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Visaal Ambalam

Nightfall AI

Visaal Ambalam is a software engineer at Nightfall AI, a startup that detects sensitive information in your data to reduce the risk of data leaks. He’s used Go to build out as well as scale Nightfall’s detection engine, through benchmarking regex engines and optimizing machine learning services. Previously, he was an engineer at LiveRamp where he implemented features on a distributed data pipeline. You may also find him playing tennis, making pour-over coffee, or watching F1.

Outgrowing Go’s default regex engine

Every programmer runs into regular expressions eventually. On the surface, you likely won’t notice the difference between different regular expression engines and formats across different languages and libraries. However, these regex engines contain vast differences with direct implications on performance and syntax support.

In this session, we’ll learn a high level overview of regular expressions, common regex “gotchas”, tradeoffs behind Go regexp package, and the story behind how we at Nightfall explored different Go regex libraries to find the one that best fit our use case to achieve 24x performance gains!