Life as a … Java Architect Sébastien
The majority of our Tobania world (called “the galaxy” according to our Tobians) is populated by our consultants. Each with their own expertise strapped to their backpacks, they head out to our client’s workplace to deliver targeted projects. Perhaps at yours as well? Well, time to get to know them personally! Featured in this edition: Sébastien Vanpe, Java Architect.
What makes working as a Java Architect so unique?
My job has allowed me to participate in many different projects in various companies. As consultants, we are present in order to offer our expertise. And in doing so, we always have to adapt to the philosophy of the new company: think about the new people you meet, and the new way of working and management system you get to know.
Moreover, my job gives me the opportunity to meet new people and to expand my professional network. It has helped me to grow in terms of soft skills, to be open to different situations and to gain an ability to adapt.
Finally, I also learned a lot about the different things I had to translate into software. For example, how a regional government calculates subsidies for non-profit organisations, how the FOD Fin collects criminal fines, how the justice system works, and which rules a bank must apply to sell financial products.
“As consultants, we are present in order to offer our expertise. And in doing so, we always have to adapt to the philosophy of the new company: think about the new people you meet, and the new way of working and management system you get to know.”
How would your colleagues describe you?
As a team player, calm, eager to support others and an educator.
You organised a Meet-up webinar on Kafka a few weeks ago. Why do you like to organise such and event? Is this something you regularly do?
First of all, I like to share my experience and knowledge with other people. Conducting these webinars is the ideal opportunity to do so and to develop a sense of pedagogy. Also, these Meet-up sessions mostly deal with topics that I have little experience with. So, it motivates me to dig in deep and start learning how to play with these technologies.
I have conducted webinars on WireMock, Kubernetes and recently on Kafka. The special thing about the last webinar on Kafka is that I presented this webinar together with one of my coachees. It was a lovely experience!
Who inspires you?
Quite a while ago, I had the opportunity to attend a talk by Gregor Hohpe (Gregor Hohpe – Enterprise Integration Patterns) at Javapolis (now re-named to Devoxx). I love listening to speeches like that as they help me to rethink the way I interpret some technologies.
Sometimes, it was just a small comment from a couple of people that helped me notice a weak point and, in that way, pushed me in the right direction.
What is your go-to productivity trick?
Writing a simple to-do list on a sheet of paper and then ticking it off when done. Playing a catchy music list always helps too!
“I started as a Developer, evolved to carrying out analyses and designs and reflecting on solutions. Becoming an Architect was a seamless next step. I was also lucky to be part of good projects, in which I was given responsibilities and was surrounded by excellent colleagues.”
hat gives you energy at work?
Whatever the task is that I have to accomplish, it is the end result that we deliver as a team that motivates me. And, of course, the fact that our customers get satisfaction from it!
Now let’s take a look at the opposite, which task do you dare to postpone?
If you could go back in time. What would you say to yourself at the beginning of your career as an Architect?
Nothing. I could not have said at that time that one day I would work as an Architect. I started as a Developer, evolved to carrying out analyses and designs and reflecting on solutions. Becoming an Architect was a seamless next step. I was also lucky to be part of good projects, in which I was given responsibilities and was surrounded by excellent colleagues.
Do you have any mentors in your professional life?
Yes, I started at Tobania on the same day as my colleague Pierre-Sébastien Lheureux. I was a starter and he had already been experimenting with Java. So, he guided me in this field and also provided me with some solid advice such as: “keep it simple”, “be pragmatic” and “think about the requirements before you work on the solution”. That straightforward advice still helps me today. My colleague Olivier Vanekem also helped me to become confident and passionate about programming and new technologies.
“He guided me in this field and also provided me with some solid advice such as: “keep it simple”, “be pragmatic” and “think about the requirements before you work on the solution”. That straightforward advice still helps me today.”
Why should fellow Java Architects join you at Tobania?
Tobania isn’t the kind of company where you just sit in a cubicle carrying out your job as a consultant. The company is vibrant, fun and full of ambition. In short, there is plenty of room for creativity and diverse projects. Personally, I would describe Tobania as one team, since we work together to make the company grow. Human qualities are really appreciated here!