Oh hai. My name is Jocelyn Hoppa, Managing Editor here at Neo4j. One of my main duties is to keep up with the daily blog slog, and let me tell you: The 2019 graph database space kept me busy.
So yes, what are the best Neo4j blogs of this past year?
Our bylines cast a wide net throughout the Neo4j community, and there’s a deluge of substantial, smart ones to pick from. And so, I’m throwing objectivity out the window in favor of subjectively highlighting eight of my own personal favorites (in no particular order):
#1. Towards AI Standards Blog Series
This four-part series by Amy Hodler brings to light the case for responsible AI via real-life examples, as well as how graph technology provides the right capabilities to ensure responsible AI is achieved. Graph evangelist or not, this is essential reading on a topic that will continue to shape the future of technology. Here, we’ve linked to the final blog in the series, because at the end is a link to the other three.
#2. Bringing the Newly Approved GQL Project Into Focus
Early this fall, something exciting came together: We now officially have a project to develop the property graph language standard, GQL! This is the first new database language project since the SQL project was approved approximately 35 years ago. This blog, written by Keith W. Hare, Convenor, ISO/IEC JTC1 SC32 WG3 Database Languages, colors in some details you won’t see elsewhere.
#3. Graph Theory and the Opioid Epidemic
I’ll just be honest: I take this one personally. If the opioid crisis hasn’t hit near your sphere of family and friends, consider yourself blessed. Kudos to Mark Quinsland, Pre-Sales Engineer at Neo4j, for his presentation at DataCon LA 2019, from which this blog is based. He breaks down the power of graphs when navigating complex data to unearth potential solutions for this devastatingly pervasive problem.
#4. How the Neo4j Community Celebrated Global Graph Celebration Day
On a lighter note, the Neo4j Community continues to be 100% kickass. This past year was the first annual Global Graph Celebration Day, and graph enthusiasts from all around the world participated in honoring Swiss mathematician and inventor of graph theory, Leonhard Euler, on the day of his birth, April 15th. Sixty-plus events, in six continents, were hosted and led by this vibrant community. (h/t to Mother of Nodes, Karin Wolok, the architect of this and many more wonderful community-based events.)
#5. The Illusion of Consumer Choice: A Tale of Cereal and Knowledge Graphs
Joe Depeau kicked off his blog series this year, and each installment takes a fun, educational twist on the unofficial Neo4j tagline “graphs are everywhere.” All of them are great, but one stood out from the rest. Combining my love of cereal with my haughty disdain for corporate greed, Joe hit a high-water mark for me with this one.
#6. Innovate In Less Than a Week: 5-Minute Interview with Alessandro Svensson
There’s one common answer we hear in these interviews, and it’s in response to the question: “If you could go back in time to when you first started with Neo4j, what would you do differently?” The answer is an almost unanimous, “I would’ve gotten help.” Here, Alessandro speaks directly to the assumptions and anxieties of transitioning to a graph database, and also how our Innovation Labs is designed to help businesses more quickly validate their use cases.
#7. Accelerating Toward Natural Language Search with Graphs
I was never going to escape making this list without mentioning AI at least one more time. This time, Soham Dhodapkar, Pre-Sales Engineering Intern at Neo4j, drops the science on natural language search with graphs – the domain of AI that deals with the methods by which computers understand human language and ultimately respond or act on the basis of information that is fed to their systems.
#8. GraphCast: Bandersnatch Edition
Released at the very top of 2019, the Black Mirror “Bandersnatch” choose-your-own-adventure event had viewers essentially interacting with a graph. If you’ve ever wondered if graphs are fun (because you already know they are everywhere), go ask the multiple data nerds who built flow charts detailing the movie’s decision trees to reveal all of the potential endings and outcomes. Then, watch Max De Marzi’s presentation from GraphConnect 2018 to learn about running decision trees in Neo4j. (Written by me, why not.)
As always, we thank you for reading. We hope you’ve found this blog feed educational and inspiring. And we promise to continue publishing great content into 2020, while working to do even better for our readers.
In the spirit of that, we’re always open to your feedback as well. What graph-related topics would you like to see covered here? (Leave a comment below!)