Developer Spotlight: Louai Ghalia

The eko Devs
May 13 · 6 min read
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(Illustration by Itai Raveh)

We’re very excited to launch our new blog series, ‘Developer Spotlight’, completely dedicated to us — the eko Engineering team.

These spotlights are meant to give you a real and unfiltered look behind the scenes of working here at eko by interviewing different members of our team and letting them tell their stories in their own words.

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The Meticulous Louai Ghalia (Photo by Dafna Talmon)

We’re kicking things off with one of our more recent hires, Louai Ghalia. Louai is a very methodical guy, which is why he only reached out to us after reviewing all of the companies on Calcalist’s list of Israel’s 50 most promising startups and choosing the one he liked best. We obviously like him too since it’s been almost a year and he keeps showing up to work :)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

How would you describe your job to a child?

I’d tell them “I build cool technology that lets you watch those online videos you like and adds cool buttons that let you control where the story goes.”

How would you describe it to an adult?

I’m an eko developer and my role here is basically to work on everything. Thanks to the work culture here, it’s really hard to say that someone is responsible for just their part.

I get to work on all kinds of projects, and always get to choose what I want to work on next. For example, during my weekly meeting with our CTO, Yuval Hofshy, he may present me with 3 different projects and ask me what I think will be most interesting and cool for me to work on. Sometimes I pick the ones in fields I know I’m very good at and sometimes I pick projects in unfamiliar territories. That’s how I know I really work on everything.

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Louai explaining something important…we think (Photo by Dafna Talmon)

What do you love most about your job?

I especially love working with our data team and the fact that I got to travel to our New York office to get to know them, understand their needs and offer creative solutions. The last time I was there, right before the Corona outbreak, I wrote a bridge that enabled the team to perform apples-to-apples comparisons on events between two data sources.

I also really love working at a startup that has real potential. The fact that we’re offering the market a whole new medium creates a real business opportunity for us. Since there were failed startups in my background, I wanted to work for a company that not only has a strong product but also a strong business.

But the thing I love most about working here is the atmosphere. You never feel like you’re working for a corporation. We have an excellent vibe and a sense of family. This company was founded by a group of friends and they managed to keep it that way. We’re all just friends who enjoy working together.

What does your typical workday look like?

Before the Corona outbreak, I always hoped to find Ran’s dog Ziggy waiting for me at the office in the mornings. I usually went straight to the kitchen and talked to people. Then, I kicked off my workday by making a list of tasks I wanted to get done. I usually did the tasks that involve talking to other people first.

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Ziggy waiting patiently for Louai to come to work (Photo by Dafna Talmon)

Then, a few hours of work until lunch. Lunch is very important — you usually saw people going from room to room asking “what are you having?”. We normally brought take out and everyone ate together in the kitchen. The company is growing and when we get back to the office, we’ll need to add more tables, but I hope we can keep our family-like atmosphere.

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Lunch at eko, pre-social distancing (Photo by Dafna Talmon)

After lunch, I go back to my office - the music room, but we like to call it “the poster room”. Here, everyone can connect to Spotify and play whatever they want — no restrictions. I’m currently working from home but I really hope we return to normal soon.

Tell us about a time when your input made an impact. For example, changed product development or a process in the company.

That happens all the time. The last time was just two hours ago. I want to change our database access management, how we manage users’ access to our general database. So I just went to our CTO, Hofshy, and told him I don’t like how it’s currently being managed. He told me to go for it, which means that our data security will be getting an upgrade in the next two weeks.

I’ll be redefining permissions for all our databases and collections. For example, a user can have broader access privileges in development environments, but more restricted access in production environments. So if they want to change something, they’ll get minimal, time restricted access.

What was your most challenging experience as a developer?

The most challenging experience I’ve had as a developer was working on a project that didn’t challenge me enough. When the work isn’t challenging, you feel like you’re missing out on opportunities to learn. I was worried I’d be stuck in that place for twenty years, but I was scared to walk away from work and a steady paycheck.

At some point, I was working for a big corporate, it felt like the people there were robots doing the same thing over and over again under close supervision from management.

Here at eko, my greatest challenge was web development, since I come from a backend and mobile background. I loved the challenge of learning new things. At certain times I didn’t even know if what I was doing was even related or right. But I could always count on Asaf, a fellow eko dev who mentored me when I first got here, for excellent advice. He really helped me see the full picture.

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Louai working his interactive ad magic at the Super Bowl control room

What are you passionate about? What do you love doing (besides writing code)?

I’m passionate about knowledge. I think the best thing about the human experience is knowledge. I think it’s very cool, both historically and looking forward at our potential to know even more. I want to learn as much as possible.

I’m interested in history, especially of the middle-east. As someone from the Arab community, I want to understand more about the conflict. As a result, I’m also interested in politics, social justice and human rights. I sometimes think about becoming a politician after my career in high-tech.

Astronomy is also a very interesting field, although more difficult.

I try to stay curious about everything for the sake of knowing more. I read this week that you should write 50 questions you don’t know the answer to and try to find their common thread to locate your next field of interest.

If you could choose anyone, alive or dead, who would you pick as your mentor and why?

Well, that means I can have any historical figure, and there are so many people I’d like to have as mentors. Plato, Socrates, Martin Luther King Jr., Leonardo da Vinci. But if I had to pick just one, it would have to be da Vinci. But I could change my mind in 30 minutes.

What are your future plans?

I want to be an entrepreneur, a musician, and a politician. There are so many career and life choices a person can make, but you can’t fit them all into one human life.

Thanks Louai! You definitely have our vote. But before you go running off for office please consider the fact that you can roll back commits but you can’t do the same with commitments!

Want to see for yourself what it’s like to work with Louai and our kickass dev team? Send us your resume here!

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(Illustration by Itai Raveh)


We’re the devs behind @ekovideo.

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