Final part of interview series with tinkering whizz-kid & OneKloud CTO
Read more about how Xavier came up with the idea of OneKloud in part one, here.
You’ve recently been setting up a new technical hub in Bordeaux, France can you tell us about this project, how it works having your team there and yourself in the San Francisco headquarters?
Bordeaux is the city of my ❤️ . I grew up and stayed there until the end of my studies, when I moved up to Paris to find a job when I was 24 years old. Bordeaux is one of the most beautiful city in France. It was recently named the world’s 6th least stressful city (check out that particular ranking here). This provides an exceptional setting for our future employees. Moreover, Bordeaux has one of the world's largest computer research laboratories, as well as the renowned Enseirb engineering school, or the Epitech IT institution, and much more ... This environment creates a huge potential for future recruitment. Also as a dedicated European, I’m convinced that Bordeaux can become Europe’s epi-center of research and development, not just that of France. I want to recruit people from all over Europe, Spain, Italy, Poland, Germany to create a multicultural team that will make our product absolutely magic.
As to how we make it work from San Francisco: we are in constant contact with our team in Bordeaux. We use loads of modern management tools and techniques. We work our projects under a Scrum agile workflow framework. We are connected via Google Hangouts video-conferencing 24/7 in the engineering rooms. We use Slack to chat. Myself and other management who are based in San Francisco are also physically on site every 5-6 weeks for a week at a time. And the Bordeaux team will be coming over here with increasing frequency.
And in terms of recruitment, what qualities do you look for in a new-hire? And what are red flags?
The number one quality I look for is a passion for technology, our universe evolves very fast, too fast in fact. New technologies, new languages come out every day. If you don’t stay up-to-date, your knowledge and skills become obsolete pretty rapidly. The person who thinks that “IT” is a 9-to-5 job will simply stop making progress. And this actually demotivates the other members of the team. It’s all about attitude.
What is the role of knowledge transfer in terms of developing IT skills and what place does it have in your and your teams’ workflow?
We are a small team so everyone does a bit of everything: Dev, DevOps, SysOps etc... I’m the product owner and therefore I’m the 🚢 captain, the one who directs the creation of the boat, making the technological choices, testing the platform so that it doesn’t bug etc. Keeping the ship sailing smoothly on the high seas is my responsibility, but everyone plays their part and every part is important. So it’s essential to constantly share best-practices, knowledge and build-skills… and it happens very naturally because it’s in everyone's’ best interest.
What will be the main changes to how Cloud infrastructure is used in companies over the next 5 or 10 years?
Using the cloud is will be the new normal, with technologies such as container, and serverless like Lambda, this will only become easier. Add to this, a few weeks ago Amazon announced they’ll be billing by the second rather than per-minute, which just underscores this movement. It will become more economical to launch 10-second processes and just pay for that. Although this will increase the number of times we launch them and thus multiply spending.
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