inferring information from data stored in databases, or creating their modules.
What's the best thing about working in the Solutions team?
Ante: What I like the most about the team is mutual understanding - it makes working together and socializing much easier!
Fico: The best thing about my team is the freedom you have when designing, implementing, and testing new algorithms. There are some concepts to follow, of course, but in most parts, there is a lot of freedom and independence.
Matak: Definitely the individual willingness to help. Everyone is super involved and ready to jump in when needed. Everyone is passionate about the product - every hit milestone or released feature was celebrated, but after the celebration, everybody was as motivated to move forward as always.
What’s so special about working in Memgraph?
Matak: Saying "the atmosphere" might sound like a cliche; however, that's what I like at Memgraph. Everyone is warm and ready to help. The other thing is the overall motivation. That feeling of everyone being focused and motivated for the end goal certainly affects the working atmosphere and positively impacts personal productivity.
Fico: I love day-to-day challenges and solving them. People inside the team and cross-team are great and always very helpful. And they are very skillful at what they do; that's why I am happy to work with such people and to have the opportunity to learn a lot from them.
Ante: Memgraph is where I’ve learned a lot about building software, but that would’ve been much harder had I not been surrounded by competent people who care. And the retreats weren’t bad at all :D
For all of us at Memgraph, MAGE is more than graph algorithms and modules. MAGE are people that work their magic to bring flexibility and ease of use to empower developers to tackle the most interesting and challenging graph analytics problems.
From all of us in Memgraph - thank you for all the magic you did. We wish you all the best in your future endeavors!