The Jelastic Spotlight: Max Matveev and DragonCalc

| July 27, 2012

This week's Jelastic Spotlight comes to you from Zurich, Switzerland! We are talking with with Max Matveev. The app he is currently working on started as a side project that has now been downloaded over 100k times!

If you know of someone that is doing cool stuff and is using Jelastic, let us know! We would love to chat with them and showcase their work, here on the blog. If you know of someone that is doing cool stuff but has not tried Jelastic out, tell them about us!

Max Matveev and DragonCalc

Hey, Max. Thanks for taking the time to chat. I know that syncing up has been a little difficult, but I'm glad we finally were able to get this interview. So, you are currently based in Zurich, right?

Yeah. Currently I'm based in Zurich, Switzerland. We moved from Moscow about a month ago.

Did you grow up in Moscow?

Actually, I was born in Habarovsk, which is in the far-east part of Russia. When I was 6, my parents moved to Germany where our family lived for a number of years. Later on, we lived in Belarus for a several years and then during high school and college I lived in Saratov, Russia.

Where did you go to university?

Saratov State University there in Saratov. I graduated from there in 2003.

After university, what did you do?

I used to work for a company that was focused on high-performance, scalable computing. They were one of the first companies to adopt Cloud computing concepts and put them into practice. Then, a few years ago, my area of interest changed, so I moved into master data management, specifically within the banking industry. I love it because it is a daily challenge, which keeps it interesting and exciting.

Do you have a family?

Yeah. My wife Natalia and my daughter Zlata (in English it would be something like Goldie) who is 4 years old. We also have our family pet, Stich. He is a ferret and we pretty much consider him a part of the family.

That's cool! So, what took you from working in data management to working on your own app?

Well, most people would think that is something like being a startup or entrepreneur, but the truth is that I originally built the app to help me wife. To help her play some iOS games!

Wait. You just did it to help your wife and her gaming?

Yeah. Initially. But after publishing it in the app store, I noticed that it had a pretty number of downloads. Way higher than anything that I had expected, over 100k downloads.

Wow. That's impressive. Tell us a little about your app.

Basically, the application is a Tomcat/MongoDB backend for an iOS application. A few interesting things about it though:

- traffic is hundreds of gigs per day

- about a million requests per day

- using only 5-6 cloudlets on average

Wow. That's pretty sweet! What's your app called?

It's called DragonCalc. It basically helps people that are playing DragonVale not only keep track of their dragons, but helps them find the best formulas and methods of getting their favorite, or most wanted, dragons. It also helps with sorting out all of the different possible outcomes of dragon breeding, sharing breeding stats and then, as a result, it is building up a community dragon breeding database.

So, what's next for your app?

I've got a ton of improvement requests, so I guess I really don't have any choice but to continue it's development.

You currently have your app running on Jelastic. How's that working for you, honestly?

Well, the platform is still really young, so I'm ok with some periodical problems. Support could be a little faster and more responsive. But otherwise - it's a great platform. It's reliable and I have no plans to switch to something else.

Yeah. Those are things we are working on actively. So it's good to know that you have noticed.

Tell me, what do you like most about your work?

It's the technical challenges. We work with huge amounts of data and often really sophisticated analysis of this data is required to find matches, duplicates, etc. And it all has to be done in real-time. That's what keeps me excited about what I do.

Do you think Java has been a significant factor in your professional life?

Yeah. But not just my professional life. I would say that one of the coolest things is that because I know Java I have been able to travel and visit a number of countries. I have friends all over the world. And probably most importantly, and most recently, due to it I now live in Switzerland instead of Russia.

That is pretty awesome. So talking about travel and such -- do you have any favorite hobbies?

I would say that my greatest interests are travel and photography. I also really love any technical challenge. I don't play any instruments, but I hope to learn to play the piano some day.

Would you say that your idea of a good weekend would involve travel?

Yup. In fact, in just a week or so, the family and I are planning on visiting some friends in Nice, France. I love weekends like that.

Last question: do you have any advice for people out there?

Yes. I always rely on yourself. Never blame your circumstances. If anything, blame yourself and believe that you can achieve anything that you want if you are strong enough to not give up and follow through on your dreams.

Thanks, Max. It's been a pleasure.



If you know of someone that is doing cool stuff and is using Jelastic, let us know! We would love to chat with them and showcase their work, here on the blog. If you know of someone that is doing cool stuff but has not tried Jelastic out, tell them about us!