What I do

I've been building software and helping people build software for the last twenty years. I'm now working as a freelance. My full profile is available on LinkedIn but here are some relevant experiences:

  • I've spent 8 years early in my career at M-Team - a branch of Belgium's very complex and complete social security system. I learned a lot about complex, changing, law-based specifications, "legacy" systems and how to work together on a massive old codebase.
  • I cofounded PullReview - a now-defunct startup active in the automated code review area. While this ended up in failure, I learned a lot by having to do "a bit of everything" - from sales (I now know I'm quite bad at it) to marketing to HR to legal
  • I worked several years as a freelance for Swift, helping to move a team from an operational model to a project-based, coaching them into good software development practice. While I'm often critical of how big companies (and Swift) work, I learned how to succeed and deliver value in such environments
  • I was Bluesquare CTO for 5 years, leading the company development team in high-growth situations. This included developing and managing a product line, hiring and shaping a team and being part of the C-level management.
  • I worked at Shayp on a major migration from Pyramid/Mongo to Django/Postgresql
  • I always kept a coaching/teaching activity through various channels - I cofounded LeWagon Brussels chapter and coached several batches of students there. I also created a custom bootcamp for a major Belgian Bank, giving new front-end skills to a team of developers there. More recently, I coached at Osoc and taught some React Native to a group of blind students via Eqla.
  • I was director of software at Skills Union where I managed the Software Engineering curriculum.
  • I've been a senior developer at IOS Press, an editor of scientific papers. I managed a pipeline extracting metadata to create a graph database out of them, with the associated front ends to query it.
  • I did a 3 months mission as a technical advisor at WHO for Bluesquare to help create a platform to manage covid data - from collection to dashboards
  • Finally I'm coaching/advising some early stages startups on technical matters.

I'm currently working mainly at three companies:

  • I'm a self-proclaimed "Geek des champs" at Farm For Good - a cooperative of farmers working on agroecological practices. I'm building a platform to help them manage their data to take more informed decisions.
  • I'm a Senior Developer at Beeodiversity, a company that uses... bees and the pollen they collect to do pollution evaluation. In the last 18 months, I created the MVP of our platform and scaled a team from one (me) to 6 developers in the last six months before happily going back to software development.
  • I'm working as a mix of Lead Developer and Project manager for Bluesquare, a company I know really well for being a CTO there for five years previously. I'm now in charge of a collaborative project between WHO and UNICEF.

Technology-wise, I generally use what is there/what the team knows, with emphasis in going with well-established technologies as much as possible - popular stacks have a lot of examples and documentation available, large ecosystems and a good pool of developers to hire from - perks that are generally more important than the specific technical aspects.

I've worked (in a production setting) with Java, Ruby, JavaScript (and TypeScript), PHP and Python - I'll probably learn others as needed. I mostly work with web technologies even if I did some mobile dev too. Due to my Economics degree, I tend to have a good grasp of statistics, so Data Science is generally accessible to me.

Interested to contract me? Send me an email at martin@joyouscoding.com