Taking on the leadership challenge at wrnch
This Full Stack Developer’s journey towards becoming a team lead, balancing development and leadership priorities, and adapting to remote work.
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Can you give us a brief description of your role? What are your key responsibilities? What has your career journey been like at wrnch?
Quentin: I started as a Full Stack Developer on the Cloud Team in 2019. At the time, I was working on different development projects with a team composed of Full Stack developers, Back-End Developers, and Designers. Within a year, I became a team lead in this group. Since this was during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there were a lot of changes in the team and in projects. I began to take on planning, road-mapping, and general management responsibilities, while still continuing my full stack developer responsibilities on a 60-40% basis.
That sounds like a big challenge! What was the transition process to becoming a team lead? Did you have any prior experience with management?
Quentin: I didn’t have any prior experience in leadership positions, so it was new to me. But I really liked that new challenge! There were a lot of mentoring sessions with Daniel, who is my manager. He is really a good manager and knows how to read people, be organized, and plan very well. This helped me switch from a technical developer to a leadership position.
I also took some courses on a LinkedIn Learning service that wrnch provided. My manager suggested relevant courses that helped me put words on concepts that I already had in my mind.
I discovered that being a lead made me enjoy my developer work more because I could mix it with road-mapping and longer-term company vision. I really like having that mix between hardcore development, programming work, road-mapping, and people management.
What are the type of projects you work on?
Quentin: I worked on two types of projects. The first one is the developer portal, which is our front-end portal where clients can come to try our products, download code, purchase licenses, and so on. This project is focused on client relations and UI/ UX. The second is our AI service platform, which is the back-end side. We focus a lot on optimization and work closely with other teams at wrnch, who work on the AI directly.
What is one really cool way that you get to interact or implement the AI?
Quentin: We’re currently working on going from a 2D picture of yourself to a 3D avatar of your image. That was a really cool project to work on!
What would you say are the most important skills that are really helpful in this position?
Quentin: Flexibility and adaptability. We touch a lot of different skills so you have to learn to adapt. For example, one day we are redesigning a page on the developer portal, and the next day working on super complex algorithms to make our AI run faster.
For the front-end side, you have to understand what our clients want and have a creative eye. And to optimize the back end, you need a deep understanding of microservices architecture.
So, flexibility is the key word.
What type of languages do you need to know in this job?
Quentin: Well, that’s the thing, there is no specific requirements. You can be a full stack developer in Python, or in Java. The language doesn’t really matter. And even for one language, you can have different frameworks. When hiring, we look for people who can adapt.
What is it like working at wrnch? What is the company culture at wrnch?
Quentin: So, I see two completely different sides – the tech culture and the human aspect.
On the tech side, I think it’s amazing to work at wrnch because of the cutting-edge technologies that we’re working on. Even in the Cloud team, where we may not directly work on the AI, we are able to implement it in the cloud. So, we are directly exposed to it. And we can actually see our clients use it. We help our clients do magic and that is really cool! We touch multiple industries like media, gaming, fitness. So, there are plenty of challenges and opportunities to learn!
On a human level, I feel that wrnch is really listening to its employees – for salaries, benefits, work hours and flexibility. For example, when everything drastically changed when the COVID-19 pandemic began, wrnch adapted very quickly to implement changes, even before being forced by the government. In general, I found a lot of opportunities to grow. Just the fact that I became a team lead in a year is a good example of that.
What has the experience been like working remotely and how has wrnch supported that process?
Quentin: It was a big change for me. I used to take the subway, go to work, see all my colleagues, eat in the park at noon. And then suddenly, everybody’s at home, and you only communicate through video chats. wrnch helped us move our stuff from the office to our places. They gave us our desks, office chairs, and some money to just adapt our home to our new work needs. They let people adapt at their own rhythm to this new work environment. It’s cool because wrnch is always thinking about their employees. They don’t say “okay we’ll just all go back to the office.” They’re asking who would like to go back, who would like to stay at home, and who would like to do an in between.
Do you have like any advice to give to someone that’s interested in working at wrnch?
Quentin: Just apply, it’s going to be amazing! We have plenty of different people working at wrnch, we have highly skilled doctorates, we have junior developers. So, if you’re interested in the projects and the technologies, just apply.
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