Hey guys, thank you both for accepting this interview!
Julien: Hey Manon, our pleasure.
Anthony: Sure thing!
First, can I ask when you joined Fleetback, and at which position?
Anthony: We arrived in September 2021 and we’re both Back-End Programmers.
How do the different development teams work together to create a Fleetback feature?
Julien: The creation of a feature often starts with a customer’s requirement. After its analysis, the UI/UX designer will start designing the interface in the form of a mock-up. Then, the Front-End team will transform this interface into code, which will be the visible part for the user; and finally the Back-End team will work on data processing, this will be the submerged part of the iceberg that cannot be seen by the user. These two teams work together during development.
It’s much clearer now, thanks! I heard that you were classmates for a while, what did you study to become programmers?
Anthony: Indeed, we even shared a student apartment for 3 years!
Julien: We started in high school with a science baccalaureate, then we followed with a second-year university level IT degree in Metz, it’s called a DUT. After that, we moved to Nancy for a MIASHS License, which means license in mathematics and computer science applied to social sciences.
Anthony: To finish, we followed the related Master’s degree in a work-study program; I was working in the automotive field and Julien was working in an IT services company. For our Master’s degree, we also took different options: I choose information systems audit and conception, which consisted of finance applied to IT.
Julien: And I chose distributed information systems, which was more cloud and big data oriented.
What a nice school path, and your past experiences in the IT and automotive industry are so complementary for Fleetback! How did your hiring process go after your studies?
Julien: I’ve been contacted one year before I graduated, and a few months later, ARHS Group’s classical hiring process started. After completing it, we’ve been informed of which entity we’ve been affected to.
Anthony: We started our hiring process only two weeks apart, actually. The first interview was about presenting ourselves and our language skills. On the second one, we took the Coding Game Test. As its name implies, it’s a test made to evaluate our coding skills. And lastly, we had two more interviews, one with HR and the other with an ARHS partner.
That looks like a long hiring process, was it tough?
Anthony: That’s the classical process, indeed it’s kind of long but it definitely shows the reliability of the company.
It’s crazy how you both were a perfect fit for Fleetback, do you know how it happened?
Julien: We don’t, actually! But we had good chances of ending up with someone we knew since 6 or 7 people from our promotion applied for ARHS at the same time when we graduated.
I see! Now that you’re here, do you think that Fleetback is a good company for juniors?
Julien: I found it really motivating to start work on a project for which we use a modern technical stack, rather than with obsolete tools. Also, we were supported from the start by the team.
Anthony: Yes; I think it’s nice to be in a relatively small entity where we can experience a lot of different missions and get to know everybody.
Did you learn things in your first professional experiences that you did not learn in school?
Julien: On the technical side, my apprenticeship taught me a lot, but on the functional side, I’ve definitely learned a lot at Fleetback.
Anthony: I’ve learned on both levels since I did not use the technologies I’m using right now during my apprenticeship. Overall, I would say that first professional experiences teach you a lot by deepening the basics learned in school. Also, practicing English every day here improved our language skills!
What do you think of the agile methodology? Are any tools helping you in this journey?
Anthony: Agility is interesting to get feedback from your colleagues and to know what everybody is working on. A notebook helps for the daily scrum meetings — to remember precisely what you did the day before.
Julien: We also use our sprint board to organize and carry out our tasks together. Generally, there is one person coding for a task, and then, a few teammates are reviewing the code to ensure its correctness.
Did you follow any training before starting to work with the agile methodology?
Julien: Yep, we actually had a few training before starting. One of them consisted of a 2-days training on the agile methodology with practical games and concrete examples.
A few trainings? What were the others about?
Julien: Two others to be precise! The first one is common to all new junior ARHS employees, it’s called “Internal processes and tools”, we were taught to use all of the internal tools that we might need. The other one was a training called “Development fundamentals”. It was nice to be guided through our first steps in the company, especially as juniors!
And do you still experience any stressful things in your work after those trainings?
Anthony: Maybe the deadlines? Each task has its own deadline, and some are more urgent than others so there are always things that get re-organised depending on their priority, but usually, we can get more time to finish if necessary.
Julien: Or creating a bug, maybe? But that’s part of coding! If it happens, you have to fix it as soon as possible in order to impact the client the least possible.
And what are your favourite things about your work?
Anthony: Even if customers are more likely to give you feedback when a bug occurs, I always enjoy good one. It shows us that our work is trustworthy and that using our solutions makes people’s lives easier.
Julien: Aha, true. On my side, I would say that I simply love my activities, the people here are also great! Entering such a big project is not an easy task but working in an open space definitely helps even if it has pros and cons. Indeed, it’s nice to be supported by the team whenever you need to.
Lastly, would you have any tips for IT students who will soon enter the professional world?
Anthony: Do not hesitate to take additional training, as told before, school teaches you the basics, but it requires a little extra work to get to know the newest technologies.
Julien: Also, as juniors, I think it’s important to ask for help if you need some not to get stuck on the same task forever if somebody could help you in five minutes.
Wise words, thanks for your answers!