In the shoes of Fabrice, R&D development engineer
Application design, development... Immersion in Diabeloop's "Platforms" team.
Diabeloop: Hi Fabrice, what is your job at Diabeloop? And how long have you been doing that?
Fabrice: I am a development engineer in R&D within the Platforms team. I joined Diabeloop at the beginning of 2018 after having spent more than ten years in a large group. This is my first experience in the medical sector and more specifically in medical devices.
Diabeloop: What is your team’s daily work like?
F: Our mission is to support all the activities of Diabeloop products embedded in the handsets with which the patients are equipped. We design and develop services that are not available directly from these products. To give you a specific example, updating a device through the network, which is called OTA (Over The Air), will be one of our missions.
Diabeloop: How did you hear about Diabeloop?
F: I was looking for new opportunities when I got to know Diabeloop. In my previous experiences, I’d had jobs in project management, making sure that my dashboards and KPIs were tending more towards green than red. I wanted to go back to more technical activities (application design, development…). Following an EPP (Employment Protection Plan), I got a training in big data. In the meantime, I spoke with someone who was already working at Diabeloop and I found the company very promising. So I followed my training for 6 months, and I joined Diabeloop right after that.
Diabeloop: What attracted you most to Diabeloop?
F: First of all, I was very touched by Diabeloop’s mission, although I have no personal connection with the disease and no one around me lives with diabetes. Secondly, the product appealed to me. Before joining Diabeloop, I didn’t know anything about diabetes. When they explained to me what a person with Type 1 diabetes has to do every day to survive, I was astounded… So, helping to develop a solution that relieves people with Type 1 diabetes of this heavy mental burden and makes their lives easier is really great!
At Diabeloop, the human being is at the center of everything. Our common goal is to design solutions that relieve patients.
Diabeloop: You said earlier that Diabeloop was your first experience in the medical field. Was it easy for you to join a medical device company?
F: In my daily work, I have to deal with certain regulatory aspects. I spent some time trying to grasp them, to understand them… At the beginning, it was complicated for me, I must admit. To tell you the truth , I saw regulation as a constraint and I was looking for a way to get around it. It took me a long time to realize that it was a necessity, that I had to work “with” it rather than “against” it. In a company specializing in medical devices, there is no way to get around it. The teams in charge of regulatory and normative aspects helped me a lot, they are always available to explain and answer our questions.
Diabeloop: Was it a “shock” to join a start-up after spending more than 10 years in a large group?
F: It wasn’t a shock because I was prepared for it. And, with hindsight, I think it’s what I was looking for without really knowing it. I hadn’t worked a lot with agile methods before. They were a revelation to me. Everyone brings their own contribution, we make different versions, which we deliver and then improve (or not). It’s a real opportunity to create things without any limitation, to move forward in small or big steps depending on the day.
Diabeloop: What do you like most about your job today?
1/ I’ve taken up a technical path that I’d given up more than 10 years ago. Working alongside people who have stayed on this path is a daily challenge for me. They have more technical experience than me and sharper reflexes. I take advantage of their experience and their kindness to get me back on my feet. I am learning a lot and I am very grateful to them for that.
2/ My job offers a lot of diversity. I work with several technologies and on different projects every day. In addition to my daily work at Platforms, I participate in the life of Diabeloop by helping with different tasks. For example, I enjoy interviewing candidates and taking part in cross-functional working groups such as the one on cybersecurity. I appreciate being trusted. Every day is different, really.
3/ At Diabeloop, I work in a very dynamic and technological environment. It’s nice to come to work in the morning with people who want to do well.
Diabeloop: If you had to motivate someone to join Diabeloop, what would you tell them?
F: I would tell them that they’re going to evolve in a very technological world with many different ways to do things, especially in terms of which programming languages are being used. Techno enthusiasts are going to have a blast in this very “geek” environment (in the positive sense of the term). At Diabeloop, we give ourselves a lot of latitude, there are very few limits! Anyone who has ideas will be able to talk about them and will be listened to.
Diabeloop: How would you continue the sentence “it would be great if…” ?
F: It would be great if:
- Our solution was a commercial success. That it would be accessible to all people who need it, whatever their country, whatever their age… ;
- Type 1 diabetes was just a bad memory, so that we could, for example, help other people living with other pathologies. But first things first…