I have known ever since I was a kid that computers were my purpose. I still remember a 10 years old me cycling miles to the computer store just to get an extra bank of RAM or a larger fan to cool down my overclocked 100 MHz processor. I was obsessed with figuring out how it all worked. Writing code and having all those circuits doing my instructions was pure magic, but my passion boosted up that exact moment when I connected to the Internet for the first time.
The Internet was my window to the world. I was growing up in a small town but yet at the same I could get anywhere just by plugging a telephone cable into my 56k modem. There were unlimited knowledge and people from the most diverse cultures out there. Soon, I realized that just being an Internet user wasn't enough for me. I couldn't just take it for granted, I wanted to understand what the Internet was, its building blocks, its protocols and devices and all the things that could allow computers to talk each other. In fact, I believe it is my curiosity about the Internet that shaped my academic and professional life.
It was at the University of Pisa and Boston University where I got the theoretical foundations of computers, computer science, and Internet networking. This education turned me from a curious practitioner into an engineer with sufficient skills to analyze, breakdown, and find solutions to real-world problems. I focused strongly on networking and Internet architectures during BSc, MSc and PhD. I also published several papers on fast algorithms to analyze the Internet structure.
Now, in industry, the curiosity about the Internet remains with me. I have been designing and developing Internet visibility software for over 6 years. I believe it is this focus and the continuous interaction with customers' problems that taught me to always think "scalable". The Internet is massive with its billions of interconnected devices. So, writing efficient code is crucial as every CPU clock cycle counts. And I keep this in mind everyday to design and develop multithreaded, lockless applications for the analysis of the Internet traffic.