Fabio Nicotra, the Sicilian traveller who reads and writes, and who made Read and Write

AC de Fombelle
Jan 26, 2018 · 4 min read

When we all met for our annual tribe meeting before Christmas, I caught a glimpse of a conversation during dinner (it was in Italian, so it was only a glimpse) about the series of portraits I’ve been publishing here. As it turns out, we are all discovering new things about each other that we never would have guessed before. Working everyday with people doesn’t necessarily mean knowing every habit and hobby our colleagues have. It’s great to find out their hidden passions and talents and — as far as I’m concerned — Fabio’s portrait trumps the lot! A big thanks to Melinda for picking him after her portrait was published! Any similarities between this portrait’s title and the previous one is purely deliberate, and can be explained by the last paragraph of Melinda’s portrait.

To give you a bit of background, Fabio is a member of our BTT and, more specifically, a Software Developer. If you believed in clichés, you’d assume Fabio loved everything tech-related and maybe played the bass in a punk or rock band. You wouldn’t be too far off: Fabio loves music, including punk rock, but also dark wave, psychedelic or electronic music. He also plays the guitar, sometimes in local bands. However, it might surprise you to learn that he is fond of Eastern music, so much so that he has bought and started to learn the Indian Sitar and the Turkish Bağlama.

And, if you have read our previous portraits, you know being a StreetLib tribe member will most probably make Fabio a food and travel connoisseur, right? Well yes, absolutely!

“I love discovering other places and cultures, other foods and music and I love nature (especially the sea).”

Fabio sharing his travels and meals with his life-partner, and colleague, Melinda Viccica

But that’s not all. And that’s also not why Fabio joined StreetLib in the first place — we don’t actually have a “food-lover” filter when hiring people, I promise! Since joining Streetlib as a Software developer in 2013, Fabio has built and nurtured our StreetLib Write book editor (originaly called BackTypo). As well as being a convenient tool to turn any text file into a proper eBook or PDF file ready for Print, it is also a powerful piece of technology for creating clean and efficient HTML files

As it happens, Fabio doesn’t just build tools allowing people to turn their thoughts into books, he actually does it himself! Passionate about literature, he has written poems, although, quite paradoxically, has never published them.

“I’m a private person, and when I ask myself why I don’t publish my poems, the answer is always because I mainly write for myself.”

He also feeds his appetite for literature by reading authors like Arthur Rimbaud, Henry Miller, Philip K. Dick, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and Anaïs Nin to name a few.

And like a virtuous circle reconciling his passion with his job, Fabio also has been hard at work on our brand new StreetLib Read application. Thanks to his talents, we now empower book lovers all over the world to read their favorite books on any device (web browser, Android and iOS).

Fabio currently spends most of his working hours on StreetLib Write and Read, as they not only need to be maintained, but also still have a huge potential for growth ahead of them. If he finds a way to stretch out time a bit, he might also work with us on a project related to Artificial Intelligence, something he has already tackled in personal projects.

Fabio has also kept in touch professionally with the founder of Kiurma, the company he worked for before joining StreetLib. They are collaborating together on Redis, a popular worldwide open source software project.

I have drawn a picture of a pretty fulfilled life, don’t you think? Well, it doesn’t stop there! Fabio has also added astronomy to his long list of passions! With his own telescope, he has managed to amass a rather impressive photo collection of planets, nebulae and galaxies.

Orion Nebula (top left), the Whirlpool Galaxy (bottom right), taken with a telescope and an astronomic camera. Jupiter and Saturn, taken with a telescope and a smartphone.

“I’m deeply fascinated by the intriguing mysteries of the universe and astrophysics.”


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