What people say about working with and learning from me

As a developer and mentor

Since starting at Truss, Moncef stepped up as a mentor. He checked in on me to ensure that I had the support I needed and supported me to take on a challenging technical project on Reserve. I felt comfortable stepping out of my technical comfort zone because I knew I could count on Moncef for support as a technical mentor.

Whenever I have questions or need guidance, Moncef has always been a valuable resource as well. I’ve paired with Moncef a few times and have always learned something valuable during our pairing sessions. Although I’ll be moving off of our shared team soon, I am looking forward to working with Moncef on future projects.

*

In my early weeks at Truss I needed support in getting my computer set up. I posted in #engineering and immediately received a DM in slack from Moncef offering help. In fact, he shared a script he wrote to make set up easy for new engineers. I had already spent a few hours trying to get my computer set up before I posted the request for help, and Moncef’s script saved me a lot more hours of work.

Moncef also stepped in to support me with a technical project as a mentor when I needed help as more engineers had to move off of Reserve to support other projects. He stepped in to help despite having other technical work to complete and picking up the slack of doing interview related work when other engineers on Reserve weren’t available.

In my short time at the company, I’ve seen Moncef step up in so many ways to support his colleagues and projects at Truss. Between writing useful technical documents and scripts, and offering to pair, Moncef embodies the value of Step Up Show Up.

*

From what I’ve observed Moncef has created various technical resources to support engineers. He’s created tickets to help engineers improve their code quality, the Code Quality Bot ticket in pivotal tracker; and Moncef finds opportunities to push himself professionally, such as speaking at conferences and working on challenging technical projects to continue to grow. He’s also stepped up to mentor Juniors, and share his knowledge with others.

*

Again, I’ve worked with Moncef only for a short period of time, so this is more of an encouragement rather than an “Improvement”. It’s clear to me that Moncef has very strong organizational, technical, communication and leadership skills. I would love to see him leading more projects at Truss because he shows qualities of a strong leader.

*

Moncef is constantly challenging himself to find the best way to do something. He’s always reading and learning, and then sharing that learning. That attitude is inspiring and infectious and helps lift the team.

*

While Moncef was on the Caseflow project, he took it upon himself to mind the care and feeding of the backend code base and tests, and he became our de-facto Ruby and Rails expert. After he left the project, people missed having someone like him to turn to for those questions, share coding tips during Wisdom Wednesday, and generally having someone take ownership of this aspect of the codebase.

I am only familiar with a fraction of Moncef’s work in this area, but he proactively looked for and tackled tech debt, found gems to improve our code, cleaned up files, such as removing things that shouldn’t always get run, and worked on performance issues like N+1 queries.

Moncef paired with me showing me a “service” pattern which can help keep our models smaller and our code more organized, and he taught others too. Our codebase now has many more of these and continues to transition to using that model, and it makes it easier to work with, navigate, and test our code.

Moncef shared his beliefs about making marginal improvements, and cleaning up things and refactoring as you see them. He would do this during his PRs and recommend using a better pattern starting now, instead of continuing to use existing patterns, or feeling blocked by thinking about it too hard.

*

I think change can be hard when it impacts a big group of people. Moncef pushed multiple big changes in Caseflow’s code and engineering practices. The team has had trouble gaining and keeping momentum on tackling tech debt and neglected issues (and now again with Moncef gone!). While he was here, I felt like he was effective at pushing through some of that inertia and moving the ball forward. He was passionate, increased its priority, and ultimately increased the standards for our daily work.

One of these was implementing Code Climate, which is still effective in helping us prevent and address our code quality. After looking at our tests, he also noticed that database cleaning was slowing down our whole test suite. He implemented code needed to not do this automatically and require people to think about whether they really needed to use the database.

Both of these were met with resistance and not easy changes, so I feel here that Moncef acted without fear and cared about doing the right thing, not the safe or easy thing.

*

Moncef was active in presenting during our “Wisdom Wednesday” team learning sessions, blog posts, and general education. Combining this with his level of expertise reflected well on Truss in “Help people follow us”, and “Articulate a persuasive vision”.

I also think caring about otherwise neglected aspects of the code in the first place was a form of stepping up, and that he exhibited leadership on a technical level with areas where his expertise was particularly beneficial. Informally, the team thought of Moncef as a leader with respect to our backend code.

He has been missed, and we recently created a few functional roles to fill that gap, and the backend role was the hardest one to find someone to step up for. Moncef naturally did this without even needing to be asked.

*

I rely on Moncef to rigorously promote industry best practices around the care and feeding on the codebase. This helps reduce the maintenance burden on the project long term and also acts as a forcing function for developers to improve their communication around assumptions, patterns and architecture. I expected that when Moncef came on to the Caseflow project, and he has not disappointed! I think the product will be the stronger for his efforts.

*

I have admired the way Moncef balanced his efforts for long term sustainability against the timeline and deadlines of the Caseflow product. It would have been easier to start opening lots of pull requests to improve the consistency of the code, but he really dug in right away at understanding what contributions the team needed him to make and that’s been reflected in the quality and pace of issues he has tackled. Tempering his own desire for better code against the team’s need to deliver features on time is a great trait.

*

[Description] You are passionate about understanding things in depth

[Anecdote] You have expressed a drive to become deeply skilled and then to share your understanding. You have also researched strategic opportunities for learning, and found ways to integrate that learning into your schedule so it doesn’t negatively impact the client. It’s energizing to see you pursue technical excellence with such passion.

*

[Description] You identify strategic opportunities, and help people see how things could be better.

[Anecdote] On the VA project, you have consistently sought to identify areas for technical improvement, and helped the team see how things could be better if they pursue the path you recommend. You are making the team more efficient and more resilient, and setting an excellent example for others at Truss.

*

It has been a great pleasure working with Moncef this last quarter while he developed the session storage and redis interface for the mymove app. This was a big project and required a lot of effort across multiple projects and teams. The effort was well worth it too with the design and implementation of a really solid session system.

I particularly appreciated how communicative Moncef was throughout the process and that he was able to tie in the infrastructure team at the right time to move his project forward. I especially appreciated all the footwork done by him to validate his system before asking for the infra folks to help set up new infrastructure.

*

I’m lucky that there’s a really solid example of improving via marginal gains that appeared this week. Moncef took the initiative to fix a process that has been slow and time-consuming for the last several years on this project and improved it. The project was to fix how we report out the changes between releases.

This is the type of initiative I like to see in folks on my project and it sets a great example for other engineers. There was also immediate success in using it and even the customer understands how much time and effort this will save the team so that we can continue to focus our efforts on more important engineering projects. I hope that Moncef will continue to make these types of improvements to the process where he sees that they are needed.

*

When Moncef and I did an interview together, we were scheduled Friday at 7pm for a Monday at 10:45am technical interview. I think both of us showed up to the office on Monday and found this out, so we had to scramble to go through the sample. Moncef was calm and pleasant to work with to plan out what we were going to ask. He had some specifics in mind and wasn’t panicked about jumping right in. His cool head made me feel calmer as well. He’s very friendly and approachable as well.

*

Moncef is a pretty new addition to Truss. However, he hopped right onto a project and has been meaningfully contributing since the beginning. Not only that, but he volunteered for and completed an OTT on Mac Tips and Tricks. I think this is a positively bold action.

*

It’s been such a pleasure to know Moncef in the limited time I have been able to work with him. He’s a person with so many varied interests, which shows that he has a strong intellectual curiosity about people and the world. That kind of perspective always makes for a better coworker.

*

From my experience, Moncef shows that he has a strong work ethic and is always able to lend a hand to others. Working with him on government proposals, in particular, I saw that he’s able to work well within a team and was extremely responsive to everyone with answers.

I have never seen Moncef in a bad mood or have any interpersonal issues with others. He’s a kind, easygoing person which makes working with him so much easier!

I know that he’s been on a project that had a very small team and from my perspective, he’s been able to be self directed in the way that he handles his workload without any prodding or oversight needed from others.

*

Moncef is an extremely talented software engineer and a cornerstone member of the Login.gov team. “He is eager and willing to branch out of traditional roles; taking on QA, troubleshooting, documentation, DevOps, maintenance, mentoring.” His direct, straightforward communication style paired with his gift for mentoring make him an effective teacher and a compelling leader.

*

Moncef has demonstrated technical expertise in many different areas, expanding beyond back-end coding and lending a hand wherever needed. One coworker noted that “automated tools created by Moncef got him on-boarded to Login.gov in one day”. His peers note the “impressive volume and quality of Moncef’s code contributions”, and his “meticulous attention to detail and quality”. Moncef’s teammates rely on his “experience and insight into technical problems”.

*

Moncef has been able to pass his knowledge and experience on to his teammates. He is great at bringing new engineers up to speed. Moncef’s peers “view him as a teacher and look forward to learning from him”, each one mentions how they are “better for having worked with him”. One coworker said that when pairing with Moncef on coding tasks, they “always left with new ideas or techniques”. Moncef clearly inspires his teammates.

*

Moncef’s ability as a mentor and teacher is enabled by his interpersonal communication style. Described as “direct, concise, and complete”, Moncef is “a master of delivering just the right information — in both spoken and written word”. His peers really appreciate his availability and “patient nature”.

*

A number of Moncef’s peers noted that they would like to see his unofficial mentoring and teaching activities more officially recognized and taken advantage of. Moncef could investigate ways to make his mentoring activities more formal. It will take some personal energy to make happen, but the Login.gov project (and 18F as a whole!) would certainly benefit if Moncef had a platform from which he could help other engineers learn about Login.gov systems, code, and conventions.

*

People naturally look to Moncef as a leader in Login.gov. He has an opportunity to increasingly flex those muscles as other 18F-wide leadership positions open up. If so inclined, I believe Moncef would be effective and successful in these positions. He has a winning combination of hard engineering skills and softer skills around mentoring and communication. I’ve witnessed people listening and learning with joy when Moncef led a show and tell. Additionally, this uncovers an opportunity for Moncef to hone his communication style to target specific audiences; what works for engineering teams often doesn’t work for wider organizations.

*

Moncef is an exceptional developer, extremely diligent in making sure the team delivers high quality code. He’s especially passionate about testing, always making sure code has ample test coverage. He’s seen as a technical expert, especially in regards to testing, CI, coding best practices, and new tools/tech. In the last year he’s been pushing beyond software development into technical leadership, taking on greater responsibility for parts of engineering beyond coding (for example, as part of the ATO Sprinting Team).

*

Moncef gives extremely good and detailed feedback to his peers, particularly in the form of code reviews. He’s thorough, making sure that code on his projects meet a very high quality bar. One peer noted that “he’s involved everywhere and goes out of his way to make sure things are reviewed well.” His code reviews are well thought out and people can rely on him to speak up if something doesn’t look right.

*

He cares deeply about code quality and best practices. He pushes his team to produce high-quality code, following our value of demonstrating better ways of producing software in government. He drives the team to adopt new best practices and/or tools – e.g. CI/CD, coverage tooling, and so on. He’s particularly good at finding the root of a problem and digging down to the detail necessary to make sure the problem is fully resolved. As a peer said, “he is a tenacious troubleshooter. He will chase down a bug until there is no life left in that bug.”

*

Moncef is a strong teacher of technical topics. He’s helped numerous teammates come up to speed on login.gov, mentored others in Ruby (formally and informally), and is active in our communities of practice (particularly #ruby), helping people throughout the organization level up their skills. Moncef is predictable and reliable; he communicates his status well, and delivers when he says he will.

*

Moncef is a wonderful teacher. He is good at teaching people in person, over video chat, or asynchronously by writing guides and blog posts. He is a great technical lead and is capable of working with both skilled and unskilled people.

*

He is very transparent with his thinking and makes sure to share his thoughts with other individuals. He often cites best practices or other references and invites others to form their own opinions and share additional information. He does this on a personal level and also in group forums and chats.

*

He has a very level affect and reasonable approach to solving problems. Open to input from others. Rarely plunges ahead without collaboration and due consideration.

*

Moncef is extremely thoughtful. He’s not afraid of doing hard work. He’d rather show than tell. If he feels something is the right way of doing things he’ll happily make tools to help people do things the right way.

*

[Moncef is strong in] Technical leadership, but also leadership that requires one to work with a diverse set of skill level and understanding. He is an excellent bridge or translator for those that may not understand the technical nuances of a subject. He is well suited to be in a CTO like position where one has to have tremendous organizational skills along with technical prowess.

*

Always happy to talk through something until all his objections are satisfied. At irresolvable points of disagreement, happy to compromise.

*

In my experience with Moncef he has been very calm and collected any time a challenge or urgent matter arises in the workplace. He is very methodical with his problem solving and is conscious of others views when working in a group situation.

*

Rarely backed into a corner or puts his foot down and refuses to negotiate. I admire that a lot. Not emotionally attached to his ideas, or at least, not in an unmoving way.

*

Moncef is able to remain calm and collected in the wake of conflict. Instead of going ‘heads down’ and ignoring others or his teammates, he is careful to include others in the decision making.

*

Moncef is a tremendously talented software engineer who really focuses his efforts on code quality. One peer called him a “programming artisan”: he cares deeply about best practices and producing well-architected, documented, and tested code.

He effectively spreads this knowledge within his team through mentoring and code reviews. His peers find his code reviews to be especially helpful; as one peer put it, “my code is better because Moncef reviewed it”.

Moncef also works to spread this knowledge throughout 18F by working on guides and participating in communities of practice. For example, he’s been very active in our Ruby community of practice, helping colleagues throughout 18F with their problems, and spreading his knowledge of best practices. He’s been active in helping establish norms around good tooling around projects (CI, Code Climate, Seal bot, etc). This work improves our entire engineering ecosystem, and is very valuable.

*

More than one of Moncef’s responders called him “an incredible teammate”. His influence on his teammates and on 18F as a whole should not be underestimated, and he increasingly finds the best way to contribute to projects.

*

He is known for producing performant, clean and concise code as well as improving the current quality of the codebase.

*

Moncef has brought serious rigor to the ICAM project, but has also begun to relax that rigor when necessary to get things done in a timely manner.

*

Moncef takes great pride in leaving code in the best place possible. He strives to make sure he’s adhering to best practices and is constantly looking to improve his skills and share his findings with others.

*

Moncef’s contributions to the quality of the ICAM project were repeatedly cited as fundamental to the success of that project. He’s been able to do this in several ways: providing good examples of great code, writing more tests and helping institute an expectation that all commits should include tests of the relevant changes, and by adding various automated testing tools.

Moncef’s contributions to the wider organization have followed a similar pattern: lead by example, establish standards and expectations, and create or apply automated tools. Among other things, he’s created the laptop script to automate setting up new machines (and, as he’ll remind you, automate keeping existing machines up to date), begun the establishment of a development guide, and created the code health dashboard.

In addition, Moncef’s been really helpful to other developers, providing advice and code reviews when needed. Moncef’s also not afraid to ask for help or advice when needed, such as with front-end coding or design.

*

Moncef is an incredible developer and I’m proud to have him as a teammate on my project. Working with him is like reading a good programming book, you learn something new every day and you come out of the experience feeling accomplished and like a better dev.

*

Moncef is an amazing developer. He consistently jumps on the hard issues and tackles them.

*

He helps people in Slack and elsewhere in a way that creates a safe environment where people do not hesitate to ask questions.

*

He has been incredibly helpful to all at 18F when it comes to code quality, testing, and development best practices.

*

He pays close attention to detail, and will stand up for what he believes in. He has a strong commitment to open source; he will always try and fix a library that is causing a problem, rather than just trying to work around it.

*

When he joined [the project] he didn’t just fix a few errors with the dev setup, he helped forge a whole new iteration/version of that part of the project (along with great documentation).

*

I’m looking forward to the impact Moncef’s work will have on 18F’s development practices in the coming year.

*

It’s clear that he has a strong commitment to the success of 18F in the long term.

*

Moncef is a pleasure to work with.

As a Software QA Engineer

I’ve worked alongside Moncef on a number of projects and he is an amazing talent and mentor. Whether in a lead or support role I’ve never seen him give less than 100% and that dedication inspires others to be better and that makes a real impact. His great attention to detail makes him a great QA Engineer but beyond that he makes organizations better because he’s always learning and sharing meaningful ideas to make the projects he works on and the people he works with better.

*

I was fortunate to have worked on the same team with Moncef for over 3 years. As a product manager, I have expectations from my research that would shape a product from a consumer perspective. Normally, engineering and QA would push back when it comes to stretch goals - not Moncef. He would jump in and help define the feature or product so that we can deliver a quality product on time and under budget.

Moncef would challenge the product and engineering teams when something is fundamentally broken, not from a software perspective, but a product perspective. His suggestions have always made our products better.

The best recommendation I could make for Moncef is that if I were building a new app dev team, Moncef would be my first QA engineering hire.

*

Moncef continues to be a valuable asset to this team. His time spent on the TechCrunch app this year helped us to identify and resolve multiple critical bugs. I have no doubt that had he not been involved, the app would not have been so well received and reviewed at 4 stars. I always enjoy working with Moncef.

*

Moncef has taken on a tremendous amount of work as part of a shrinking QA team. I have been impressed with his ability to utilize advanced testing techniques especially through automation. To accomplish this he has taken the bold step of installing the Xcode development environment and building and debugging the app locally on his machine. He has investigated and incorporated technologies such as VoiceOver accessibility features to control the apps via automation scripting. I’m not sure if AOL has a position called Software Engineer in Test, but Moncef has been approaching the responsibilities of that role as defined in other companies. He has also demonstrated a keen sense of interface problems and solutions and documents and recommends changes. I appreciate his feedback and expertise in helping make our applications better and glad to have him working on the products I am working on.

*

In addition to his exceptional eye for quality, Moncef’s multilingualism proved to be a great asset to AOL as he supported testing of HuffPost for iPhone & iPad ahead of the launch of the French edition of Le Huffington Post. Word and phrase choices he suggested were determined by HuffPost editors and translators to be more appropriate and were implemented in the apps resulting in a better user experience.

*

Moncef is a valuable member of the QA team but his contributions to the AOL mobile group exceed what he does on the QA front. Moncef is very insightful on the products he tests and offers valuable product feedback that eventually gets built. His written and communication skills are exceptional and he’s very thorough. I think Moncef has what it takes to be a good product manager.

*

Moncef is a really dynamic person. Anyone that talks to him for even a few seconds immediately realizes how smart Moncef is, and what a wide range of knowledge he has. This enables him to find some of the more difficult and interesting defects to track down. He also really approaches every project with the mindset of realize the best possible application for the product owners and the team. Moncef is constantly thinking of ways in which we can make our applications more successful.

As an author

Your articles have been super helpful with it’s detailed explanations. Especially the “Why you should never use sudo to install Ruby gems”. I came across so many stackoverflow articles advising to use sudo, a team member told me I shouldn’t have to run sudo, but your article went into detail and gave me a greater depth of understanding.

*

A few months back I would have had no idea how to do this, but thanks to your tutorials and help, I feel like I’m finally making some progress. So once again, thank you!

*

Once again, thank you for walking me patiently through what the problem was - I truly appreciate your help.

*

I really appreciate your work and your help for beginners like me.

*

Thank you so much for everything, Moncef! I deeply appreciate all of this!