Tech Talks: Christian Saide

This week, we chatted with Senior Software Developer, Christian Saide. Join us as we take a closer look at the code crazy, ocean-loving programmer who’s keeping our cloud afloat. 

What is your role at globaledit?

I’m currently a software developer at globaledit with a focus on running and optimizing our servers. What this normally entails is working with our systems team to build the server and application code and of course, test it over and over again. This can range from low-level tweaks and changes, to big projects spanning hundreds of virtual machines.

In the end, it’s all about getting more people on our cloud and transferring data faster than ever. I work to build a nimble, seamless user-experience ‘behind the curtains’ or in the other words, the back-end side of things. It’s a job that has a lot of little nuances and challenges, but it’s definitely rewarding.

CSAIDE_B0A9688What’s your biggest accomplishment so far here? 

As I mentioned before, our work sometimes involves a vast array of virtual machines. When people think about storing large amounts of digital data, they usually think about physical storage—like terabytes upon terabytes of hard drives or server rooms.

Eventually, we decided to move our infrastructure to virtual emulations of PCs. This gave us an edge when developing and testing new features. There was no need to replace physical hardware, provided more environments to test iterations of features on, and ultimately, just made our team more agile and flexible. It was a great change that speed up our development cycle tenfold.

What’s your approach to building and improving globaledit?

globaledit is clean and simple, yet powerful and deceptively really, really big. Users are constantly pulling large amounts of data from our servers, uploading high-resolution pictures and videos to our cloud, and editing these huge files. It’s a really intricate process that focuses on one point: speed.

With that in mind, we look at routing calls from the user interface, reducing latency, and moving caches into the cloud. I aim for a robust globaledit that’s incredibly responsive and always reliable.

tech-talk-christian2Why globaledit?

I’m not going to lie, the view was amazing when I first visited the office. Aside from that, it was really the nature of the work and the team that drew me in. When you’re faced with the sheer size and breadth of a cloud-based platform, it’s a difficult job. Right now, we keep 9 separate environments functioning, well-oiled, and working perfectly. It’s great to constantly learn from and evolve with a product, especially one that’s complex.

As for the software development team, we’re a pretty tight-knit group. Though we’re always working on different things, the end goal is to make all the pieces fit neatly into each other. It’s in the same vein of start-ups: a healthy mix of autonomy and teamwork. It’s exactly what I enjoy in a working environment.

What are your favorite apps and tools?
For work, it’s all about Sublime Text, literally the best text editor in my life. The rest relates to server back-end helpers like Bash and Visual Shell. On my phone, I’m actually not a big app user. I only have Tetris, and I currently can’t beat the 16th level.

How do you approach problem-solving?

It’s sometimes impossible to solve a complex problem just in one shot. You have to think deeply about it, explore the possibilities and angles, and then attack it. But the most important part is, don’t get stuck. Move on to something else and then come back later—with lots of coffee.

How did you start programming?

I had a computer ever since I can remember and during my childhood, I was always the IT guy. Funny thing is, I actually majored in Mechanical Engineering in college. However, after I graduated, I started working in a nanotech lab, ran simulations, and eventually started developing the simulation software.

At that point, I fell in love with coding and started creating my own video game hacks. I did that for a long time and even got paid to play video games. I eventually shifted my focus to web applications, what I think is the future of software development.

What keeps you busy aside from work? christian-longboard

I love keeping my skills sharp by making apps and contributing to GitHub every now and then. I dabble in whatever interests me, like genetic programming (code that rewrites itself as it runs), 1080p
screen-capturing, and FTP replacement servers. For me, it’s all about making every iteration better than the last and constantly improving.

Outside of coding, I’m actually a really big longboarder and surfer. I love the ocean. As for why I don’t live in California—trust me, I’ve thought about it, but college just put me on the East Coast for now.