DAY IN THE LIFE INTERVIEW: CYRILLE QUIMEN
We are happy to introduce you to Cyrille Quemin, Head of Mobile at Yoti.
Yoti is a London-based technology company on a mission to become the world’s trusted identity platform.
1. Being Head of mobile what teams / job titles do you work closely with?
As head of mobile I work with the cross functional teams that are responsible for delivering the Yoti app, which is available on iOS and Android phones. These teams include delivery managers, product owners, designers, copywriters, manual and automation QAs, Android engineers, iOS engineers and backend engineers. I also work with the business development and marketing teams from time to time.
2. What is the career path you took to become Head of mobile?
I come from a full stack developer background. I spent five years in this role before I moved to Android development for three years. I then became head of mobile and I have done this job for the past three and half years.
3. What brought you to this area, what’s your background?
I have always been passionate about development and I started coding at the age of 13. I fell in love with mobile application development when I realised that you could use it to create something that could benefit millions of users. The fast pace and evolving nature of the job makes everyday of my job interesting.
4. What time does your day start, and what does your typical work day schedule look like?
My day usually starts between 9:30am – 10am and finishes between 7:30pm – 9pm. Depending on the day, my tasks alternate between planning, architecture for upcoming features, development support, pull requests review, meetings with other stakeholders, prototyping and SDKs exploration. Everyday is different!
5. What kind of projects are you currently working on?
Currently I am working on the Yoti app and on our NFC tags solution. I’m also working on some partnerships with hardware manufacturers where I am building a prototype to bridge their technology and ours.
6. What do you consider the greatest achievement in your work to date?
When you develop an app, it’s a great feeling to see it being downloaded and used by people. It’s fantastic that we’ve got over 4,000 people installing the app everyday. The fact that someone can create their Yoti in under five minutes with their passport or driving licence, and then have a digital identity they can use in lots of different places is pretty cool. They could use Yoti to prove their age on nights out and at supermarket self-checkouts, to swap verified details with other people online, and even to login securely to websites without having to remember passwords. The app is simple to use but there’s a lot of clever technical stuff and security going on in the background. It’s been a great achievement to design the app in such a way that anyone can quickly understand how to use it, yet it also has a high level of encryption and security. At times it’s been hard to find the right balance, but I believe we’ve done a good job.
7. What is the one app you could not live without?
My digital calendar. I used it both personally and professionally and without it I would be late to half of my appointments and meetings. And I would probably forget about the other half!
8. What’s the best thing about working at your company?
I’m very fortunate to work with such talented people. They know how to get the job done and how to do it well. It’s exciting to work with such a great team to solve new technical challenges every week.
9. Where is the after work hangout?
We regularly meet up in our office “park” for a drink or two, a game of table tennis/foosball or just a chat.
10. Who is your professional role model?
No one in particular comes to mind, but I tend to be impressed by the ones that had to work against the odds and prove that they could do it. You need to believe in your dream, and if you fail, try again in a different way. Because the amount of knowledge you will learn along the way is incredibly valuable! The journey and with whom you are doing it with is more important than the destination.
11. What makes London a good city for technology, startups and diversity?
London has nearly 50% of foreign people from all across the world. This creates a huge pool of talent and ideas, making it a perfect place for startups. I believe the attraction is mainly due to the spoken language, the central place in the European map and the mentality when it comes to work: if you’re good at your job you will be given a chance regardless of your background, religion, skin color or sexual orientation. Yoti itself is a London based startup with employees from more than 20 differents countries.
12. Which tech trends are you most excited about?
Artificial intelligence and self driving vehicles are the things that will change how we go about in our daily life. From smart home appliances to taking a self driven bus to go to work, to a fully fledged robot that will, one day, be able to take your car to go and buy some food from a supermarket.
13. What are the top 3 qualities you look for in an employer?
Curiosity, honesty and passion in their area of expertise.
14. And finally, what is the one piece of advice you would give to a tech professional starting out?
Make sure you understand how things work, why this decision has been, and what this area of brand new tech brings to table. I find that the best professionals are the ones that are able to question the existing way of doing things with fresh ideas, as well as improve existing tools in order to make life easier.