[What We Do] Lucie – Tech team

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We caught up with Lucie Masson, Core Developer in Lengow’s tech team!

1/ Hi Lucie, can you introduce yourself in a few words?

Born in Cambrai, in the North, I moved to Nantes and joined Lengow a little more than four years ago now, after journeying all over France. Previously, I was working in the Paris region on a turnkey laboratory solution for digital camera measurements.

I love traveling and photography, and I’ve been playing “Go” for about fifteen years. I play tournaments all over France and Europe, which has allowed me to visit places I probably would never have gone to otherwise, like Sibiu in Romania, a really charming city.

2/ What studies did you do?

I trained as a computer engineer at ISIMA in Clermont-Ferrand, specializing in software development. Then, I became interested in image processing, and I did a PhD in real-time object tracking.

3/ What does your job involve?

The aim is to develop applications that will allow customers to put their product catalogs online on various e-commerce platforms. We retrieve product data from customers, format the data to match what is expected by the platforms, and send it.

4/ What are your main technical challenges?

The main challenge is the management of data feeds: a lot of information has to be retrieved, stored, and processed on a daily basis. Algorithms have to be constantly improved to be able to update customer data at the correct time on the different distribution platforms.

There is also the development of new functionalities. Our users want to be able to set their data up as well as possible, aggregate it, and create complex distribution rules. And we need to produce the data that corresponds to what they have imagined. It’s up to us to create a language that will allow them to understand each other, a system that is advanced enough so that they can do everything they need, but without losing information along the way with overly technical solutions.

4/ Who do you work with internally?

With the other technical teams, of course. The “core” is the heart of the solution, it is necessary to provide access to the other teams so that they can get the data and modify it. We’re as close as possible to the infrastructure, to the database.

Then we work with the product team to define new functionalities and evolutions of current features.

And last but not least, there is the support team. They are the ones on the front line, they see all the problems, everything that could be improved. They need to be aware of everything that evolves, so they can talk about it, and they report problems encountered by customers.

5/ What about externally?

This is very ad hoc, for example for partnerships when adding new types of data sources. I’ve also worked on prototypes, to test image analysis technologies or conversational systems.

6/ What tools do you use?

Python + PostgreSQL, with the Django framework. I make prototypes with Jupyter.

The infrastructure is containerized with Kubernetes, so we use a lot of utilities related to that and to Docker. And there are also Atlassian tools (Confluence, Bitbucket, and JIRA for documentation, code management, and tasks.

7/ To finish, what one piece of advice would you give to a junior in the field?

I would tell them to always keep in mind that whatever they put in place today will live and evolve for years to come. So you have to build solidly, not rewrite what already exists, and plan from the design stage how you’re going to validate that everything works.

Naomi Botting

Communications Manager - UK/NORDICS