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Portrait of our collaborator: Sandrine Dammene

    Hello Sandrine! Can you introduce yourself?

    Hello, my name is Sandrine Dammene. I am 40 years old and I have been working as a development engineer on the Arcsys product since 2008.

    I joined the Software department of Infotel after obtaining a DUT in computer science, followed by an L3 computer science specializing in LAOSI (logistics, operational activities and information systems) and a master’s degree MIAGE (computer methods applied to management) at the ESTIA in Bidart.

    How long have you been working in the team? How have you evolved?

    As soon as I arrived at Infotel in 2008, I was welcomed into the software department, within the Arcsys development team. On the Arcsys product, I mainly work on the Transfer Server and the tools related to the storage media.

    I also worked for a few years on the development and maintenance of other products in the software department.

    This has allowed me to gain a variety of experience, working on software at various stages of its life cycle and participating in projects of different sizes.

    On the Arcsys product, over time, my scope of activity has evolved. I started out doing mainly maintenance, which allowed me to get to know the software and how it works. Then I was able to take charge of the development of new features as well as the processing of support requests. I now also intervene to manage the documentary process.

    My business has diversified, but the Arcsys product itself has also evolved a lot over the years! The need to consult documents is increasing. The volumes of archived data are also constantly increasing, leading to increasingly complex architectures and growing performance needs. The environments used have evolved. Some customers offer our software as a service to their own customers, and are no longer necessarily the end users of the product. Despite the added complexity of having an intermediary, working closely with our customers to satisfy end users strengthens the bonds of mutual support and trust between us and our customers.

    Tell us about the mission that has marked you the most

    My greatest achievement in my professional experience was my participation in the development of the ArcMovS3 option, to archive data to cloud storage.

    This project gave me the opportunity to deepen my knowledge of how cloud storage works. It also raises strong issues related to data confidentiality when storage is entrusted to third parties, in particular on servers hosted abroad and which may be subject to different legislation.

    I recently presented this option to the rest of the team during a skills transfer session. It is an enriching experience where I can share my knowledge and answer the questions of colleagues who are facing the same problems in the development of other software.

    What are your daily actions? What are the challenges you face?

    For the development part, my work process is based on close collaboration with my consulting colleagues. They are the ones who convey the client’s needs to us and help us determine the highest priority topics. We base our work on the requirements they have given us, and we meet regularly to ensure that our developments are perfectly in line with what is expected. We also validate the choices made during implementation to ensure maximum consistency and relevance.

    I also collaborate with my support colleagues when analyzing issues escalated by customers.

    This support process involves a rigorous investigation stage where we gather different elements to solve the problems encountered by our customers. This task is sometimes complicated by the occurrence of several separate problems simultaneously (where a minor problem can disrupt the analysis of a larger problem). In addition, customers may be subject to high levels of confidentiality, which sometimes limits the information we have (for example, we may receive redacted or truncated log files, making analysis more difficult).

    It is then a real investigative work: you have to analyze the clues (for example: the behavior observed, the files containing the history of operations, the fact that the problem can or cannot be reproduced, and if so under what circumstances…), formulate hypotheses and look for evidence (for example: try to reproduce, or confirm by analyzing the code) to identify the culprit (the origin of the problem) and close the file (propose a correction)!

    Finally, I am in charge of documentation management. This is a very broad subject, which covers the coordination of the progress of the teams, the guarantee of homogeneity both in terms of content and writing tools and processes, the choice of terms used…

    This work requires particular rigor, especially because some parts of the documentation are common to several projects, and updates must be followed in all the projects that depend on them.

    We also strive to limit the duplication of portions of documentation through work on the software factory, to avoid the risk of out-of-sync changes. In this sense, we are also working to homogenize the description of the parameters in the configuration files with the content of the manuals.

    Our documentation is managed in DocBook (XML format for document writing), which allows us to easily convert to PDF, while anticipating possible future developments in the way we deliver documentation to the customer, as the DocBook format offers great flexibility in terms of output formats.

    What is the main criterion for the success of your activity? How do you manage the customer need?

    For me, the success of my activity is based on several objectives. First of all, my main goal is customer satisfaction, meeting their needs and providing a product that is as reliable as possible.

    This includes effectively managing support questions to ensure an adequate response to the customer and unblock them as quickly as possible: making sure we have all the necessary information as soon as possible, validating each guess, working with the rest of the team to confirm our findings, making sure with the customer that the fix is satisfactory.

    At the same time, we work to maintain a high level of quality in the code we develop as well as in the associated documentation. For example, our developments and documentary modifications are reviewed by our peers in order to limit regressions or the risk of errors.

    How do you anticipate support requests? How do you optimize your time?

    To minimize support requests, we have implemented several measures. Some support requests are caused by issues in the product itself. To reduce these incidents, we are working to improve our testing procedures. For example, we have introduced automatic tests that run daily to detect any anomalies.

    On the other hand, some support requests result from misuse of the product. This possible misuse is a sign to us that there is a need to improve the documentation and/or the product itself, by making it more, or by adding additional controls.

    It must be recognized that analyzing problems can sometimes be long and frustrating, especially when there is pressure from the customer for a quick response. However, we strongly believe in the importance of conducting a thorough analysis to provide accurate and sustainable solutions. Taking the time to analyze issues allows us to avoid hasty responses and ensure long-term customer satisfaction.

    What would a week with you on a mission look like?

    In the organization of my daily work, I face the difficulty of not letting myself be totally absorbed by a single aspect of my role. To remedy this, I make sure to maintain a balance between the different tasks, which requires both personal vigilance and clear guidelines from my managers.

    To better organize my week, I have set up a structure that includes a dedicated day specific to documentation. This allows me to fully focus on this crucial aspect of my work and ensure its quality.

    As far as teleworking is concerned, it drives my choice of activity. For example, I prefer to dedicate my telecommuting days to tasks that require calm and concentration, such as documentation or developing new features.

    Face-to-face days are more devoted to tasks related to my colleagues: meetings, exchanges on support cases, etc.

    This approach allows me to optimize my efficiency and productivity, while ensuring the quality of my work.

    And for tomorrow, what are the challenges that await you?

    In addition to the professional challenges related to the versatility of the work and maintaining the performance of the software I develop, a personal challenge for me would be to continue to cultivate a healthy work-life balance, while remaining motivated and engaged in my professional projects.

    Stay tuned,

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