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Databricks Beacons Program

Databricks Beacons Logo

The Databricks Beacons program is our way to thank and recognize the community members, data scientists, data engineers, developers and open source enthusiasts who go above and beyond to uplift the data and AI community.

Whether they are speaking at conferences, leading workshops, teaching, mentoring, blogging, writing books, creating tutorials, offering support in forums or organizing meetups, they inspire others and encourage knowledge sharing – all while helping to solve tough data problems.

Meet the Databricks Beacons

Beacons share their passion and technical expertise with audiences around the world. They are contributors to a variety of open source projects including Apache Spark™, Delta Lake, MLflow and others. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them on social to see what they’re working on.


Adi Polak

Adi is a Senior Software Engineer and Developer Advocate in the Azure Engineering organization at Microsoft.


Bartosz Konieczny

Bartosz is a Data Engineering Consultant and an instructor.



R. Tyler Croy

Tyler, the Director of Platform Engineering at Scribd, has been an open source developer for over 14 years.


Kent Yao

Kent is an Apache Spark™ committer and a staff software engineer at NetEase.


Kyle Hamilton

Kyle is the Chief Innovation and Data Officer at iQ4, and a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley.


Jacek Laskowski

Jacek is an IT freelancer who specializes in Apache Spark™, Delta Lake and Apache Kafka.


Scott Haines

Scott is a Distinguished Software Engineer at Nike where he helps drive Apache Spark™ adoption.


Simon Whiteley

Simon is the Director of Engineering at Advancing Analytics, is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and Data + AI Summit speaker.


Geeta Chauhan

Geeta leads AI/PyTorch Partnership Engineering at Facebook AI and focuses on strategic initiatives.


Lorenz Walthert

Lorenz Walthert is a data scientist, MLflow contributor, climate activist and a GSoC participant.


Yitao Li

Yitao is a software engineer at SafeGraph and the current maintainer of sparklyr, an R interface for Apache Spark™.


Maciej Szymkiewicz

Maciej is an Apache Spark™ committer. He is available for mentoring and consulting.


Takeshi Yamamuro

Takeshi is a software engineer, Apache Spark™ committer and PMC member at NTT, Inc., who mainly works on Spark SQL.

Membership Criteria

Beacons are first and foremost practitioners in the data and AI community whose technology focus includes MLflow, Delta Lake, Apache Spark™, Databricks and related ecosystem technologies. Beacons actively build others up throughout the year by teaching, blogging, speaking, mentoring, organizing meetups, creating content, answering questions on forums and more.

Program Benefits

  • Peer networking and sharing through a private Slack channel

  • Access to Databricks and OSS subject matter experts

  • Recognition on the Databricks website and social channels

  • Custom swag

  • In the future, sponsored travel and lodging to attend select
    Databricks events

  • Sponsorship and swag for meetups

Nominate a peer

We’d love to hear from you! Tell us who made continued outstanding contributions to the data and AI community. Candidates must be nominated by someone in the community, and everyone — including customers, partners, Databricks employees or even a current Beacon — is welcome to submit a nomination. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and membership is valid for one year.