Via the Dropbox blog, after six and a half years, Guido van Rossum, the creator of Python, is leaving Dropbox and heading into retirement.
From the beginning, we knew Guido would be a great addition to our company. In fact, his contributions to Dropbox date back to day one. Our CEO Drew Houston’s very first lines of code for Dropbox were written in Python.
“What I love about Python is it just works,” says Houston. “It is so intuitive and beautifully designed. A lot of these attributes inspired my co-founder Arash and me when we thought about the design ethos for Dropbox.”
Guido’s first meeting with Drew was in 2011, when they had lunch together after being introduced by a former colleague. Guido then gave various talks at Dropbox, where he got to meet many engineers who were fans of Python. At the time, both the Dropbox server and desktop client software were written almost exclusively in Python. Although Python was released nearly 30 years ago, it is still widely popular today and becoming one of the world’s most popular programming languages.
“Here was a company where everything they did was Python,” said van Rossum. “So whichever part of the codebase I would be interested in, I knew I would be enjoying myself.”
So in 2013, Guido joined Dropbox. Since then, he has not only made contributions to Python at Dropbox, but also left an everlasting impact on our engineering culture and our people. It started with some of the young engineers Guido met early on.
“There was a small number of really smart, really young coders who produced a lot of very clever code that only they could understand,” said van Rossum. “That is probably the right attitude to have when you’re a really small startup.”
It wraps with:
“It’s been an amazing ride to see this little hack of mine affect so many people in their lives,” says van Rossum. “I’m humbled to get all this fan mail from people who say Python is the best thing that has ever happened to them and that it changed their lives. It all started by being very open to peoples’ contributions and encouraging people to help themselves often.”
We are so grateful to have had Guido as a part of the Dropbox family, and we wish him the best in his retirement. Thank you, Guido!