Dec 3rd, 2017: [EN][Elastic Stack] Fighting Fires and Intrinsic Exploration - Getting Started with the Elastic Stack

It seems there are two reasons that folk choose to learn new technologies. Either:

  • There is an immediate, environmental need that must be solved, or
  • There is a general, intrinsicinterest in learning new technologies

The discussion/decision making process around the first category typically progresses something like, ‘OMG THERE IS A FIRE,’ and is based on a specific challenge involving a combination of technologies. As such, the process of solving the problem becomes naturally limited in scope. The second is often a more open-ended journey of exploration —a ‘what does this feature do?’ discovery into the possibilities presented by new technology.

Often, if learning is driven by trying to solve a specific problem, the joy of exploration is lost in the need to put out the fire. Alternatively, if learning the new tech is driven by intrinsic interest without a focused goal, the process never feels satisfactorily "done." We felt these pains, and examined how people were successfully learning new tech. Many folks are driven by a combination of these reasons — exploring new uses, learning what can be achieved, and applying that knowledge to solve immediate, tangible problems.

Quite recently, we added new resources to, designed to emulate the perfect storm of need and interest, and help shorten the time to achieving a meaningful result — or, perhaps, helping you put out the fires you are facing.

If you want to begin the scope of your exploration by solving for a specific thing (Kubernetes logs in the Elastic Stack, for an example) these provide the step-by-step process to install, ingest, and analyze data.

Of course, the fun doesn’t stop there. There are a variety of other resources that are useful when getting started, and can help answer the “what else can this do?” questions:

Docs - The docs are spectacularly helpful and detailed pull requests are appreciated if you find an errant sentence that falls short.
Forums - You are already here, but if you are here for the first time, take a moment to look around. Chances are someone has asked a question similar to yours and the community (including Elasticians, as we call ourselves on internal emails) are always happy to help. You may be surprised, as you learn, at how many questions you can answer.
Examples - If you have services running, and data being generated, you are well positioned to use instruction sets as shown above. But what if you want to explore what the Elastic Stack can do with NGINX but aren’t running it on your laptop? The examples repo provides a catalog of common data sets, common use cases, public data, and includes detailed instructions for exploring the Elastic Stack. We are still upgrading all of the examples to 6.0 so, as always, pull requests are welcome. :slight_smile:

Happy exploring and pleasant 3rd day of Advent!

1 Like

Loved the different paths you describe! And discovered the examples on github.
If you're looking for a mean to explore the docs, here is how I try to do that in my monthly presentations at my company: every time I discover something I didn't know in the doc, I describe that in a short slide. Some are really short (for example, I have been hit by config.support_escapes: which default to true in Logstash), some are longer (for example, the date pattern in Elasticsearch index name and the associated maths). This section is named "Nobody reads the doc!"

BTW, we are still on Dec 2nd! Happy sunday, Tyler :wink:


It is already December 3rd in parts of Australia.... :slight_smile:

Yeah! I knew I'll get such answer from elastic members!

But actually that's my bad. I set the wrong date to publish this one. It was supposed to get out at 00:00 UTC... :wink:

Basically, time is an unsolved problem in computer science. Both polynomial vs. non-polynomial time and also timezones...both things. :slight_smile:

1 Like