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10 ans en tant que programmeur-analyste : Vincent nous parle de cette profession méconnue

10 years as a Programmer Analyst: a little-known job

February 7, 2017By Véronique Laforest

In April 2007, Vincent Beaulieu joined Nmédia as Programmer Analyst. Back then, there weren't even 10 employees! Almost 10 years later, he is still with us, now working as a Software Architect for the past year. We questioned him about his former post of programmer analyst. His career is quite impressive!

Interview with Vincent Beaulieu, a versatile Nmedian never at a loss for words!

Did you have any experience before you joined Nmédia?
After graduating from college in business computing in 2003, I did 4 years of Java development.

How did you discover that you liked programming? It can't be learned in high school!
I played video games on an old computer, and to make games work, you had to know some "tricks". That's how I became interested in this sector.

What are your main challenges?
Staying up to date. Technologies are constantly progressing, so you need to read a lot. Programming is a sector where people help each other a great deal, and if a problem occurs, there's likely someone who already found the solution and documented it. There are few questions without answers, but you need to be good at searching and finding them. At Nmédia, self-training is encouraged, for that matter.

What are your main tasks?
Analysis, production, knowledge sharing, and application partitioning; I also need to document what I do, go to meetings to talk about project follow-ups, and always be available for everyone's projects, not just my own. We don't really have "closed" teams. We use everyone's strengths.

What are your strengths?
Front-end architecture, browser development (JavaScript), and everything relating to the advanced functioning of browsers.

What skills have you developed at Nmédia?
Analytical spirit, organizational skills, professionalism, and knowledge sharing.

What do you like the least?
Writing service proposals! However, it's fun to imagine a system and then explain it.

Which project destabilized you the most?
A project for a residential renovation company, many years ago. The deadlines were short and we did a lot of overtime. That was the first project we delivered on Altitude, and it wasn't ready...That was a crazy week, we had 3 sleepless nights. We pushed the limits of what was doable. Thankfully, the team was very tight and we made it through together. We still managed to have a lot of fun!

What was your favourite project or which one are you the most proud of?
The Altitude's centralized product management module. This took a great deal of time, love, debating, questioning, and technology...and we're still developing it. It's the pride of our team! It meets clients' needs well. We started from nothing 3 or 4 years ago. This is one of the first Altitude projects where we pulled out all the stops: UX, design, code, databases, front and back-end development, along with input from the integrators. Almost the whole organization was been called upon to contribute!

What's it like to train interns?
I like human contact and being challenged by university students. I'm being asked questions, and I have to think about the answers. I also like to improve people's work, follow-up on their progress, and increase their knowledge. For that matter, Samuel and André-Philippe worked with me during their internships! They quickly became my friends. Once, I even supervised the work of another Vincent Beaulieu!

Are they myths or prejudices about your job?
In 1999, when I began in the development field, I had a prejudice myself: I thought it was a nerdy environment... the typical introverted guy with glasses... I didn't feel like a nerd! I was a tester for 3 months at Ubisoft where I discovered every type or people with various interests. After 14 years in the field, I don't see any stereotypes. As for the role of architect I have been holding the past year, it is little known and has multiple aspects: analysis, simplifying complex concepts, documenting, coaching, training... there are sociable people in every computer science sphere.

What does it take to be a good programmer?
Humility! We need to understand that we don't always have the answers. This is hard when someone is criticizing our work, but we need to accept it. Also, refusing to change our ways just will not work. As there are always new technologies or client requirements, we need to change our processes. By the way, change is motivating! It also takes curiosity, the subject has to interest you.

What is the profile of an ideal programmer?
Sociable, open to opinions, passionate, curious and ready to debate! They have to be in solution mode, not in panic mode! When we face a problem, we need to look for a solution right away. It's also important to learn to accept criticism: there is always someone to check your work during the process, and this is normal. That's how we improve collectively and individually. Programming also requires creativity. Sometimes it takes imagination to find a new way to get where you want to go...

What advice would you give to a new programmer at Nmédia?
Stay open minded and don't think you're the best in computer science. You have a lot to learn from others.

What are the advancement opportunities in programming?
If your objective is clear, and if you are motivated and patient, we have everything to gain by helping you. We build on skills and strengths. Just tell us where you want to go! Whether it is by pushing your limits, proving your creativity, staying up to date, or by working on various projects, you will always find new things to learn in development. We don't stagnate.

What are Nmédia's strengths?
There are all kinds of specialists, and that's a great thing because everyone has the right to monitor what we do.

What's it like to collaborate with other specialists?
It brings new aspects to our work, it's interesting and necessary. We are lucky to have all these types of jobs in the same place. When something doesn't work, we stay open and we can talk about it.

What is the everyday work atmosphere?
Humour, seriousness and fun. Not a day goes by without having fun! Despite the seriousness, the pressure and the problem solving, we find a way to have fun.

What do you wish for Nmédia's future?
More parking space! Seriously, I hope that Nmédia keeps their team/family spirit and craziness while continuing growth through stimulating projects that test our limits! I also hope we remain an amazing, tight-knit group of friends.

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