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About

I am a Senior Engineer specialized in web applications with over 17 years of professional experience. I am now 40 years old and I live in the South of France, on the French Riviera, just on the edge of the beautiful Sophia Antipolis technology park. I have a genuine passion for web technologies, user experience and entrepreneurship. I absolutely love building things!

My areas of expertise are J2EE and LAMP architectures. I am proficient in client-server applications and have a strong understanding of object oriented programming as well as design patterns. Curious and creative by nature, I am also interested in several other areas such as development methodologies, design, or product definition.

Since 2006, I have started several ventures as an entrepreneur, and did some freelancing.

Technical background

I created my first website in 1997 and have been working almost full-time in the Internet industry since 2000, when I graduated in Computer Science from the Polytech Nice-Sophia Engineering School (formerly known as ESSI). I then had the opportunity to work with startups and multinational companies spanning a wide range of business industries such as travel distribution, global communication solutions, secure payment services and sports.

I have spent the first part of my career designing, developing and deploying Java applications. My responsibilities covered almost all the development life cycle, ranging from writing functional specifications, modeling use cases and implementing business rules to integrating and qualifying new functionalities.

I developed a strong expertise in open source technologies and tools, like Ant, Debian or Subversion.

I have always been particularly attentive to the different ways of improving productivity and leveraging code quality (e.g. effective use of team collaboration tools, version control, coding conventions, etc.). More generally, I am very interested in architectural issues and software development methodologies.

I now also have a strong exposure to the LAMP stack and frameworks such as Mootools and Zend Framework (from version 0.3 and up), mainly because I started several ventures based on these open source technologies in the last several years.

During that time, I was also naturally involved in the whole set of activities required to build and launch web applications: product definition, planning, software and technical architecture, information architecture, usability, visual design, frontend development, backend development, database design, server configuration, copywriting, or search engine optimization.

To summarize, I am a full-stack engineer with a broad set of technical skills. I suppose this comes from always being enthusiastic about learning and doing new things. If you need more details about my professional experience (including technical information), please have a look to my résumé.

Entrepreneurial background

While it was a bold move considering the competition, I decided to resign from my job in October 2006 to start my own business. Loomiz was a new social bookmarking service meant to be simple, elegant and effective. It would enable people to store the addresses of their favorite websites online so they could access them from anywhere. Loomiz had a strong focus on personal search, something that competitors still don't get today. Unfortunately, it was never released nor incorporated because of a lack of funding (it was entirely bootstrapped). However, this great experience taught me valuable lessons.

In June 2008, at approximately the same time as Loomiz, I started a freelance activity to be able to fund this venture. This experience provided me with valuable insight on running a small business (and all the paperwork which goes with it) or managing clients. On the other side, it proved to be an unpleasant situation as I had to joggled between consulting and Loomiz while not being able to push forward any of these two activities as much as I would have wanted to.

However, freelancing gave me the opportunity to meet a great partner with whom I eventually founded Hitomi Studio, a development studio specialized in high-end ecommerce solutions for brands, in April 2009. We designed and developed bespoke online stores based on Magento, a feature-rich ecommerce platform. We worked with a few nice brands, but delivering high-quality work turned out to be somewhat difficult to sell in France as the market did not understand the concept of return on investment. Also it was a business that did not scale very well.

Gary Coupon is the last venture I bootstrapped. Launched in May 2010, this new search engine lists discounts, free shipping, special offers, free gifts and best deals so people can save money when buying on Internet. They can also create alerts to be notified automatically as soon as new coupons for their favorite stores are published. Gary Coupon is an attempt to make the web a better place by building a technology that would check coupons several times a day and help people find coupon codes that always work.

As a side note, I also created the OpenCoffee Club Sophia in August 2008. Since then, this event has been a monthly forum for entrepreneurs, developers and other people interested in startups and who work in the Internet industry.


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I am currently open to senior technology positions