- Hello Olivier, thank you for giving us some time! Can you quickly introduce yourself? Tell us about your background before joining Positive Thinking Company as a JAVA Solutions Architecture and Development Specialist.
Hello, yes of course!
Originally from Lyon, I went to study in the South of France, at the University of Toulouse, to do a Master’s degree in computer technologies. After graduating in 2004, I wanted to travel to discover a new culture and a new country that offers the possibility to practice many nature sports (mountain biking, hiking, skiing, …)! That’s why I left France to put my luggage down… in Canada!
Until 2015, I worked as a software developer/designer for an insurance company! These 10 years of discovering North America allowed me to obtain the Canadian nationality.
In 2015, with my family, we decided to move to France. Thanks to my dual nationality, I worked for a French company with the status of Canadian expatriate as a JAVA EE Architect.
Caught up by my passion for nature sports and interested by the geographical location of the Rhône-Alpes region, we decided to move to Savoie. That’s how I landed in 2018 at Positive Thinking Company at the Chambéry branch as a Senior IT Consultant, JAVA Solutions Architecture and Development Specialist.
- Can you tell us more about your job?
As a JAVA Solutions Architecture and Development Specialist, I have two different roles.
I have 80% of my time dedicated to project architecture. More precisely, in a first step, I take charge of a project in order to map out the technical solution. Among other things, I analyze the technological environment and the specificities of the company. I also document the customer’s requirements and define the framework of the collaboration, I make an estimation of the technical costs, …
80% of my time dedicated to project architecture
Then, I technically accompany the project from start to finish. I define the selection of technologies and the different components. I also have a role of Tech Lead in order to support and control the development of the solution with the teams.
Finally, I take care of the automation part by choosing the solutions to be implemented in the Azure Cloud.
The remaining 20%, I have various activities at the local level for Chambéry. I respond to calls for tender, I do a commercial follow-up with customers, I accompany SALES according to their opportunities, …
I also have activities at the group level. I work with the Domain Leaders (DOLS) and I am part of the Innovation FORUM to develop solutions or challenge our existing solutions.
For each of my roles, I always work in a team (DOLs, SALES, Operational staff, Group Development team, …)
- Thank you for this description which allows us to understand more about your job! Can you detail the different steps as an Architect and Development Specialist for a typical project?
For example, for the project with the International Automobile Federation (FIA), as Solutions Architect, I was involved from the pre-sales phase to respond to the call for tenders and propose our solution. Then, I did the architecture audit and detailed the implementation of the solution. I worked with 3 developers on this project. For my part, I took care of the Azure Cloud and developed some parts of the solution. We are now following up on the TMA.
As Tech Lead, I was the person in charge of the project and its smooth running.
- Speaking of projects, is there a subject that has interested you more than another?
It’s hard to pick just one project, but I think I had two projects that I particularly enjoyed, including the one I just mentioned, the FIA project. It was very interesting in two ways. First of all, we had to develop a mobile application, which is not a solution that we develop regularly. Thus, we had many technical challenges that were not mastered in advance with a very tight deadline. Secondly, concerning the sector of activity! We don’t often work on such “fun” subjects.
The second project I liked was the “Digital Flag Ship China Project” for our client ARaymond. Their goal was to set up a market place to display their product catalog in China. It was particularly interesting because we had to develop a project for a totally unknown market. This project was out of the ordinary!
Overall, what I like best about projects is to be challenged, whether it’s in relation to the sector of activity, the deadline, etc.
- If I understand correctly, you have a taste for challenge, can you tell us more about what makes your job interesting?
What I particularly like is to be able to handle a project from start to finish, always paying attention to the client’s constraints (budget, deadline, architecture agility) to build the best solution. The fact of being able to evolve our achievements for our customers without breaking everything we have in place is also stimulating!
To handle a project from start to finish, always paying attention to the client’s constraints to build the best solutioneure solution.
Finally, having two scenarios to meet a customer need is very rewarding! Either we start from a blank sheet of paper to set up everything, or we have a technological ecosystem to consider, which forces us to make compromises. For these two options we must be creative!
- It seems to me that, earlier, you explained that you would like to be able to work for more “atypical” projects, do you work for companies in different sectors of activity?
Because of my expertise in the finance and insurance sectors, I work mostly for this type of company. However, I really do have projects in all fields and for all functions.
- Do you have a “typical day” as a JAVA Solutions Architecture and Development Specialist?
I don’t really have a “typical day” since I have a multitude of activities.
I try to organize my weeks to avoid spreading myself too thin. I work on about 3 or 4 subjects per week with at least 2 different projects billed by clients and 2 non-client activities.
Within a day, I try to divide my time. A small example:
- Answer my emails at the beginning of my day
- Client project
- Answer my emails when I come back from lunch break
- Client project and the next day I will work on another project.
Within the same day, I try to divide my time.
This organization allows me to move forward efficiently without losing time.
- I’d like to know if your position has changed since you joined Positive Thinking Company?
I joined Positive Thinking Company as a Senior IT Consultant, so I already had a position with a lot of responsibility! However, last year I became an Expert Leader – Solution Architect Leader.
- Did you get a certification or training at Positive Thinking Company?
Yes, I obtained the “AZURE 900” certification in April 2020! This certification has allowed me to formalize my know-how and prove to clients my specific skills.
I am currently taking several training courses. The first one is Azure Architect 303 / 304 and the second is Cloud AWS Practitioner. I would like to pass the certifications this year. The goal is to complete my expertise on the Cloud and especially on Cloud AWS.
- Congratulations for this great evolution! Before I finish this interview, what is your best memory at Positive Thinking Company?
At a time when the health crisis was not yet with us … I would say the Career Committee that we had done in Belgium! This event allowed me to physically meet the group’s employees in a more relaxed setting.
- Thank you Olivier for this interview which allowed us to know a little more about your role within the Positive Thinking Company!