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Developer Spotlight: Salimane Adjao Moustapha (Sam)

Salut! Ni Hao! I am Sam, and I became a member of the Meltwater family as a Senior Software Engineer a few months ago. In this blog post, let’s talk about me for a second.

I happened to enter our complex world through lovely Porto-Novo in Benin, West Africa.

To date, I have lived more than a year in 3 different continents, I’ve lived more than a year in 6 different countries, I’ve visited 16 countries for more than a month, I’ve visited more than 60 cities, I’ve visited places I was the only Beninese in the whole country (also see the map below). Now, imagine what my eyes have seen but I still feel like I haven’t seen anything.

I did science in High School, got a roll of honor in mathematics and physics at the national level in Benin. I love computers because they excel at doing things that humans are not very good at. We can use them to do those things so that we can concentrate on other things.

I’ve written a bunch of software systems, mostly web related. Some are powering 2000 requests/day, others up to 5 millions requests/day. Then I read one of Rob Pike systems, I was like oh sh*t!!! this is art. It was simple to understand, yet very advanced in terms what it does and how its components interact. It was very fast. That code can be shown to other people and it will excite them. From that moment, I vowed to never settle for “slow, complex, good enough” software systems.

I have a soft spot for making web applications fast and fixing hard to debug problems. Taking a page out of Jeff Bezos’s book, it’s impossible to imagine a situation where a client will come up and say “Sam, I love Meltwater’s products, I just wish they were a little slower, just ‘good enough’”. Or a new engineer at Meltwater saying “I love Meltwater, I just wish the code quality here was a little lower”. Impossible. So I strive to put some effort into those things because I know they will be paying off dividends for our customers/engineers later down the road, if not immediately.

If you browse to my page salimane.com, you will realize that the title is “Do you get things done?”. This is really important to me. If the answer to that question is really “yes” then it means whatever you’re supposed to do, you actually care about it. And then if you do it very well, it means you’re actually having fun doing it. Well, honestly, if not, what’s the point, right?

In my free time, you can find me thanking my lovely wife for still putting up with me, listening to Sir Ken Robinson, Thomas L. Friedman, watching Kevin Durant play basketball or working on a side product that will disrupt the education system as we know it.

Wow! Now you know a lot about me. I like to learn new ways to become better as a person and I don’t bite, so catch me on the ARPANET at salimane.com.