Guillaume Delhumeau, our Cloud Engineer

28 Jul 2020 5 min read
Guillaume
in 5 things
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  • Favorite artist: Dave Grohl
  • Best book ever read: The Story of a Soul by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
  • Dream destination: Jerusalem
  • Quote you live by: God is Love
  • At the office or remote? Remote

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm 34, currently a Cloud Engineer at XWiki, where I've been working for 8 years now.

The journey to XWiki

What were you doing before XWiki? Did you change careers when joining our team?

After I graduated, I've made my final internship in a video-game studio, and then I've worked for 2 years in an AI company in Paris. After those experiences, I joined XWiki. It was a nice change, since having the opportunity to work in Open Source was important for me and being paid while contributing to said project was quite rare.

What is it like to be working in the Product team at XWiki? What was your career evolution like?

It's very challenging. The quality requirement is very high, and the learning curve was not easy. The first six months were very exhausting! But it was worth the price since I strongly feel I have learned my occupation here, at XWiki.

Open Source impressions

Was Open Source something you had an interest in before XWiki?

Of course! I was a Linux user for more than 7 years when I found the job offering on an Open Source bulletin board. During my studies, I even have published an Open Source video game called OpenAlchemist.

What's the Open Source value you appreciate the most?

Independence. Even if the company that builds it stops the project, the application can still live its own life, as soon as you can hire a developer, or develop it yourself. It also gives me the fulfillment of making something useful for humanity. As you know, Free Software is designated a UNESCO World Immaterial Heritage.

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Being an XWikier for 8 years and counting

What has kept you at XWiki so far?

Open Source, and also the ability to work remotely. I have moved to the countryside a few years ago, and it would not have been possible without working remotely. I also have the pleasure of having found my place, with good colleagues to work with.

If you ever wished for a job change, what made you decide to stay?

My answer to the previous question still applies emoticon_smile Also, I only work 4 days a week in XWiki, which gives me room for personal projects.

What were the most important or drastic ways in which XWiki changed during the years you've been around?

So many people came and left. At first, I feared that the spirit of the company would suffer from this. Of course, I miss people, but the XWiki spirit is actually carved in the bones of the company. Also, it's impressive that this product is still a major player, after all these years, and the presence of so many new competitors.

Being dressed up by very brilliant colleagues is the key to XWiki's success. I can say it without blushing since I'm not working on it myself anymore emoticon_wink

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When did you switch to remote working? What was it like?

I switched to working fully remote back in 2013. But I was already practicing it from time to time before, so it was not a significant change.

What would you tell workers transitioning to working remotely?

Personally, I think it's doable only because I live in a place that I love and because I am surrounded by great people and scenery. Also because I am a loner. So if you don't find these requirements, maybe a co-working place is the thing you should look after.

What would you advise companies transitioning to working remotely?

Being engaged with digital transformation. Having tools such as messaging and a knowledge base is critical. But also well worth it. Your employees will have loyalty and can focus on their work without the pain of commuting. It's also more ecological, and it can survive situations like lockdowns.

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Lessons learned

What would you say is the most valuable lesson you learned during your time at XWiki?

The focus on quality. I've learned the skill of automated testing and of writing maintainable code. A developer's mission is not about writing code, it's about explaining to other people how to solve a given problem, using code.

The XWiki experience

If you could describe XWiki in one word, what would it be?

Strong dedication in a family-like environment. There is no single word for it.

What is your favorite memory of the years as part of XWiki?

When I went to Minsk with a client, to teach XWiki to young Belarusian developers. The way they hosted me was incredible, and the city itself made a change! 

I have also really enjoyed the time with Fabio Mancinelli, a former XWikier, when we put in place the first version of XWiki Cloud. It was such a good time! But this is not doing justice to all the XWiki seminars that have been organized by the HR team. I cannot count all the sleepless nights talking with friends. That's one of the main reasons XWiki is so special.

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