What do you get when you combine the wit, wisdom, and weird humor of four talented tech minds? As it turns out, a surprisingly lively Q&A!
As Grafana Pyroscope emerges from the union of Grafana Phlare and Pyroscope, it’s time to really get to know the people behind these continuous profiling projects. That’s why we brought together the Pyroscope founders, Dmitry Filimonov and Ryan Perry, and Phlare technical leads, Cyril Tovena and Christian Simon, for this light-hearted conversation.
The group talks about what drew them to these projects and their excitement over the impending merger. They also share some interesting insights into their personal lives (and their superpower ambitions).
How did you first get involved in the world of observability and what drew you to it?
Dmitry: It all started when I had the pleasure of hiring Ryan for his first job as a software engineer many years ago. We quickly realized our shared passion for understanding the intricacies of software performance and how we complement each other as teammates.
Ryan: Haha, that’s right! I owe my start in observability to Dmitry, who I somehow convinced to hire me when I had zero programming experience. Since then we’ve been on a wild journey on a personal level (traveling around the world together) and on a professional level (finding ways to optimize software together with continuous profiling).
Cyril: I got hired by [Grafana Labs CTO] Tom Wilkie to work on Cortex. Fun story: At the end of the hiring interview with Tom, because I was working in video games previously, he asked me, “What’s the best driving video game? Wrong answer and you’re not hired.” Tom is a big car aficionado, and I’m not a car guy. I said, “Need for Speed,” but still got hired.
After joining Grafana Labs I fell in love with Grafana Loki and distributed systems in general. I became obsessed with performance while working on Loki, trying to make it as fast and efficient as possible.
Christian: I was operating Linux as far back as I can remember, but the complexity that came with Kubernetes brought me into the world of observability. After I joined Grafana Labs, I worked on Grafana Mimir, and then later on Loki with Cyril. I loved the insights we were able to get with pprof and saw the potential in Phlare and jumped at the chance to join my good friend on this adventure.
What are you most excited about in the merger of Pyroscope and Phlare?
Dmitry: I’m really looking forward to combining our expertise and resources to create a more powerful and seamless observability solution. The collaboration between our teams is already proving to be fruitful.
Ryan: It’s amazing to see how our projects have become increasingly aligned over time. I’m excited to work together to serve our users even better and create new possibilities in the world of profiling technology.
Cyril: I think the best part is the alignment between our projects and the opportunity to provide our users with a more comprehensive observability experience by integrating continuous profiling into Grafana Cloud.
Christian: I am excited by how much mind share we have and I think we have a great opportunity to bring profiling to many more developers.
What’s a fun fact about yourself or a personal hobby we might not know about you?
Dmitry: I like to build cool stuff with Raspberry Pis and Arduinos. I also like British comedies, obscure music Ryan can never remember the name of (Again, it’s UK garage, Ryan!), and a bunch of other random cool-but-nerdy stuff.
Ryan: Ever since I watched “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix, I’ve been addicted to chess, whether I’m watching others play or learning strategies. I’m also a game show fanatic, and recently made my game show debut. This was the first step on my journey to make it on a reality TV show someday, which I’m only a tiny bit ashamed to admit is pretty high on my bucket list.
Cyril: About 16 years ago, I worked at the Louvre in Paris fixing ticket printing machines to help pay for engineering school. I also worked at the [French] Parliament fixing minister workstations at the same time. Let’s just say if we end up sharing a glass of wine at a dinner party together, I have some pretty unbelievable stories to tell.
Also, I have a twin sister. I’m super proud of her. She is a general practitioner and has devoted her life to helping people.
Christian: Together with my friends I have been organizing a small music festival in my hometown for the last 15 years.
In addition, my dad’s passion for woodworking was passed on to me. Now, when I’m not busy with music or coding you can usually catch me creating custom wooden furniture or swinging a hammer at something.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be and why?
Ryan: Teleportation. I could instantly travel between London, Oakland, France, and anywhere else our team members are located. It would make collaboration even better and save so much time on commuting (although I’ll miss the travel points)!
Dmitry: If I could speed up, slow down, or even pause time — that would be incredibly useful for debugging and optimizing complex systems! And I could have some extra time to practice and beat Ryan in chess.
Cyril: I’d travel back in time. I’d love to be able to fix my past mistakes or simply relive a special moment.
Christian: Because I wouldn’t trust myself with time travel, I’d settle for the ability to fly.
We hope you enjoyed getting to know the masterminds behind Grafana Pyroscope! Stay tuned for more exciting updates as Dmitry, Ryan, Cyril, and Christian continue their journey together. The group will continue their work to advance the state of the art in profiling technology and deliver powerful observability solutions to the Grafana community as we merge Phlare and Pyroscope into the new Grafana Pyroscope!