Embrace Change with QIMA
I joined QIMA in April 2020 as a software engineer.
I was initially supposed to start a V.I.E. (French international program) at QIMA China, but in march 2020 France got locked down due to Covid and my move to China had to be delayed. Together with QIMA, we decided to re-adjust my plans: we postponed the start of my international V.I.E. contract and instead I signed a local French contract so that I could start working from France until it was possible again to fly to China.
I was living in Paris area while QIMA French offices were located in Lille, so I was glad to be given the flexibility to work remotely for several months, even when teleworking was no longer mandatory in France. Developers are very suitable to teleworking and I could adapt quite fast. As Covid situation improved I went to Lille office one day every two weeks.
This local French contract was supposed to be a temporary situation but it lasted far more than expected: it is only after 1.5 year I finally had the green lights to work from China. The V.I.E. program was key to have the decision successful and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to work in China to follow this path. When it was time to go to China, QIMA was super reactive in approving all required documents, re-arranging my labor contracts, committing on the flight, paying unexpected expenses, and grant me the time to perform all the medical checkups and administrative procedures during my working hours.
Reaching my final destination has definitely been a longer-than-expected journey and I had to be patient and keep motivated. In return, QIMA has continuously supported me into this hard-to-predict project and the organization was agile enough to quickly make decisions when needed.
Teams at QIMA
I work on QIMAone project. QIMAone is a SaaS solution to enable businesses to manage inspections on supply chain products, and inspectors to perform on-site inspections on a mobile app (more info here: http://qimaone.com ).
Five distributed Agile Scrum teams contribute to the product. The core of the team is in France (40%) and the other member telework from Europe, Africa, Asia. Currently my teammates are all in Asia (Philipines: 1 QA engineer, Singapour: 1 Product Manager, China: 2 developers, India: 2 developers, Korea: 1 developer) but on a daily basis I can interact with members from any other team... which can lead to some synchronization challenges. What is particularly pleasant is the "no silo" organization of the project: all roles are present in most locations and we are meant to interact with everyone on the project.
What's more, twice a year the team members are mixed-up to re-balance the skillset in order to match the needs of upcoming feature. Those are also good opportunities to select topics one is the most interested in to work on. This enables to work with many different people during your life at QIMA.
Regarding extra-work activities at QIMA, there is no denying that the Covid situation and the distribution of the teams around the world make it difficult to organize... but normal life is slowly coming back: in january 2022 all QIMAone teams will meet in France for a one week event!
Grow as a Developer at QIMA
QIMAone platform is still at an early stage (2019), hence the need for fast-delivery. Despite the delivery pressure imposed by the product team, the developers are given the tools and time to ship high-level quality code.
The technical expertise on the project is high: there are many experienced developers and only few juniors. The technical managers are demanding regarding code and architecture quality and we spend much effort to limit our technical debt. We practice pair design/programming/review and have regular meetings altogether to raise architectural concerns and design appropriate solutions.
If you are on board, you will be pushed to share your ideas and take part in challenging technical improvements no matter your level. This can be intimidating especially for low-experienced developers, but as time goes by one learn much about the technique and get better at communicating one's ideas. You will also be asked to go beyond the comfort zone of average developers: you will take part in the recruiting process through technical interviews of candidates, or be given the time to write and publish articles on work were proud of. QIMA is a demanding technical environment.
If you are naturally curious about code and eager to learn, you will find opportunities to enrich your skill set. I you are not of afraid of large refactoring and ready to take the lead on technical topics, then you will be given the chance to do it, and be rewarded for it.
Do you want to join me in Shenzhen (China)? Here are V.I.E. open positions for EU residents:
Written by Lois Facchetti, Software Engineer at QIMA