ElasticSearch - User Feedback - Open Source Project Conclusion

Hello, everyone!

I have not posted much on ElasticSearch boards, as I still feel new to open source and did not feel as though I had much to contribute. Hopefully this post will not be disregarded as clutter or off-topic posting, because I'd like to offer my two cents to anyone concerned.

Allow me to introduce myself and briefly explain my background. My name is John, I'll be graduating in about 2-3 weeks, and this semester I took an open source class that required us getting involved in an open source project. I found ElasticSearch on GitHub and the large community is probably what appealed to me the most (I didn't want to pick a project that risked losing support). The highly scalable search engine intrigued me as well.

Having only 4 semesters of Java under my belt, I initially wondered how I'd be able to best be of help to ElasticSearch. I decided to play the role of a tester from a beginner's perspective. The following constructive criticism is meant to be my input and my input only. My intention is to help, not to create off-topic posting.

The truth is, as a newcomer to open source, I found that getting started in ElasticSearch was not as simple as it was made out to be. Granted, once I did figure out how to get started with ElasticSearch, I liked it and found it to be quite worthy of its "zero configuration" hype. I loved that part, actually, and it once I figured out how to use it with Fiddler it became a pretty neat tool.

My suggestion to ElasticSearch-- if looking to attract more users-- would be to expand or elaborate on its "Learn" or "Getting Started" section. Despite its awesome interface, I had to rely on YouTube and Google searches to really get the gist of how ElasticSearch really worked. To me, the videos and docs in the "Learn" section of this site feel very bland. From a similar standpoint, GitHub felt the same way to me.

If efforts were concentrated on a hypothetical audience that was completely clueless on where/how to start (such as myself), my guess is that more people would be willing to try it. The reason I didn't put it down right away is because my grade depended on it once I started.

And I'm glad I stuck it out, because I honestly see myself continuing to use ElasticSearch.

At the beginning of this project, I didn't think I would say that. I mean that as a genuine compliment, and I'm really trying to help with this feedback. The reason I haven't posted much is because I dislike posting if I feel I have nothing to contribute.

TL;DR: I feel that ElasticSearch would benefit from having a tutorial for complete beginners (and/or people new to open source).

Thank you for reading this, and I'll be including any comments I receive on this thread in my presentation for class. (If this topic gets removed for off-topic posting for any reason, I apologize. I picked what seemed like the right discussion board to present my feedback as a tester.)

Please feel free to include your thoughts and opinions.

Hi John,

first of all, thanks for the elaborate feedback and sharing your experience as a ES beginner. This can be very valuable because sometimes hard to put oneself into the shoes of the complete "newbie".

Regarding your suggestions to improve the "Learn" or "Getting Started" section it would be great to learn more about which parts were initially difficult for you and what you used instead to get started, because you mention that you finally succeeded with it. Are there specific guides, tutorials etc. you found elsewhere that were of help to you (you mention YouTube and Google, maybe you found something that is helpful to others as well)?

Usually the free online version of Elasticsearch: The Definitive Guide helps people getting started quiet well, but maybe you were missing something even shorter or simpler? In any case, sharing your experience and all resources of learning you use here in the forums is a great way to contribute.