Friday, December 30, 2011

Python: Shrapnel

After many years of hopeful expectation, IronPort (now part of Cisco) finally open sourced a bunch of stuff, most importantly Shrapnel, our proprietary version of stackless Python. Back when I worked at IronPort (2004-2006), I was dying for them to open source this stuff. The existing open source version of stackless Python at the time never had quite the same flavor or emphasis as Shrapnel, but these days gevent is very similar.

Anyway, congratulations to Sam Rushing, Mark Peek, etc., and thank you Cisco! By the way, there's a reference to me in the code ;)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dart at g|egypt 2.0

I gave a talk on Dart at g|egypt 2.0. All I can say is, wow!

First of all, I wasn't even on the agenda. In fact, the room I was using wasn't really even labelled on the map--it took me several minutes to find it. It was a small room. 2 minutes before my talk was supposed to start, I only had 3 people in the audience. However, 10 minutes later, every seat was taken, and people were standing at the back and along the sides. The room was packed!

Since Dart is so new, we haven't spoken about it at very many places. I told the Egyptians that I was giving them a chance to become the best Dart programmers in the world because they were seeing the talk before most of the rest of the world had seen it. I almost got a standing ovation ;)

People were very excited about Dart and asked a ton of excellent questions. Even after my talk, I had to stand around for 2.5 hours answering more questions.

The comments on Google+ were very supportive:

Hady Allam said, "your DART session is one of the best sessions i have ever attended. Thank You +Shannon Behrens and hope to see you again in Egypt."

Abdurrahman Alraies said, "The dart session was the best surprise of the day. Thank you very much +Shannon Behrens and +Sebastian Trzcinski-Clément It says much about how important is Egypt to Google."

Saied Attala said, "really i have opened the comment box for 30 minutes and can't write every thing for you. i loved your Dart sessions and your sense of humor. i enjoyed talking with you and having pics with you."

Those comments were very touching to me. To all the Egyptians out there who went to my Dart talk, thank you for making me feel so special! I hope I get to come back to Egypt again!

After the trip, I accidentally ran into Lars Bak, the creator of Dart, in Zurich. That was very exciting for me!

If you're interested, here are the slides.

Thanks also to Saied Attala and Ayman Reda Bedair for the pictures and Seth Ladd for most of the slides.

Monday, December 12, 2011

YouTube for Your Business at g|egypt 2.0


I gave a talk called YouTube for Your Business at g|egypt 2.0.

The talk went very well. There were about 200 people in the audience (and almost 900 in total at the event), which is a great turnout for a YouTube API talk. People asked me questions for about an hour afterwards. I even created a video for the talk:



I was really worried that I would lose my voice during the talk. It's very crackly right now.

Since this is the first time I've visited the middle east, I'm suffering a little from culture shock. I forgot to remove a beer joke from one of my slides. It took me a few seconds to realize why people weren't laughing. What's really funny is that I don't even drink!

I was very amazed by a few things. There were a lot of women at the event. There are far more female programmers in Egypt then there are in the US, as far as I can tell. The next thing that surprised me was that almost everyone here uses Windows--even on the server side. That's certainly not the case in the San Francisco Bay Area. At all the companies I've worked at recently, people tended to use Apple laptops and Linux on the servers. The last thing that surprised me was how many people wanted to have their picture taken with me. For about two hours, I felt like a total rock star ;)

I have a talk on Dart tomorrow and a talk on Python the next day. Let's hope my voice holds up ;)

Thanks go to Mohamed Naguib for taking the picture.