Life@Convelio - Christophe, Back-End Developer

Christophe joined Convelio in June 2020 as a Back-End Developer. In this interview, he talks about his experience working in Convelio’s Tech team.

HR Portrait

Who are you, where did you work before?

I started as a backend developer 7 years ago. Before that I was studying graphic design and art options at Art Décoratifs school at Strasbourg, I was exploring tools and mediums. After a few discussions with my workshop supervisor about how photoshop has been created from the outdated job “photoengraver”, I felt the necessity to dive into development. For the last five years, I’ve worked at OpenClassrooms, an EdTech Startup. I was in charge of the learning parts (courses, paths, diploma, certification, p2p exercises, student progression, etc.

What’s your role at Convelio?

I’m in charge of the quoting estimation. My role is to determine whether the technical effort to implement a need is worth the cost in business terms. I’m evaluating the need according to cost and urgency. For example, if we have feature A and feature B that both need to be implemented, I will be looking for data to prioritise the implementation of the feature with the highest business return. My approach can be summarized as follows: “Backend development as a business vector.”

What do you love most about your role?

The pricing scope itself – writing pricing business rules is the best way to understand where our added value is and develop a short, medium and long term vision of a product. Being a backend developer in charge of the pricing in a freight forwarding company, my role leads me from the beginning of the customer experience to the core of shipment. I learn a lot!

What makes tech exciting at Convelio?

We are at a discovery period, there are a lot of challenges: improving the legacy codebase, keeping strong flexibility in the estimation model, scale-up challenges (teams, architecture)...

The important thing at Convelio is to be able to express creativity and let ideas emerge from the teams. We give people the chance to add value by expressing themselves as they are.

At Convelio, we don't make projections about what we expect from a developer: we take on a developer because we know that they will bring knowledge and an approach to solve a problem and not just deliver lines of code. For example, we have implemented Arithmio Guard. This is a test tool that we have created to quickly detect the impact of any update on our instant quote tool and make sure that the impact on the application is the one we want. It is a very useful tool for the developers during the validation phase because the complexity of the tests becomes exponential with the increase of the Arithmio functionalities.

Can you explain what Tech looks like at Convelio?

We are split into squads, each one is responsible of a given scope and can be composed of every following roles: Design (UX, UI), PM, Data Analysis, Frontend, Backend, everything we need to update and maintain their respective parts of the application.

The squads interact with internal or external customers to define their needs, improve our service or solve their issues. They are autonomous and choose how they want to work inside the squad.

To get things done we practice in peer programming + TDD. We write the code together. I place a lot of importance on sharing and passing on knowledge in my team. And moreover, thanks to this, the code review lasts 5 minutes because everything is done upstream. We’re trying to avoid technical traps and raise potential business questions, or issues. The tech, product and business teams work all together to solve the challenges we’re facing. It’s a real accomplishment to finally being able to release our fresh increment at the end of the day.

What does your typical day look like?

First, I sync with my Squad: my day starts with checking that everybody is fine and ready to work. Then, we check the lines of code that are ready to be released. The idea is to deliver often to correct yourself over time with regular feedback. My team refines our next valuable and releasable increments and we select the one that can be released each day.

What are your 3 favourite perks from working at Convelio?

  1. Relying on our co-founders' vision and values. My first contact with Convelio was a call from Edouard, co-founder, and the discussion turned very quickly into an exciting open business discussion, the call was more than 1 hour long but felt like 10 minutes. Accessible, clear, critical, relevant, and open to be questioned.
  2. Challenging the business first approach. Everyone is a part of the value supply chain, we all impact the final business value brought to our customer so we are all welcome to challenge it, take part in it.
  3. Learning every day from your teammates. There is a real team culture, I learn every day from my colleagues and from everyone at Convelio: in terms of business, product, tech, marketing/communication, leadership and more.

Christophe’s experience at Convelio seems appealing? Come and have a look at our job opportunities and join the Convelio adventure! We are looking for PHP developers who, like Christophe, are experienced in best practices (TDD/DDD, hexagonal architecture, peer programming...). If you recognize yourself in this short description you can read more here.

June 10, 2021

Marlo Lorand