About the Geek

Who Am I?

My name is Sunil Shah, I am currently an Engineering & Product Manager at Mesosphere, a startup that is taking the Apache Mesos project to the wider world. I recently completed a Master's degree in EECS at UC Berkeley. Prior to that, I was a software engineer in the Data Team at Last.fm in London. I am an alumnus of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge where I read Computer Science. I am an avid traveller.


I started cycling seriously when I started sixth form, under the guidance of a friend who also cycled to school. At my peak I weighed 102 kilograms, in the summer of 2005 with a BMI that qualified as obese. When I matriculated, I joined the the Cambridge University Cycling Club and got involved in the cross country mountain bike aspect of the club and eventually became a committee member. In my time with the club, I took part in and finished 13 cross country races. After graduating, I was on the heavier side of 67 kilograms.

In 2010, I completed the Tour D'Afrique bicycle race from Cairo to Capetown, finishing 9th (out of 25 racers) and becoming the youngest EFIer to ride the tour. This site was my travel blog while I travelled through Africa and I've kept it spinning (no pun intended) since - as a resource to future riders and interested readers, and as my personal site.

In 2013, my good friend Phil and I embarked on a trip from Paris to Brindisi. We had originally planned to follow the audax route from Calais to Brindisi but time constraints pushed against us. All of my writings and photos from that trip are on this site and Phil's Tumblr can be found here.

In 2014, Phil, Armin and I cycled 475 miles down highway 1 from San Francisco to Santa Monica (effectively, Los Angeles). My photos from this trip are in the photos section and Phil's Tumblr is here.

Unfortunately nowadays I don't spend as much time on my bicycle(s) as I used to. I am still, however, very much a Geek on a Bicycle!

In 2016, Phil and I entered the Cape Epic, known as one of the world's toughest mountain bike races. Phil was unfortunately hospitalised at the end of stage 3, and I completed the race as an individual finisher.

Web Presence


Real-time Image Processing on Low Cost Embedded Computers

This is the technical report I produced to fulfil my Master's degree requirements. In this project, we implement a vision-based landing system using open source libraries and then optimise it to run at the maximum framerate possible on an onboard embedded computer.

HTML Abstract, PDF (2.5MB)
Social Bootstrapping: How Pinterest and Last.fm Social Communities Benefit by Borrowing Links from Facebook (WWW '14)

This was the second research paper I worked on in my 10% time at Last.fm in collaboration with Changtao Zhong, Mostafa Salehi, Marius Cobzarenco, Nishanth Sastry and Meeyoung Cha.

Sharing the Loves: Understanding the How and Why of Online Content Curation (ICWSM '13)

This was the first research paper I worked on at Last.fm in collaboration with Changtao Zhong, Karthik Sundaravadivelan and Nishanth Sastry.

PDF (398.6KB)
Distributed Twitter

This was the title of my final year project which resulted in a 11,337 word dissertation. While the project actually had very little to do with Twitter, it involved creating a routing algorithm to route hashtagged short messages between poorly connected mobile phones (also known as a Pocket Switched Network). It scored 79/100 against a class mean of 69 and was my highest scoring individual mark.

PDF (6.43MB)


I've given tech talks on Mesos at a number of companies and universities, including:
  • AdRoll
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Hotels.com
  • Kings College London
  • Lloyds of London
  • Swiftkey
  • Troo.ly
  • Yelp
  • VMware
  • UC Berkeley
I've also given a number of presentations at conferences and meetups, listed below.
September 2016: Highly efficient container orchestration and continuous delivery with DC/OS and Jenkins with Roger Ignazio for the Velocity New York
August 2016: Secure, Flexible Continuous Delivery Pipelines with GitLab and DC/OS for a Mesosphere webinar
May 2016: Continuous Delivery of Docker containers with DC/OS for the DC/OS Online Meetup
March 2016: Scaling Like Twitter With Apache Mesos with Philip Norman at ScaleConf 2016
December 2015: Agile Development and PaaS Using the Mesosphere Datacenter Operating System at Yelp
April 2015: Cracking the Container Scale Problem with Apache Mesos with Connor Doyle at ApacheCon NA 2015

Other notable (unrecorded) presentations include:
Computer Science - What to Expect

I go back to my secondary school often to help and motivate students who are interested in studying Computer Science. This is a presentation I gave at a careers evening which gives an overview of what studying Computer Science as an undergraduate entails.


A Few Highlights of Berkeley's Campus

A brief blog post I wrote for the Fung Institute at UC Berkeley's website.

Blog Post
East FM Radio Interview

On my way home from the Tour D'Afrique and shortly after climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, I was interviewed by presenters Aleem and Seema on Nairobi's East FM about my trip. We didn't manage to capture the first part of the interview but the slightly more substantial second half has been transcoded from audio cassette to digital file.

OGG (3.4MB)
MP3 (5MB)
Watford Observer Article

Shortly before embarking on the Tour D'Afrique, the Watford Observer ran a brief feature on my upcoming trip.