Irene and me

Ali Kaafarani

I am a senior software engineer located in Copenhagen, Denmark. I am a co-founder of Unseen Bio, a biotech company specializing in analyzing gut microbiome conditions, bringing users personalized feedback to improve health and wellbeing.

As I worked for some years on the DD-DeCaF research project, we built a unique tool which brings computer-aided design into the realm of metabolic engineering. In an endeavour to bring our cutting-edge research to industry, we participated in the Business Acceleration Academy at the BioInnovation Institute in Copenhagen, resulting in Metabolyzer, which has since joined forces with Unseen Bio.

Previously, I was part of the Norwegian Trekking Association (DNT), an organization promoting mountain hiking in the majestic Norwegian outdoors. I was a system architect and core contributor to a number of their open source projects.

I promote open source and personally run a handful of small side projects. Most of these are published on gitlab or github, and every so often I participate in Q&A on stack overflow. Other open source projects I have contributed to include cobrapy, and memote, a genome-scale metabolic model test suite published in Nature Biotechnology. A presentation of my humble career in academia is available on ORCID.

Although I'm not actively looking for new work at the moment, I am always open to discuss new opportunities. Read my story, connect on linkedin or contact me on ali@kvikshaug.no.


Some of my life-long passions include snowboarding, splitboarding, cross-country skiing and mountain hiking. It's not all outdoors and adrenaline though; I try to make time to read books, and have accumulated a short list of favorites. Additionally, I've loved playing video games since I was 5 years old, and at this point, I don't think I will ever outgrow them.

I have a pragmatic approach to software engineering. In my early years, I took great pride in my craft. I saw an intrinsic value in expressing computational logic in various elegant, complex ways that different programming languages offer. However, with time, I came to realize a crucial fact in software development: Code is much harder to read than it is to write. Today, although I still can appreciate the beauty in a well written application, I see software as a means to an end, and value documentation, readability and maintainability - and if a problem can be solved without writing a single line of code, that is often what I will advocate.