2 years of silence


Two years I haven't written a thing here! Those two years sure went fast. Let me tell you a little secret about me : everytime I start writing on this blog, I feel like re-doing some programming on it that distracts me from writing. I'm sure it happens to most, if not all, of my fellow programmers. I open this site and I would always tell myself : I should try to replace this awesome thing by this new awesome brand new thing. And then I would start working on this new awesome framework... and get nothing done. So, it's kind of hard getting content done!

What I have been up to, in my life

Two years ago I left StudioQi, the gaming industry (to some extent), to go for a very short time in ERP. The company I chose to get into the ERP field was not for me. I'm still unsure what didn't click with me and this company, but less than a month in, I got an offer to try to save kids lives, so it was hard to pass. I still believe ERP are cool, helping companies to maximize their potential and I might get back into it at some point in my life, but not right now. So I join Francois Viens, my first boss in IT to work on a contract with the non-profit Dis-Moi, to build a chatbot+ to help break the isolation of kids 12-17 and try to prevent suicide. It might sounds weird to you, why would a kid confess to a bot?, but it goes way beyond than that. The bot was actually there for two reasons :

  • the bot is asking every X day the mood of the kid, if used correctly (yes that's a big if), it helps track of his mood on a timelime
  • when an emergency happens, the bot know which other non-profit is open at the current time and directs the communication to another non-profit, powered by humans

In any case, I'm not there to convince you it's the perfect system, but in this specific case doing something is better than doing nothing. But if I did convince you, toss them a few coins!

I worked on that for about 6 months.

Then I started working on TradeSpecifix. It's an application to track remote workers on different sites. Mostly aimed (right now) at construction, a manager can follow his workers when they enter a construction site. At all times, a manager knows how many employees is on site and needs to be evacuated in case of emergencies. Bound to that, are timetracking and safety meetings. Whenever a worker enters a site and starts logging his time, he has to read the safety meetings (which can be as simple as : wear a hard hard, or more complicated things about electricity). I worked on that for another 6 months.


At this point I think Francois figured I was interested in more than pure development. A bit before April 1st (no joke!), I started my own company, with Francois and Edouard as equal partners. The idea behind FIXRS is very simple, match clients with senior developers. Client manage their developer, no project manager imposed to the client. For developers, FIXRS handle invoicing and attract new clients/contracts. Companies have a hard time keeping their developers and when they loose one developer, most of the time all hell break loose. That's where we come in. Rent a developer while you take your time finding the perfect match for your company. Your FIXRS can do a knowledge transfer in the 1-2 last weeks of your developer and train your next star, when s.he is ready to join.

So more TradeSpecifix, until mid-summer full time, then phase 2 of Dis-Moi. Phase 2 move the Rasa bot to botfront, which was a great experience. Dis-Moi then merged two projects together, which I think was a great idea: the bot and bloop. Bloop is a private social/community site where teens can exchange between themselves, anonymously or not. Creating a community and creating bonds between teens is a good solution to prevent isolation. Stupid people are everywhere and we expect some of them to try to abuse broken teens. That's why there is no private messages between users and the site is monitored at all times by employees and the bot itself.

That lasted another 6 months. We are now in 2020 and I am working on a project for EvolvingWeb, on QuebecOriginal and I'm having a blast. I think that sums up my last 2 years. There is still a lot to tell, but let's keep it short for now!