Python creator retires from work at Dropbox

Python creator retires from Dropbox

Guido Van Rossum had been working at Dropbox for more than 6 years.

The creator of Python quit your job at dropbox after six and a half years of working in the company. The cloud storage service is largely based on that programming language.

Guido van Rossum had left leadership last year in the development of one of the most popular programming languages.

The relationship between the creator of Python and Dropbox

The company had hired him in 2013 because Dropbox has about four million lines of code written in Python and it is the most widely used language for your back-end services and desktop applications.

Lately, however, Dropbox has given way to other languages ​​such as Go, TypeScript, and Rust.
an Rossum shared what he found when he arrived at Dropbox:

There were a small number of very smart, very young coders who they produced a lot of very clever code that only they could understand. That is probably the right attitude when you are a small entrepreneur.

The creator of Python defined this way of working as the "cowboy code culture."

However, as the company grew, the new engineers they couldn't understand the smart code but "short and cryptic" written by and for previous developers.

Van Rossum's role was to make them switch to the culture of "maintainable code"

Van Rossum described how he worked to make culture change this way:

When someone asked me, I gave people my opinion that IMaintainable code is more important than smart code.

If I found clever code that was particularly cryptic, and had to do some maintenance on it, I would probably rewrite it. So I led by example, and also by talking to other people.

Dropbox acknowledges you have contributed improve the company's code testing processes as part of its continuous integration procedures and its critical role in helping engineers understand why failures occurred.

An important milestone of his work in the cloud storage service was the creation of the Mypy team.

Mypy is a open source static type checker. This project was originally created by Jukka Lehtosalo, whom Rossum employed at the company. Dropbox uses Mypy to manage Python code on a large scale. Guido formed the mypy team in 2015 to help clean up Dropbox's huge Python codebase.

Guido Van Rossum was also a determined promoter of policies for the inclusion of women.

Guido Van Rossum's career

Guido Van Rossum was born in the Netherlands on January 31, 1956. He has a master's degree in mathematics and computer science which he obtained at the University of Amsterdam.

His works include contributions to the BSD programming language, and to the development of the ABS programming language. He also participated in working groups on the HTML standard.

Among the institutions and companies he worked with, are:

  • Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (The Netherlands).
  • US National Institute of Standards and Technology.
  • Corporation for National Research Initiatives (USA)
  • Zope Corporation (USA)
  • Elementary Security (USA)
  • Google.


Guido Van Rossum's most famous work is the Python programming language. Born as a way to occupy time during the Christmas holidays, today it is one of the most popular programming languages ​​in the world.

Python occupies the first place in the annual ranking of programming languages Popular IEEE Spectrum.

This ranking seeks to help developers understand the popularity of languages ​​in a world where no one really knows which programmers are using their laptops.

Python is en the first place since 2017. In the last measurement, Java, C and C ++ were well behind.

It is not clear to me whether people as active as Guido Van Rossum can remain retired for long. Most likely, in six months we will have another programming language.


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  1.   reneco said

    There are few comments on your blog but it has very interesting articles like this one by Guido Van Rossum and Python

    1.    Diego German Gonzalez said

      Thank you for your comment.