Itamar Turner-Trauring

I identify and solve hard problems.

I can recognize vague big picture problems, identify the underlying needs, and then implement a working solution that meets organizational goals. The solution might be an exploratory prototype, production-quality software, or a better development process.

I can choose the appropriate balance of delivery speed, quality, and functionality to meet each particular situation. And I make sure there are feedback loops so the product can keep improving.

Most recently I have done work involving distributed systems and containers. But I've also built everything from a multimedia kiosk for a museum to the access control architecture for an airline reservation system. I can build software end-to-end on my own, but I'd rather work with a diverse team of smart people I can learn from.

Work Experience

2016 - present: Principal Software Engineer, Datawire

Starting with some ethnographic research and an unmet need by companies we talked to, I explored the solution space for the problem and then built Telepresence, a local development environment for Kubernetes:

Maintained, documented, packaged and expanded an SDK transpiled from one programming language to four others (JavaScript, Java, Ruby and Python). A typical day might involve:

2013 - 2016: Principal Software Engineer, ClusterHQ

ClusterHQ was a startup, sadly deceased, building the future of data storage for Docker and other container systems.

As part of the leadership of the engineering team, I designed and wrote software in order to directly meet the company's changing goals, with a strong emphasis on appropriate levels of quality. Much of my time was spent working on Flocker, an open source distributed storage manager for containers.

I worked with a variety of technologies along the way, including Python, Docker (I implemented a Docker storage plugin), Go, Swarm, Kubernetes, AWS and OpenStack cloud APIs, libgit2, property-based testing libraries and persistent data-structures.

2012 - 2013: Consultant, Future Foundries LLC

As part of two-person consulting firm designed and developed software for a number of clients. Projects included a peer-to-peer message-based SMTP load balancer, a JSON-based API for MIME generation and batch message sending, and a cloud storage backend.

Developed training material and taught multi-day classes for Cisco software developers in the UK and Norway and VMware and Rackspace developers in San Francisco (the latter with my colleague Jean-Paul Calderone).

2011 - 2012: Product Manager, Google

Leading up to a successful production launch for the airline reservation system, tracked Inventory Control's business requirements, coordinated between engineering, operations, QA, the customer and third party vendors, coded analysis tools to catch problems in the production system, and in general ensured the component met requirements and launched successfully.

After the launch, made sure the system was operating correctly and meeting customer's needs using analysis tools, bug reports, and customer communication, handing off tasks to engineering and ops as necessary.

2004 - 2011: ITA Software (purchased by Google in 2011)

2009 - 2011: Product Analyst, Inventory Control group

Investigated business logic and technical requirements, created architectural design documents and wrote documentation. Coordinated between engineering and operations groups, and engaged owners of related components, GUI designers and other stakeholders to ensure the product met customer needs.

2007 - 2008: Senior Software Engineer, Airline Reservation System's Schedule Server team

In latter part of period, led the team and worked on overall system design with tech leads of other groups. Helped gather requirements, and set priorities and goals.

Worked as part of team on design and implementation of transactional airline schedule distribution server written in Python and C++, receiving multiple schedule formats and distributing them to other systems. Designed and implemented large parts of the persistence layer, as well as transactionality, replication and high-availability. Developed core business logic and network protocol implementations.

2006 - 2007: Software Engineer, Airline Reservation System's Core team

As part of ITA's new airline reservation system, written from the ground up in Common Lisp, designed and oversaw implementation of the access control framework. This involved talking to domain experts at the airline and generalizing their knowledge (they thought in terms of mainframe commands, not an abstract model.)

I built a model that would make sense to the airline, would be easy for developers to use, and could be customized for the very different requirements of different airlines.

2004 - 2006: Software Engineer, Flight Availability team

Identified unmet needs and then implemented two independent projects for the operations group:

Worked as part of team on distributed high-performance server system written in C++, with each server handling tens of thousands requests per second. Coding included development of new features, integration of a new internal network protocol, communications support for external systems, airline-specific proprietary business logic as well as maintenance and bugfixes.

2002 - 2004: Consultant

Implemented and helped design a web-based distributed educational system for a government agency in California. The system allowed migrant workers' children to access the same curriculum from multiple schools, and supported offline read/write access with periodic synchronization to a centralized server.

Consulting for various companies in the US and Europe.

2000 - 2002: Co-Founder, Zoteca

As co-founder of startup, designed and implemented a content-addressed storage platform. Author of a patent for Zoteca's technology (see link below).

1999 - 2000: Lead Developer,

OneBigTable was a web startup in the areas of food and culture. Using Zope, an object-based application server, led small team that built a high-level food, nutrition and recipe content management system, including a workflow system and administration tools.

1994 - 1999: Programmer, MAXIMA New Media

Developed a multimedia informational center for the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, a number of multimedia CD-ROMs, and database-driven web applications.

Open Source

Author of Eliot, a logging library for complex and distributed systems that outputs causal chains of actions happening within and across process boundaries: a logical trace of the system's operation.

One of the original developers of Twisted, a Python networking framework that is used by Apple,, TweetDeck, and Lucasfilm among others. Worked on the core networking package (TCP, UDP, SSL, and multicast) and protocol implementations, e.g. HTTP/1.1.

See for other contributions.


Application 20160162209 for A Data Storage Controller, with Jean-Paul Calderone.

Patent #6662198 for Method and system for asynchronous transmission, backup, distribution of data and file sharing, with Prof. M. Satyanarayanan.


Harvard University Extension School: Bachelor of Liberal Arts, 2009
Area of concentration was humanities.

Tel-Aviv University and Bar-Ilan University: Computer Science and Mathematics coursework, 1996-2000

Personal Details

US Citizen. Living in Cambridge, MA. Formerly known as Itamar Shtull-Trauring.