This month, we are meeting Rémi Cattiau, Nuxeo’s Technical Consultant based in Los Gatos, California. Armed with an expertise in technology and a knack for consulting, Rémi is here to make sure that our customers are happy.
Here’s his story!
Q: How did you come to know about Nuxeo and what made you decide to join the company?
I first got in touch with Nuxeo in 2010. At that time, I was working for an archiving software company and we had a partnership to integrate Nuxeo in our solution. We made a Proof of Concept (POC) for that and I worked with Nuxeo for 1 month. It was quite easy for us to integrate with the platform. While working with Nuxeo, I first met Thierry Delprat and he made a very good impression on me. After working with Nuxeo for a month, the project was successfully completed and I was impressed by how professional the company was.
Later, I saw on Stack Overflow that Nuxeo was hiring. I have always liked open source software. I contributed by submitting small patches, but I never had the chance to get involve in any big open source projects. Nuxeo brought along a good opportunity for me to get more involved in open source. Also, as part of the recruitment process they asked me to participate in a programming contest and it was very cool! I did pretty well, especially in java. It was a very nice experience; I saw the people there, and as I had expected, Nuxeo had the startup feel with cool, energetic and open-minded people. So, I knew it would be nice to join the company.
Q: Prior to joining Nuxeo, you were working in France. Can you tell us a little more about your work there?
I was working in France and Belgium. I was a Product Manager in an archiving software company. In fact, I had conceived one of the 2 software products in that company. I started alone in the project and later was joined by 7 more people. It was very interesting to be involved in all the different aspects of the project and at the same time learn a lot about Project Management (as I had to manage the team and maintain the cross-functional relationship with other teams). After that, I was assigned to handle the Technical Management of the R&D Department. I went to China to start some offshore projects and it was really interesting for me because I was there to help 25 people of the R&D Department as technical reference.
Q: What do you like most about being a Technical Consultant and working onsite with your clients?
What I like about consultancy is that, you must be very efficient because people always come to you when there are no more choices - you are like “The A-Team”! So, you need to be very clear and efficient to help the customers. There is another different and exciting aspect. Earlier, I had done a lot of work with R&D and there you just develop a product but you don’t get to see all the ways it is being used by your customers. I really like to see how people use the product. At Nuxeo, being a Technical Consultant, I am on the other side and help people use the Nuxeo product. At Sharp (my current customer), I get to assist them in building an entirely new product based on the Nuxeo Platform. So, it’s very interesting for me to see the final solution that will be brought to the end users.
Q: Recently, you gave a presentation at an AngularJS meet up in the Google HQ in New York in front of around 200 techies. How was the experience?
It was kind of stressful because I am like a new French guy in town! So, to speak in front of 200 people was a little stressful - not for the technical part but for the presentation part. It went pretty well though. Also, ever since I arrived in The US, I feel like a little kid again. I see all the big brands that I have always used are around me, such as Google, Intel, HP etc. and I can simply walk by and see their buildings and offices. To be in the Google HQ in New York City, I felt like a little kid who says “Wow! it’s so cool!”.
Q: When you moved to the US, you had the choice of living in New York or Los Gatos. What attracted you to the west coast?
I was familiar with both of the cities. I like New York, but I can only stay here for a couple of days. In France, I didn’t live in a very big city and I liked the fact it wasn’t very crowded and you can go cycling or take a walk easily. For this reason, I prefer Los Gatos.
When you are on the road from San Jose to San Francisco, you already know of all the places, like Mountain View, Cupertino, and Palo Alto because you have heard about them so much. Also, there are a lot of IT professionals here and it’s good to meet people from the same field and exchange ideas. It’s great because I get to know people who are passionate about IT, working in big companies and diverse projects, and making real evolutionary contributions in this sector. It’s exciting for me to be in contact with all those people in these times of innovation.
There is a very interesting story. I once took a road trip from California to Las Vegas to attend the Reinvent conference by Amazon. On my way to the conference, I stopped at Death Valley and there I met a guy who was cycling and he had just made it to the top of the mountain. We got talking and I found out that he works in IT for Citrix and was going to the same conference. It’s really funny because I was in the middle of nowhere and the only person I see is also an IT guy and we were both going to the same conference a week later! This never happens in France.
Q: Besides work, what other things are you passionate about?
There are several. The first I would say is to travel. I had the opportunity to travel in 30 countries in the last 4 years. Everytime I need to travel for work, I try to discover a new country. The only continent I am yet to cover is Antarctica! It feels really good to leave the busy life and technology and camp in the wild sometimes. Last year, when I got a vacation for a week, I took my motorcycle, packed my tent, and went to Scotland and slept in the wild for a week! On my way, I stopped to see the distilleries from Scotland as I like Whiskey. Last week, I went to Hawaii and next on my list is Peru, Nepal and Tibet. I like to travel because you get to meet lots of people and adapt to the different languages and cultures. The most different experience was in Asia because it has a unique culture, not influenced by the western or european culture.
Next is photography and I usually take a lot of photographs during my travels. I also like music, especially playing the guitar. The first thing I bought after I came to The US was a guitar. I am not as good as I would like to be yet, but I am learning!
I like motorcycles too. I am a big fan of English motorcycles. I have one in France and whenever I go there, I take it out for a ride. I haven’t bought one here yet. The speed limit here is a little lower than in France and I think it will take me some effort to maintain it! It would have been great if I could ride at 160 mph and zoom past everyone (laughs)!