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How LinkedIn names its open-source projects

Much like every other big internet company, LinkedIn creates a lot of open-source software, including the likes of Zopkio, Pinot or Burrow.

Similar to coded police and military actions, LinkedIn gives its open-source software unusual names, which has prompted UK’s Business Insider to ask the company how it comes up with such names.

It turns out the names for some of the open-source software were not random at all, but are in fact very good one-word descriptions of whatever the software does.

So for example, there’s a program called Voldemort, an open source key value storage system, which is a method for storing and finding data in certain kinds of databases.

It’s a distributed computer system, much like Voldemort, which can split himself up into many pieces, each of which had to be destroyed for him to be killed.

“I don’t know whether it is nerdier to be reading Harry Potter or to be wondering what kind of consistency protocol Voldemort uses when keeping all his pieces up-to-date, but regardless, the name stuck,” LinkedIn project leader Jay Kreps told Business Insider.

There’s also a program called Kafka, named Franc Kafka, one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. The software is a “system for writing things down that replaced a very complex system for writing things down”. Quite similar to what Kafka did in his lifetime.

There are other “strange” open-source programs such as Pinot, Cubert and Nuage that all have meaningful names, and if you’re interested in reading more, you can read the full report here.