10 Things You Didn’t Know about Ali Ghodsi

Ali Ghodsi

Databricks is a successful, private data analytics company headquartered In San Francisco. But how did it all begin? Believe it or not, Databricks is the result of Ali Ghodsi, along with 6 other Berkley students, taking classes at Berkeley in 2013. Ali, along with Scott Shenker, Ion Stoica, Andy Konwinski, Patrick Wendell, Reynold Xin, and Matei Zaharia found their inspiration to create Databricks from lessons learned while at Berkeley. Ali began his career at Databricks serving as the VP of engineering and product management. In 2016 he was appointed the CEO of Databricks.

1. He Believes that Current Curriculums Need More Statistical Courses

During Informatica World 2019, Ali Ghodsi sat for an interview with John Furrier and Rebecca Knight. Furrier asked Ghodsi what would he add to today’s college curriculums which would enrich the curriculums. Ghodsi replied, “the thing that’s lacking which is needed today is statistics…10 to 15 years from now, you’ll need some type of statistical understanding. So you’ll need to know what statistical terms mean”.

2. One Billion from Investors

During a March 10, 2021 interview with Sky News, Ian King inquired about the recent $ 1 billion dollars received from investors, and how Databricks would utilize that money. Ghodsi stated that a good part of that money would be used to expand his company on an international level, expanding to Asia, Europe and Latin America. He also stated that a nice size of that investment would then be spent on research and development. Major backers include Salesforce, Microsoft, Amazon and Google, among others.

3. It All Began with a Fellow Students Remark

Databricks is a successful, private data analytics company headquartered In San Francisco. But how did it all begin? Well, one could say that it all began way back at Mid-Sweden University. When Ali began his college life in Sweden, he had a roommate who inadvertently opened his eyes, and set him on the path to success. It seemed that this roommate told Ali that the business degree he was going after, would make him Ali’s boss one day. Well, Ali was having none of that, and ended up with his own MBA instead!

4. He is Considered one of the True Founders of AI

Databrick co-founders like Ali are known as the true founders of AI. In point of fact, due to their extensive research and development in the field of data analytics, they’ve become a sort of celebrity. It’s reported that people come from all over the world to the Databrick offices in San Francisco just to secure an autograph of Ali! After providing Facebook and Google with exemplary work, Ali realized that such companies were holders of vast amounts of data which needed to be utilized to their advantage, which they accomplished.

5. Helped to Develop Apache Spark

Apache Spark was created and developed at the University of California, Berkeley. An open source project, designed and developed to process data in large batches, but in real-time. The processing of data in real-time means that technology such as face recognition can function properly. The original author was one of the founders of Databricks, Matei Zaharia, with assistance from Ghodsi. Spark is extremely versatile, and can be utilized in various companies from banking, health care to biology.

6. Ali has Decided to Keep Databricks Private–For Now

At the time of this writing, Ali has made the decision to keep Databricks private for the time being. The reasons Ali presented were sound and logical ones. Once the business becomes public, they must accustom themselves to the rules and regulations of each different locale. As such, it’s as if you’re starting another business from scratch. Not only that but according to Ali, there are quite a few things a company can do for itself strategically while private that it cannot do when public.

7. “Dominant Resource Fairness”

“Dominant Resource Fairness” (DRF) is a landmark paper which introduced a new way of allocation of resources. Here, users are encouraged to share resources. This is accomplished by ensuring that no one user gets more pieces of the pie than another. In other words, if you have 10 users each of the 10 users obtains 1/10 of the dominant resources. Thus, you have a model based on fairness with regards to resources used. In effect, the concept of dominant resource fairness helps to ensure that data is available to the public, equally.

8. Business Insiders List of the “Coolest People under 40 in Silicon Valley”

Silicon Valley can be considered the hub of high-tech innovation. Here, some of the world’s best and brightest develop the tech that powers the world. In 2016 Business Insider took a look at these pioneers of technological research and development and singled out those innovators under 40 who’ve made their very own mark in the world of high tech, and one of those was Ali Ghodsi.

9. Surname Ghodsi means “Sacred”

Ali Ghodsi is a Swedish/Iranian researcher. His surname, “Ghodsi” has roots in ancient Persia. It means sacred, holy, angel. For those of you into numerology, 9 is its lucky number, based on the Urdu alphabet. Other odd facts about the name Ghodsi include lucky days, colors, stones and metals. For instance, lucky days are Friday and Monday, lucky colors are blue, green, and white. Also, lucky stones are the emeralds and the favored metal is silver.

10. Ali began Coding on an Old Commodore 64

Ali and his family came to Sweden from Iran when he was 5 years old. Times were very hard for his family due to a revolution, and his family was told they must leave Iran within 24 hours, so they fled to Sweden. In Sweden his family obtained a semi-functional Commodore 64. As they had no money for games, Ali began to read coding books and taught himself how to code. According to sources, he began to code his own games at the tender age of 8.


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