CTO, Presella, Beirut, Lebanon— 2013-Present

Lead the technical functions of, a Lebanese startup building a platform that allows promoters to pre-sell tickets to their events online and crowdfund their events via presale tickets. Being a member of this seed-stage startup, I was directly involved in building the platform, both web and mobile, and managing the infrastructure.


  • Improving version 1 of the website and keeping it operational
  • Designing/Building/Launching version 2 of the platform using Python and Django
  • Building internal tools and reports to aid in business decisions
  • Assuming a devops role managing the infrastructure of the site
  • Hiring and managing people as part of the technical team
  • Managing the outsourcing of some development functions

Research Assistant/Senior Research Associate, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon— 2012-Present

Worked as a researcher and programmer aiding in research activities in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department with the Networking and Security Research Group[]. Current research centers mostly on mobile security building an intrusion detection system to detect and possibly prevent malware on Google’s Android platform.


  • Dynamic Intrusion Detection System that utilizes different components to detect anomalies
  • Component to intercept USSD communication
  • Rule-based host-based network sniffer similar to snort
  • Kernel module for system calls statistics
  • Data collection for behavior analysis in cooperation with Canadian mobile operator TELUS

Papers(primary author)

  • Alaa Salman, Imad H. Elhajj, Ali Chehab, Ayman Kayssi, “DAIDS: An Architecture for Modular Mobile IDS,” International Symposium on Frontiers of Information Systems and Network Applications, Victoria, Canada, May 13-16, 2014.
  • Alaa Salman, Imad H. Elhajj, Ali Chehab, Ayman Kayssi, “Mobile Malware Exposed”. 2014 IEEE/ACS 11th International Conference on Computer Systems and Applications (AICCSA), Doha, Qatar.

System Analyst/Programmer Analyst, American University of Beirut – Medical Center, Beirut, Lebanon— 2008-2012

Developed client-server and web applications for use in academic, research and medical fields. Mainly worked on implementing an electronic health records system along with its corresponding components. The ecosystem was predominantly based on Microsoft products, so my solutions were implemented on the .Net platform using the C# language. I utilized it for both the desktop applications in the form of Windows Forms and web applications in the form of ASP.Net MVC framework. My work also involved integrating with external systems such as the Laserfiche Document Management system and the IBM DB2 database used by the hospital’s AS400 system.

Software Developer, Freelance, Beirut, Lebanon— 2006-Present

Developed several projects on a freelance and contract basis. The projects were diverse in scope and in technology. They ranged from small modifications to existing code bases and consultancy help to building large systems. You can preview some of these projects at my “Software Portfolio” section on my website.

Software Developer, Mideast Data Systems Lebanon, Beirut, Lebanon— 2005-206

Maintained and customized the Bills Management System(BMS) application as part of a two man team. BMS is implemented using Sybase Powerbuilder and uses Microsoft SQL Server as its database. I also implemented the HummingBird Document Management System for Areeba Telecom in Ghana as part of their automation strategy.

Software Developer, Cleartag, Beirut, Lebanon— 2004-2005

Developed the server software part of a medical inventory application outsourced from a US based company (Wavemark Inc.). The web application was implemented using the J2EE platform and used Oracle Products. My role, as part of a two man team and the only full time programmer, was both as a developer and an administrator of the local and remote production environments. The systems ran on Redhat Linux.

Programmer Trainee, Computec, Beirut, Lebanon— 2004

Utilized Oracle products, mainly Oracle DB and Oracle Developer suite, to provide customized business solutions to new and old clients. Contributed the Reinsurance module for a major Insurance application.

Staff Writer, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon— 2001

Worked as journalist for Outlook, the official AUB newspaper.


American University of Beirut, BS — 2001-2004

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science + Minor in Business Administration


  • Current: Python, Django Framework, Java, Android Platform
  • Previously: C#, ASP.Net MVC Framework

Misc Projects

I often code for fun or to “scratch an itch”. The results of which are either released on my website or on my blog or github account.

  1. Successfully completed the Machine Learning course given by Dr. Andrew Ng on Coursera.
  2. Enjoyed building and releasing the complete compiler, VM and OS as described in the book “The Elements of Computing Systems” by Noam Nisan and Shimon Schocken.
  3. In college, I particularly enjoyed working on the following:
  1. A chess engine in C for an AI course. The task was to make it “smarter” and to prove its “intelligence” by competing against other engines.
  2. A 3D space arcade game using DirectX in C++ for a course that teaches graphics concepts using OpenGL.
  3. A Microsoft Paint clone using OpenGL and the Qt framework for a graphics course.
  4. An FTP server and its client to function over a network using TCP/IP in C under a GNU/Linux-based system.
  5. Several simulation projects for a Theory of Computation course. Those were written in C++ and developed under a GNU/Linux system.