Home Forums Silicon Valley Study Tour – August 2020 Poli To Silicon Valley 2020

104 replies, 31 voices Last updated by Paolo Marenco 3 years, 8 months ago
  • Simone Dalledonne

    Hi everyone!
    Yesterday’s conference was fantastic! I found the experience of Andrea Scianó really interesting because it is a very transversal history!
    He covered many topics about Silicon Valley, how Italians are considered there and also how much your network is important to achieve some goals.
    If yesterday you had not been able to connect, there is no problem! You can review the conference whenever you want at this link: videoconferece recording (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EX2d4tg05GcONYOw2aA3uzVNry42GY-N/view?usp=sharing)

    This morning I looked for the YouTube video that Andrea mentioned about Loris Degioanni and fortunately I found it!
    I put the link below, I highly recommend you to see it!

    This video is from 2011, when Loris was being director of Riverbed, just after the sale of Cace Technologies to Riverbed. The following year he founded Sysdig, where Andrea is still working.
    I would like you to discuss about the open source, the tool that allowed Loris to begin his entrepreneurial journey. The open source is one way to achieve more visibility and also to improve your informatics skills. Have you ever participate in an open source project? Do you know some interesting open source tool?

    Moreover, I would like to talk with you about the role of the network. Yesterday, Andrea said that his network has been central to his career. Do you think it is more important to develop a good network or your skills? Can a person without excelling at university, but with a good network, achieve certain results?
    Tell us what you think!

    PS: I had to post it two time because in the first post there is HTML language. I’m so sorry for this problem


    Hello everybody! I hope that you are doing well 🙂

    First of all: @paolovigo I am a big fan of russian literature, and I obviously read The Master and Margarita! I have a little story on “The Idiot”: last year I visited St Petersburg and I was desperately looking for a typical restaurant near my hotel. I randomly typed on Google “The Idiot restaurant” and, to my surprise, it really existed a place called like that and, moreover, it probably was the best dinner I had during that trip. If you happen to be in St Petersburg you should defenitely go there: there are some hidden details that only the ones who read the book can understand. 🙂

    Concerning yesterday’s meeting, i found Andrea’s story very inspiring: this is the kind of things I was expecting to see when I joined this project! Hearing him sharing his experience has only made me even more excited about the opportunity of visiting the Silicon Valley.

    Instead, regarding @simone-dalledonne ‘s question about the power of good networks, well, my personal answer is that even if your university carreer is not “perfect”, if you have the skills to create a good network, you can still succeed in achieveing your objectives. In my opinion, having the skills needed to develop a network is as important as excelling in university: I personally know colleagues that had excellent grades but couldn’t completely fulfill their objectives because they didn’t care about creating bonds and keeping in touch with people that might have helped them through their paths.
    I always try to get to know as much people as possible and to keep in touch with the ones I believe to be the most interesting! This is something I would definitely do if I’ll have the chance to visit the Silicon Valley: it’s one of the reasons I am here, obviously along with visiting a dream place!

    Looking forward to read your thoughts!

    Silvia Giammarinaro

    Good morning everyone!

    Thanks Fiorella for the suggestions, I have already watched them both. Keep posting everyone, I am looking for new series and documentaries to watch.

    It was nice to hear Andrea’s story yesterday. I have already heard about Loris Degioanni because my professor introduced it while explaining how Wireshark works. I think having a strong network nowadays is really important, although one should also develop good skills. I am sure that a person with good knowledge, not so perfect, and strong relationships can have great opportunities. I think you have to be in the right place at the right time.

    Referring to Simone‘s post, I have used some great open-source tools during my internship last year and I am still using them now at my office.

    The first one is Meld, which is a software to compare files and folders. It is yet so simple but so useful. I post a picture of the UI if you want to have an idea of what it looks like.

    The second one is ThinReports and there’s a story behind it. ThinReports is a software compatible with Ruby and it allows you to create documents with some customizable items from code. You can create the template using the UI provided or by writing some code in Jason, defining every object with its coordinates on the template.

    During my internship, I was developing a part of the digital clinical record, more precisely evaluation scales filled by the nurses in order to prevent injuries and falls of the patients. These scales are called Braden and Conley. They are a list of closed questions to which you can answer yes/no or with a value given a range (i.e. a value from 1 to 5). Starting from that point, I created a static template containing all the questions and indicating all the customizable items, the answers, and the personal data of the patient (name, surname, etc.). Then on the application, within the page of the selected scale, the user can create, download and print the PDF related to it, so the empty items of the template are filled in via code.

    At a certain point, I was struggling because I had to dynamically change the position of an item via code. In the documentation, it said it was possible to do it but I could not find the implementation. So I tried to contact the support via mail, even If the support page is only in Japanese and previous payment was required. I post here the mails.

    So basically I have to implement it myself via Prawn, which is a package available for Ruby. I tried implementing it but I was running out of time, I had only a few days left of my internship. So I found another solution, which was to create all the combinations of the position of the item and then change the visibility via code.


    Hello everybody !

    and @paolovigo I’ve read “Guerra e pace”, I suugest it to you.

    About @simone-dalledonne’s post: yesterday I watched that video of Mr Degioanni’s interview and I was impressed by the balance between his humilty and his self-confidence. I always considered this balance as fundamental in my life and I always tried to pass it to guys who were part of my student group at high school and of my group for events organization (I organized liceal party in my city). I think humilty is needed, enough to learn and to know how to choose right mentors, without arrogance; but with an excess of modesty you cannot show and affirm your potential.

    As you can read in previous posts, I always considered interpersonal relatioships really important, in fact these always filled my moderate attention to study. But I have already written that thanks to university I think I found the right balance here too.

    Finally, I worked on an open source project called InMoov robot: a french engineer created this project, an humanoid robot totally 3D printed, sharing all drawings and assembly tuutorial on internet. At school, me and my team contribuited by working on the software (writing on various blogs and forums). Then we customized the robot, we called it “SONNY”, and using our software (written in Python witha  particular library, AIML) we partecipated in many competitions, winning the national robotics olympics in 2017.


    Good morning everyone,
    regarding the books suggested by @paolovigo, I read “The Master and Margarita” some months ago and I enjoyed it a lot. I’ve found even more interesting the story behind the book about how Bulgakov couldn’t publish it under Stalin’s dictatorship. All the parallelism between the actions of Satan (or should I say Woland) and the actions of the Russian police is really impressive. The same for the story of Ponzio Pilato narrated in the book which reminded me “The Gospel according to Jesus Christ” by Jose Saramago. Recently I read two graphic novels “Logicomix” by Christos Papadimitriou and “Unflattening” by Nick Sousanis, that talk about many interesting topics. The former is about the story of the mathematic field of logic through the centuries. Fun fact the author was Bill Gates’ professor during his undergrad studies. The latter is actually a thesis in the form of a comic book that talks about how perception can affect science, mythology, art, literature and our everyday life.
    About these topics, I have found many videos on YouTube, like this talk by professor Odifreddi “Kurt Gödel, The Logic’s God” and this memorial of Marvin Minsky, where he talks about his ideas in science and research.

    About the last meetings, I found Andrea Scianó’s and @pistillostefano stories very inspiring. Their experiences are in certain sense really similar because both had the courage and passion to challenge themselves and keep trying until they reach their objectives. I’m really excited about the next meeting because for what I’ve understood the next guest, Andrea Baldini, who had pursued a PhD, which is what I’m willing to do after my master degree.

    Concerning the discussion brought by @simone-dalledonne, about good network vs. good skills, in my opinion, everyone needs a good compromise between the two. If you have the best skills that one could imagine, but you don’t have a network to share and apply these skills in the real world, that may be totally meaningless. On the other hand, if you only have good networking skills but not good skills, then how could you imagine to do something big and impactful?
    Excelling at university does not imply the possibility to attain certain results in life, in many cases it does not either imply that you really understood really well the subject, but maybe you only learnt how to hack the exam.
    Another aspect that I’d like to mention is that a good network, like for instance having smart and motivated colleagues in university, help a lot your development of new skills and also motivates you in return.

    , I’m impressed by your time-management skills, you said:
    “One thing I usually do once a week is planning the seven days that cames ahead. I divide every day into time slots so I’m sure that by the end of Sunday night I did everything I wanted to do. I also make a to-do list to better knuckle down.”
    My question is: how do you manage the situation when your tasks require more time than expected? This is a point in which I struggle when I try to organize my daily timeline because many time I need more time than expected and then I end up messing up the ideal workflow. For this reason, I usually tend to focus my attention not on the single tasks that I have to complete but on the process. Let’s say the I am doing a particular task that should require me x minutes but this requires more time. Then I prefer to spend more time on it than switch to another thing without completing the latter.

    Paolo Gioele

    Thanks a lot @simone-dalledonne for having share the video with us. I watched it and I have been really “seduced” by Loris words, since the slogan “chi vola vale, chi non vola è un vile” to all steps of his success and path toward his great career. It his a real witness of anybody, just by believing in what he/she does, and running behind a goal, can get anything. Andrea Scianò is as well a perfect example, giving us a new treaning. Being the perfect student, having a great a linear accademic path, is not what only matters in your future. It does not mean these factors  are irrelevant, but are not toally strictly necessary…

    I would like even to underline an other topic of Loris’s inteview. I talk personally, but i think many would share my thought. Especially during my learning path, sometimes i feel “not up to par”, as if my knoledge have not been enough for having a discussion with great men. Even if I consider myself really self-confidence and owner of my means, i feel a sort of inferiority toward somebody else, but I suppose this feeling born only from a lack of experience. What is unbelievable is that in the heart of innovation, of the bigghest multinationals and important business men and managers of the world, Loris have always found availabily of important figures to meet you, not for charity, but for passing down their experiences and knowledges, and even pieces of advice, because they probably conder you as a future resource, a tree to water… they believe in you and support you. That’s totally amazing and unbeliavable.

    Concerning @simone-dalledonne questions, I have just today had this discussion with a friend. He has just finished his master and he has been recruited by EY in Luxenburg. I asked him why he choose to take the interview in such a country, since EY has different Italian quartiers. He replied me saying “because Lexenburg is a very rich and full of business country. Of course Italy as well but business is less concentrated in a relatively large country as Italy can be. I think i can create my network there better than here, because for example, I will share the apartment with other 2 guys wotking for Deloitte and KPMG”. I totally share is choice and it supports my thesis about the importance of network and connections. I changed cities for playing volleyball and studying, even abroad, several times and I meet people all around Italy, and often, even without being aware of that, I realize I hava built up an important resource for my future. None can know if this network will reward me….Actually, It has already done it!



    Hello everyone! Hope you’re all fine and safe!

    As I mentioned some days ago, big companies are still hiring. I can confirm that at least they’re still interviewing! One of us got an interview at Amazon today (not me, he will tell it probably when the recruiter will follow up), so I take again the opportunity to encourage you to apply. It’s cheap and could end up with a life-time opportunity!

    Regarding open-source I had few experience too, both actively and passively. In the last company I interned, they were using ColdFusion by Adobe as a tool to develop their product. It is a really old tool and rumors say Adobe it’s planning to terminate its support. So my actual task during my internship was to experiment a migration of their product from ColdFusion to an open-source equivalent called Lucee. Doing it, I found open-source as a user is good until there’s a community. Indeed, Lucee’s documentation was really poor and the tool in general was not really mature. The company behind it was providing support on a charge, but due to the fact the project wasn’t really hyped progress where slow and hard to achieve.

    On the other hand there are plenty of tool I use every day that are open-source and are working well because there is a huge community behind it which likes it. I take as an example Docker mentioned by Andrea Scianò. The project born open-source and Docker Inc. was developing a paid product called Docker Swarm used to orchestrate Docker containers. But Docker containers became so successful that a lot of other tools open-source (e.g. Kubernetes) were built around it and Docker Inc. ended up not having enough room to grow its paid product! Probably there were some mistakes in the company strategy and business model, but that company had an huge potential. To understand better: Docker containers are currently the reference in containerization supported in big cloud providers such as GCP (Google), AWS (Amazon) and Azure (Microsoft).

    As I said I had also an active (but limited) experience in open-source. I think knowledge must be free, you should only sell products. I mentioned in my introduction about a microservice project that took me the last two years of free time. The aim of it is to build a restaurant reservation service, similar to TheFork, cheaper (up to 8 times, but probably its too much :D) and with a full-fledged management system for the restaurant. But I wanted it auto-scalable from day-1. That was an unnecessary constraint I choose in order to learn (almost) everything I needed in systems design as a backend engineer. I wanted it to be at the same time a business opportunity (in the long term) and a opportunity to learn what PoliTo wasn’t teaching me.

    That explain why its 2 years I’m working on it: I had to study A LOT and solve lots of funny problems. Eventually I finished to design my architecture and implemented most of it on AWS. The process was so difficult to complete that I felt it was too much worth it to keep it only for me. The concepts I used were ramping up, so I wrote 3 articles on Medium explaining it in details from theory to AWS.
    If you want to read them, here you have them Event Sourcing + CQRS: from theory to AWS — part 1, part 2 and part 3.
    I also released a package on NPM which provides an implementation of some of the components mentioned in the article that since its publication reached a total of 2400+ downloads. Unfortunately, I implemented it for my needs on the first hand and its not really production-ready, so downloads per week didn’t grew overtime.

    Again, sorry for the long post.


    Hi everyone!

    First of all I would like to thank @simone-dalledonne for sharing this video with us: it has been really interesting and inspiring to get to know Loris story and how it developed over time.

    I really appreciated the part when Loris encourages to think “outside of the box” because I think that this can be the best ability to grow up to reach every goal you have in mind.

    Another thing I found really inspiring is the “it’s better to try and not succeed than not to try at all” approach, because normally people tends not to give up the certain for the uncertain and this makes me think that if something big can occur it will probably happen in the uncertain.

    It’s like riding a bicycle: only if you move you go on, you can move good or bad but if you don’t move you surely fall.

    Another thing I would like give my opinion about is the power of the network versus competencies.

    I think that this two parts should be fifty-fifty balanced: a good network is surely important because it gives you the opportunity to be inspired by your peers and to learn something from them.

    The more and valuable you have the more chance you have to open your mind and see things from a different point of view.

    About competencies I think that they are extremely important as well because they not only give you the opportunity to enrich yourself with new abilities but they also are a key component to make your job more and more valuable.

    About opensource, I unfortunately never participated in the developing of a project but I used lots of tool.

    The one I suggest you to try (and that I’m currently using right now) is “Prestashop” that lets you to easily build and customize an e-commerce website.

    I’m looking forward to see you all soon in the next conference!

    Silvia Giammarinaro

    Hi everyone, happy Monday! I hope you are well.

    Yesterday came out a new series related to the ones I suggested before, so I want to share it with you. It is about Coronavirus and for now it is available just a brief episode.

    Let me know what do you think about it, so we can start a discussion.

    Stay safe,



    Hi guys !

    Thank you for your shares, are very interesting.

    I found an online Hackathon, if you want we could partecipate as a team ! (Registration deadline: Friday 1st May)


    Here a website to find hackathon: https://www.hackathon.com/

    In addition to this, there is a sort of online Hackathon in May: I’m collaborating in the organization of next “Hackahealth” (check it on web) and the guys from Geneva told me about a challenge sent to them by a man with an arm problem. It consists in creating applications for the logitech adaptive gaming kit, not for playing but for performing daily actions on the PC. Contact me in private if you are interested, I can ask to have some of you participate, if possible.

    Finally, I would like to share with you the fundraising lunched by us student teams of Politecnico a couple of weeks ago: https://www.gofundme.com/f/team-uniti-per-la-protezione-civile

    See you !

    Paolo Marenco

    Hi all!

    great moving was born  from PoliTo SV 2020 program.

    Your last webinar, Andrea Baldini, became the first of the amazing project https://www.siliconvalleystudytour.com/forums/topic/go-to-silicon-valley-virtually-2020/ , 24 webinars from May 13, 2020  to July 2021  leading  you to the SVST 2021, August 22nd -28th.

    The goal is to give  you interested to the phisical experience SVST,  a 14 month path Forum,  moderated and coordinated by our SVST Alumni, the future Tour Guides.

    So your debate could move in the other forum from May 13…starting the way to SVST August 2021

    Obviously we do hope that SVST 2021 will be feasible!

    For now there are no sponsor for it: the attendees has to look for their money to cover the costs. Successfull Crowdfunding have been made by attendees in the past! You could do the same!!

    Paolo Marenco

    Hey all,

    Here you can find the video conference program “Go to Silicon Valley Virtually 2020” and the Zoom link to follow it.

    Simone Dalledonne

    Hey guys, I hope you are all well!
    The next 13th May there will be the webinar with a special guest: Andrea Baldini! He is a VC investor and non-executive director of Breed Reply. From 2004 to 2011, he worked at Cisco, where he was a SVST host.
    This amazing webinar is also very important, because it will be the first of “Go to Silicon Valley Virtually 2020”, the online tour created specifically for this particular situation!
    SVST, in partnership with Rinascita Digitale, allows all of you to take part in this beautiful experience!
    If you want to partecipate to Baldini webinar and to the others, you have to sign up to this site https://www.rinascitadigitale.it/go-to-silicon-valley-virtually-2020/

    In the next link you can see all the program of “Go to Silicon Valley Virtually 2020”, which will continue until 7th July.


    We’ll see on the next meeting guys!

    Paolo Marenco

    Hey all, I strongly advice you the attendance to this one day course   Saturday October 10th held by our friends (and super hosts in Silicon Valley) Emilio Billi and Antonella Rubicco

    Emilio and Antonella tell the story of A3Cube,  born in Novara but grown in San Jose and the US Market, today based in Parco del Ticino @ Galliate over an Hydroetectric Power Plant…a must to see!

    Join us!

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