LimaCharlie is on a mission to change the way that information security tools and infrastructure is delivered in order to create a better and more accessible security posture for all. We are lucky enough to have some very exceptional people on our team and thought you might be interested in learning a little more about them.
For this second instalment we will be talking to Francis Mireault who has joined the ranks as our principal backend engineer working with GCP and Golang to deliver the next generation of security infrastructure.
My name is Francis Mireault, I grew up in the suburbs of Montreal. My parents divorced when I was like 2 years old and I spent my childhood part time between my mom’s and my dad’s place. I was pretty young so the separation never really bothered me, it felt pretty normal and I really enjoyed spending time alone with each of my parents. I learned a lot from both of them in that context. I learned that it didn’t matter if I was different from others as long as you are true to yourself, that’s what matters. Be weird!
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What do you do with your spare time?
When I started my career I was very big on spending a lot of time working on side projects in my spare time. Recently though, I try to take a little step back and spend more time with my relatives. Also, in the last few years I discovered that I really enjoy pushing my body to its limits.
So I run; up to five times a week when it’s not freezing cold outside. I would usually register for one marathon a year and a few other events to keep things exciting. Bragging time. My PB for 42.2 kilometers is 3:25:59…
And I bike. When it gets colder, I install the road bike on the trainer and spend a few hours a week rolling the legs to get ready for the summer. The plan is to get in decent bike shape to get started in amateur bike racing next spring.
What do you do at LimaCharlie? Tell us a little about your technical focus.
I do backend engineering, pretty much everything technical and architectural not directly related to the user interface. One of the interesting challenges we face at LC is that we don’t focus solely on shiny user interfaces. Everything that we provide through the UI is also available for all of our users through APIs. Designing scalable, future proof and efficient APIs is not an easy task. I wore a few different hats in the past, I have worked in the intelligence community, with consumer facing products and as technical lead my focus has changed a little but that’s what makes it interesting. And now I can now do all those things at LC.
How did you come to a career in technology?
It actually started a long way back when my grandfather introduced me to technology, when I was only a few years old and would make me play with his Comodore 64. Fast forward a few years and my dad bought our first personal computer, a 300 Mhz Compaq for something like 3000$. I remember that I would wake up early in the morning, before my dad, to play Star Wars Tie Fighter. Later, in high school, I took a few programming classes and when I had to decide what I wanted to do, it struck me as the only interesting thing to do. At one point I almost thought of stopping it all and going to study dramatic art but today I can’t picture myself standing on a stage.
Do you use any philosophies to guide the work that you do?
I see software design as part art and part technical, I have yet to find a recipe that you can apply every time in order to make a project successful. You have to find the right balance between engineering and design, between indiscriminately using patterns and making your project work. Yet there are a few one that can help deliver in no particular order.
DRY. Don’t Repeat Yourself. Try to make part of the solution composable but not overly so, it is easy to get caught in over generyfing (is that a word?).
Make it testable. By designing your solution to be testable at first, it is… you guessed it… easier to test than try to make it testable as an afterthought.
Readability. You are writing code but you are not the only one that will have to read it. Your colleagues will be the ones that will have to understand it when you will be moved to another project. The odds are that the compiler is much better at understanding your code and making it faster. Help your coworkers, make your compiler do the heavy work!
Do you have any predictions about the future?
Not really. I want to believe that technology will help the human race to better understand each other but for now it doesn’t really look that way.
Do you have any pets?
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I have a single cat called Nikita, it is really easy going. I travelled a lot in the last few years and she followed me pretty much everywhere. I’m from Montreal and I had to move to Vancouver for a year and she made the car trip with us. When I got back it had it easy, it took the plane home.
The vaccine is a huge success and the LimaCharlie team is coming over to your house for dinner… what are you making?
If you didn’t know I’m a vegetarian.
Is the team still coming? Yes. Good!
First, I will make sure to have enough local beer for the team and cook tofu sticks on rice with a spicy sesame sauce and greens on the side. Finger food that won’t leave you hungry!
Something my dad told me when I was young: “don’t do to others what you don’t want others to do to you”.
A single one? I would probably go with Andrei Alexandrescu. His work on the C++ is amazing and he is a great presenter. If you ever have the chance to attend one of his talks, get me a ticket!
Famous person you share a birthday with?
The 68th emperor of Japan but he’s been dead for a little while. Other than that, lots of people according to Wikipedia but none that I actually know…
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from LimaCharlie's Blog authored by LimaCharlie's Blog. Read the original post at: https://www.limacharlie.io/blog/introducing-francis-mireault