Optimy from inside – Meet the team -Simon Barbier

Simon Barbier Web Developer ITName: Simon
Surname: Barbier
Position: Back-end PHP developer
Nationality: Belgian

Marketing Team: Hi Simon, thanks for giving us an insight into your work. First of all, what’s your role within Optimy?

Simon Barbier: I’m a back-end PHP developer, responsible for designing, testing and maintaining the application. So basically, I’m the guy who writes the lines of code – probably better known as “nerd” or “geek”.

MT: Why did you decide to join Optimy?

SB: Most people wouldn’t expect it, but before I came here I actually worked as an accounting consultant. I liked my previous job, but I had been passionate about website and application development ever since I was 12 years old. So I decided to switch my career and haven’t regretted it since. Optimy has been a great opportunity for me to live my passion for IT.

MT: Most people probably don’t really have an idea of how an IT team works. So what do you and your team do on daily basis?

SB: Well, I am more than happy to lift this secret. Our IT team works closely together with the Customer Experience team. They help us defining a new feature to be developed or improving the old ones according to the market needs and we, the developers, write the lines of code to make it come to live.

In a way,  I consider us developers as a kind of artists. We start almost from a blank page and write the necessary of lines of code in order to create something meaningful to others –  like a painter would do on a blank canvas. Just that in my case, the easel is my computer. And as most artists do that strive for perfection, we need to iterate our code over and over again, before we can say it’s final.

I consider us developers as a kind of artists. We start almost from a blank page and write the necessary of lines of code in order to create something meaningful to others

Next to us, there’s the sysadmin team. Since we’re a cloud company hosted on Amazon AWS, their task is to make sure that we leverage the managed services that AWS is proposing (so that we can reduce the costs) and to automate the provisioning, maintenance, scaling, releasing, etc. as much as possible. This is very important since we have more than 100 releases each year and we don’t want our users to be blocked when we update them. Their efforts are aimed on everyone being able to access the Optimy software 24/7/365, hence making sure that we have the least downtime. Moreover, they are in charge of all the hardware of the company.

MT: That sounds like a lot of work. What’s the biggest challenge about it?

SB: Indeed, it can be quite challenging. Before developing anything, we need to fully understand the requirements of the feature we have to develop. These are entirely based on our customer’s needs. You need good skills to really focus on the most important elements that add most value to the Optimy software.

I often compare the development of applications to a riddle. You need to know a strange language (in our case, that’s mainly PHP), develop using best practices (PSR, SOLID, etc.) and stay creative. Mix together all these elements with a solid team work (we’re agile and love Scrum) and you can solve the given problem.

I like to wake up everyday, knowing that it will never get boring

And you know what’s the best part about that? The riddle changes everyday! Of course that can be super challenging but I like to wake up everyday, knowing that it will never get boring, don’t you?

MT: It certainly sounds like a diverse job! Talking about technology, where do you see the advantages of a cloud-based software?

SB: First of all, it’s accessible from everywhere: you only need a browser and an internet connection. There is no need to install any software, no need the use a specific operating system, no need to make any backups since we are taking care of that. So basically you don’t need to worry about anything, simply log in and go for it.

With a cloud-based software as Optimy, you don’t need to worry about anything, simply log in and go for it

Additionally, it’s always up-to-date. Every release is instantly available to our customers. Last but not least, SaaS is very cost-efficient since most cloud-based softwares, including Optimy, apply the pay-as-you-go principle: you only pay for what you really need.

MT: Finally, what would you say are the three best things about working at Optimy?

SB: As I said, the work is an ongoing challenge, no day is like the other. Secondly, we have a real influence on the product, meaning that we can all put in our ideas and opinions and make a difference.

And of course, I enjoy the internationality of our team. It changes our way to think and triggers new ideas and on top of that it is an amazing experience to get to know people from all over the world.

Are you as passionate about PHP development as Simon? Become a part of our team yourself as a PHP developer.

Want to find out more about our team? Get to know Sorayya, Chris and Amandine and find out what part they play within Optimy!