Like many people in Canada, today’s new employee spotlight is shining on a big hockey fan. In fact, he once made the top 100 in the National Hockey League…not as an athlete, but as a PS4 player! Please join me in welcoming our new Software Developer, Maxime Forest. I recently had the chance to chat with Maxime about his background, and to learn more about his role here at Devolutions. Here’s a look at our conversation:
Can you tell me a bit about your background?
At a young age, my dream was to build video games. But I realized after my second year of college at the Cégep Régional de Lanaudière à Joliette that I wanted to build software to help businesses simplify their processes.
After finishing college, I worked as a web integrator where I learned the basics of web design. I then worked for a transportation company as a .NET developer on transportation-related features. I would say that this is where my love and appreciation of .NET as my go-to programming language started.
After a while, I had to make an important decision: do I continue on my professional path, or do I go to university to increase my knowledge? It was a difficult choice, but I decided that I would get so much more by going to university. I applied to the Université de Sherbrooke, where I earned a degree in Computer Science.
Over a period of four years — two internships and two full-time years — I worked for a company that was a leader in IT cloud solutions (Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Online Backup, Azure, etc.). I developed and participated in multiple features related to billing and the re-sale of their products.
I also got to work with a global company that provides software in four main areas: healthcare, tax, law and finance. With them, I worked on a cloud-based project that allowed accountants to produce tax returns for their clients. This was really the first time I considered myself a professional web developer. I learned a lot in this job and won two internal hackathons while employed there. All of that has helped me become the full-stack developer that I am today.
What would you say is your biggest achievement?
In terms of my career path, I would say my biggest achievement is without a doubt graduating from university with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
On a personal level, my biggest achievement was getting engaged to my wonderful fiancée!
What was it about Devolutions that made you want to work here?
Long story short: while working in Sherbrooke — which is about 2.5 hours from Devolutions’ headquarters here in Lavaltrie — I got engaged to my fiancée, who is a doctor. At the same, I had no idea that her job was going send us to Joliette, which is only about 15 minutes from Lavaltrie. The doctor who hired my fiancée knew our CEO David from her circle of friends, and so she told my fiancée about Devolutions. My fiancée passed along the news to me, and I decided to come visit and see what it looked like from the inside. I found passionate people all over the place and I liked the kind of products that Devolutions has built over the years. I thought at the time that it was like a mix and match of the best things about my previous jobs.
What would you say are your top three strengths at work?
First, I’m a team player. I love helping people find solutions to their problems, and I love to coach people, as well as get coached by others. It is the best way to increase company-wide knowledge and develop better software in the long run.
Second, I love new technologies, and I learn them fast. I can also apply them quickly to work-related tasks. I always stay in touch with what’s new from Microsoft, especially everything related to .NET (.NET framework and .NET Core), as well as what’s being done in cloud solutions (Microsoft Azure).
Third, I’m meticulous about performance and the aesthetic aspects of an application. Both of these are what differentiate a good software from a GREAT software. Since these are non-functional features, they can be hard to fix after an application has been launched.
What tasks do you carry out in your job, and what are some of the tools you use?
Currently, I’m working on Devolutions Server’s features, and I’m using JIRA, Webstorm, SQL Server, Slack, and Visual Studio. My tasks are going to be different in a couple of weeks when I switch over to the Wayk Now team.
What is your impression of working here?
Passionate people are all over the place, and the work environment is exceptional.
What goals would you like to achieve at Devolutions?
I’d like to contribute as much as I can based on what I’ve learned in my past experiences, such as agile methodologies and software architecture. As I mentioned, I also hope to put a greater emphasis on the non-functional aspects of Devolutions’ software that I feel are very important, especially performance and aesthetics.
On a personal note, what are some of your hobbies and interests?
Like most software developers, I’m a gamer. I have many games, but the go-to for me every year is NHL on consoles. I was ranked top 100 in 1v1 at one point in time. I have too many hobbies, but the top ones are: travelling, photography, DEK hockey, running, biking, fishing, and watching TV shows or movies with my fiancée.
Please share a few words with our community of IT pros:
The community and its customers are the keys to success for any business. Without you, Devolutions wouldn’t be possible. I’ll be here to listen to your feedback and help Devolutions develop software to simplify and secure your processes.