Hello Renaud, can you tell us about your role at Stanley Robotics?
Hello! So I have been a Java developer for 13 years. I started with IT companies much like everyone else. I quickly came to realise that it was not for me. What I liked was small companies where we could get involved and bring something to the table. I worked for a software company in automatic document generation for three years and then went to work with Photobox. I stayed there for four years and I managed the creation of personalised items. And now, here I am at Stanley Robotics in the Parking Software team. The Parking Software team takes care of anything to do with the intelligence of the car park. That includes the management of the drop-off and pick-up boxes, the organisation of car parks and booking management.
What do you think makes for a good colleague?
They are someone we will get along with from a personal perspective. Not necessarily having the same interests, but able to have a dialogue either on a technical or personal level. Someone who is interested in what I produce in terms of code and who will ask for advice about what they produce, maintaining a technical exchange of ideas. The most important for me as a developer is actually the sharing of knowledge because it creates bond and raises the team up as a whole.
What tools do you use when working as part of the Parking Software team?
We work mainly in Java, and also in Kotlin. We are actually moving towards a microservice architecture articulated around RabbitMQ & SpringBoot / SpringCloud
We use Gitlab as a source repository and continuous integration system. All our software are deployed with Docker and Ansible. Some are deployed on our servers others on GCP. We also use ElasticSearch and Kibana to monitor the whole system.
What does it mean to work on algorithms that involve hardware?
It is pleasing to have a visual, physical result. As soon as we do something, we can turn on the camera and see that the car will be parked where you asked. I like this physical, tangible side of things. I also used to work on machines but now we’re talking about a car – it’s bigger. There is a satisfaction to be had in seeing the robot take a car and park it precisely in the right place.
What are the next big challenges for the Parking Software team?
There are two big challenges:
- The improvement of the algorithm: The algorithm has proven its worth, but it will now be necessary to set up metrics to optimise and further improve it.
- We have a prototype of our software but to scale it to work with a lot of airports, we are breaking down and scaling software so that each one fits a specific task. The goal is to have a modular architecture in order to move towards a micro-service architecture.
What could you say to a future candidate who might be hesitant about joining Stanley Robotics? What would be the challenges for them?
If I arrived at Stanley Robotics, what would motivate me is that we are in full technical migration, there are a lot of concepts that are already in place and for someone who is interested in this kind of architecture, it is really stimulating and enriching in terms of learning. We are working on concepts that are the same as other "giants" in the sector and that's a really excellent trainer.
What makes you most proud to be working at Stanley Robotics?
What makes me proud is the startup effect. It is being able to tell myself that this is still just the beginning for Stanley Robotics and that I am building a solution that could be deployed tomorrow in a hundred airports across the world. I think the customer experience for airport users is important and the fact that people can already use it makes me really proud.
If you want to join the Parking Software team, click here
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