Alex Martelli (born October 5, 1955) is an Italian computer engineer and member of the Python Software Foundation. Since early 2005, he works as "Über Tech Lead" for Google, Inc. in Mountain View, California. He holds a Laurea in Electrical Engineering from Bologna University (1980); he is the author of Python in a Nutshell, co-editor of the Python Cookbook, and has written other (mostly Python-related) materials. Martelli won the 2002 Activators' Choice Award, and the 2006 Frank Willison award for outstanding contributions to the Python community.
Before joining Google, Martelli spent a year designing chips with Texas Instruments; eight years with IBM Research, gradually shifting from hardware to software, and winning three Outstanding Technical Achievement Awards; 12 as Senior Software Consultant at think3, Inc., developing libraries, network protocols, GUI engines, event frameworks, and web access frontends; and three more as a freelance consultant, working mostly for Open End AB, a Python-centered software house (formerly known as Strakt AB) located in Gothenburg, Sweden. He has taught courses on programming, development methods, object-oriented design, and numerical computing, at Ferrara University and other schools. According to Martelli's self-evaluation, his proudest achievement is the articles that appeared in The Bridge World (January/February 2000), which were hailed as giant steps towards solving issues that had haunted contract-bridge theoreticians for decades. Martelli was also the keynote speaker for the 2008 SciPy Conference.
He is also noted for coining the phrase duck typing.
- Martelli, Alex (July 2006). Python in a Nutshell. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 0-596-10046-9.
- Martelli, Alex; David Ascher, Anna Ravenscroft (March 2005). Python Cookbook. O'Reilly Media. ISBN 0-596-00797-3.
- Much of Martelli's writing can be found at his personal home page.
- Introductory Lecture on Python
- Stack Overflow profile
- Pycon videos
Note: This article is based on autobiographical material at http://www.aleax.it/bio.txt, released as GFDL.