Marc Douchement, Back-End Software Engineer
Trying to escape seagulls while flying over the coast is an appropriate metaphor for working in an AI startup, so can you describe your role for us?
“Yes, I’m a Back-end Software Engineer, that is I develop applications to respond to specific customer needs. My role also includes protecting our software from being duplicated (stolen) by other companies.
Forthcoming product releases are dictated to me and I analyse the features we need to add to our product and look at how they can be integrated into our product. Some of those features will be internal – such as improving the speed of the product – and some will be external, for the customer – pdf reports etc. In this process of upgrading and improving our product, we may find historic pieces of code that are no longer compatible and it will be my task to find these glitches and iron them out.
On a daily basis I write code in Ruby and in Golang, my favourite language, and I have to read documentation and watch conference replays to stay on top of the latest industry developments. I recently used Golang to develop the license portal of PredicSis.ai for the API, and Vue.js for the UI, which can then be auto-deployed in just a few minutes thanks to AWS Codebuild and ECS.”
What would you say are the main challenges of your role?
“I’d say the main challenge is to develop the features as simply and efficiently as possible. I work by the KISS mantra – ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’. A lot of work goes into keeping it simple and down the line this reaps benefits, such as when a customer encounters an issue – it is far easier to diagnose a problem if the system is not too complex.”
What did you do before working at PredicSis?
“Just before joining PredicSis I completed my Computer Science Degree, specializing in software engineering. I was attracted to the PredicSis start-up because they had developed their own automated Machine Learning software, which they made available through an API on Amazon Web Services. I was keen to get into Predictive Analytics – it sounded like an exciting area to work in. I’ve now been here three years.”
What do you do in your free time (presuming you have some!)?
“I play electric bass guitar – I’ve been playing since I was 12. Plus I have a passion for Manga comics. I’ve also recently taken up a new hobby – the Drone. I bought it a few months ago but I’ve already made some videos and set up a website to show them. The seagulls around here can be a bit challenging, and the wind, but on the whole it’s a very fulfilling pastime and a wonderful new way to take photographs.