The team at Orthogone includes people with varied backgrounds and specialties. Maxime Larocque (Senior Embedded Software Designer) has a degree in software engineering with a specialty in systems and telecommunications from the Polytechnique Montréal. He worked at several telecommunications companies before joining Orthogone in 2009.
“Orthogone has grown a lot since I started, but it kept the transparency and open communication with upper management that it had as a smaller company, which is ideal.”
In this Q&A session, Maxime shares what’s important for a software designer, and what he likes most about working at Orthogone.
Senior Embedded Software Designer,
A: Whether you’re working in-house or as a consultant, it’s really important to manage client expectations. You have to understand the client’s needs and to be able to explain to them what you’re going to do, and how you’re going to help them best achieve their goals with the project. For example, sometimes you need to explain why something that’s the basis for a critical milestone has to be done first to ensure high-quality results.
You have to communicate and listen to understand because often there are business considerations other than technical need.
A: When I started at Orthogone it was much smaller than it is now, but it has kept the same open communication it had before, so I understand what management is doing and why. I also like the variety of projects that I get to work on because I thrive on change. Before Orthogone, I had several different jobs, but now if I want to work on something new, I can ask to be considered for a different project and they will do everything they can to accommodate that request.
Another thing I like is that Orthogone’s management really means it when they say the company will do whatever the customer needs. For example, on one project the customer asked me to conduct interviews so they could hire someone in-house instead of continuing to use a consultant. So, I was helping them hire my replacement. I’m not sure that all consulting companies would do that, but Orthogone wanted me to help the client, even with interviewing.
A: My wife and I bought a house several years ago that was about 50 years old. We gutted it and did a massive renovation that took years. When I’d start what I thought was one job, like remove drywall, we’d often find something like water damage that required extra work. Even though it wouldn’t show if we didn’t fix it, we wanted things done right, and to be solid, even if they wouldn’t show. What’s behind the scenes is really important whether it’s a house or a product with embedded software.
A: Since I was little, I’ve liked to play with computers and electronics and connect everything together. I like projects that involve multiple layers. So, if I can play with the electronics and the software, and even the application software that connects to the device, then I’m really happy.
I also like projects where I can simplify the design. Sometimes it would be easier to do something complex that works, but then when you have to improve it, or debug it, or make it in production it won’t work. The most important thing is to make something with a simple design that’s easy to understand, easy to improve, and as simple as possible to make sure that we can manage it for a long time.Learn more about technology innovation at Orthogone.