Malek takes us inside his job as System Administrator
"First of all, you have to listen to users' needs. This is the key to offering and implementing relevant and appropriate solutions."
Diabeloop: Can you introduce yourself and tell us more about your career at Diabeloop?
Malek: I joined Diabeloop and, in particular, the Technical Solutions team in March 2021 as a System Administrator for my first professional experience in the health field. I joined Diabeloop through co-optation at a time of my professional life when I wanted to contribute to and serve a project of public utility that makes sense. The project, the mission and the start-up operation from its early days motivated me to become part of this adventure.
D: What are the main tasks of a System Administrator?
M: As Diabeloop’s system administrator, my day-to-day responsibilities include:
- administering and maintaining the company’s internal network;
- researching, analyzing and implementing software solutions according to users’ needs;
- managing the IT infrastructure, from installation to ongoing maintenance, to ensure the security of the company’s data.
I’m part of a mixed team of technicians and systems engineers. I bring my expertise as a System Administrator, my skills and my perspective on the intersection of these three professions.
D: Cybersecurity is at the heart of many companies’ concerns. How does it fit into your missions and responsibilities?
M: Cybersecurity issues are a key part of my job. The complexity lies in anticipating, preventing and analyzing cyber risks. This is especially the case in our business sector, where we deal with health data, which are subject to a strict regulatory framework. To address cybersecurity issues, the team works hand in hand with Diabeloop’s cyber referent. Working together, the teams consider the implementation and application of dedicated solutions. For Technical Solutions, I make sure that softwares are updated and installed, and prevent any misuse.
D: Do the development and democratization of AI models have an impact on the System Administrator’s job? What does this imply/induce?
M: As documentation is sometimes difficult to find for a specific need, AI could help our jobs save time in the development and implementation of technical solutions.
D: The medical device sector is highly regulated. What are the impacts of these regulatory obligations, and do they represent a brake?
M: Software qualification is a regulatory obligation in the medical device sector. Our role is to provide technical answers so that regulatory quality teams can qualify softwares.
Regulation imposes constraints on the choice of solutions. However, it’s not an insurmountable obstacle; it’s just a new way of thinking and working.
D: What qualities do you consider essential in your job?
M: First of all, I think you need to be able to listen to users’ needs. This is the key to offering and implementing relevant and appropriate solutions.
Being interested, curious, looking for the latest technology and always on the lookout, is a great added value in our jobs.
In addition, vigilance and a rational approach are, in my opinion, essential when it comes to measuring risks.
If I had any advice to give, it would be to listen to others, not to be stubborn, not to come up with a solution before having analyzed the problem, and to be open to the advice and expertise of others.
D: If you had to name one project you’ve carried out that you particularly enjoyed, which would it be? And why?
M: I particularly enjoyed working with Diabeloop’s Office Manager on the implementation of the flex office. This cross-functional, multi-challenge project called on several aspects of my skills. To carry out this assignment, I had to come up with solutions to optimize the workspace according to the number of employees and the company’s evolution, and to provide appropriate software solutions. This project came out of COVID period, at the height of Diabeloop’s growth phase, which meant I had to prove my adaptability and flexibility.
D: What drives you most in your day-to-day work as Team Lead System Administration?
M: I’d say there are two aspects I particularly enjoy.
One is the closeness to the teams and users. It’s very satisfying when someone expresses a need, and I analyze it to come up with the best possible response. I really enjoy contacting suppliers, mainly software publishers, and studying and comparing competing solutions.
The other aspect is the human side of the job, through management. I have two local managers. As an operational manager, I don’t always have a technical answer to every event that comes up, but I’m in charge of finding appropriate solutions. I make sure there are no blockages or difficulties, I manage my team’s operational priorities and ensure balance. I’m also the point of contact at the crossroads of relations with other teams.
D: Do you have a mantra? What is your mindset in relation to your position and your missions?
M: Put yourself in the shoes of the person concerned by the problem or need, to better understand the type of response you need to provide.
D: Was it obvious for you to go into IT?
M: Yes, I was destined for this job. It’s both a personal preference and because I belong to the IT boom generation. In general, I’m an Early Adopter, so I’m always on the lookout, I read up on things and I’m particularly interested in anything innovative. For example, home automation, personal assistants, artificial intelligence and so on.