Working in Business Intelligence

Michael talked about his interest in data analytics during his interview. Hired as a DevOps
engineer, his role evolved to include analytics and reporting. He’s now part of our BI team.

Workable is...
Exciting, fast-paced, and lively.
- Michael Troquier

Where were you born?

I was born in a small city in France called La Roche Sur Yon. It’s close to Nantes, which you’re probably more likely to have heard of.

Do you have a nickname?

I have plenty of them, but at the office it’s mostly Mixali, which is not really a nickname but the Greek version of my first name.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

One of the first movies I remember watching when I was young was ‘Jurassic Park’, so after that - like a lot of other kids - I wanted to be a paleontologist.

What was your first job?

I did an internship for a French start-up. When I started, they had just moved from working in one of the co-founder’s basements to something that was closer to a real office, but the R&D team which I joined was still extremely small – basically only two people. Just a few years later, they’d built their own eco-friendly office and had over 200 employees (around 20 just for R&D). Even though my experience there was just for some months, it was very enriching to see a company grow in terms of customers, employees and ambitions.

What’s your favorite food?

Gotta stay French for this part. I love duck confit. It’s almost impossible to find anywhere in Athens that serves it, but the Greek cuisine is also really good so that makes up for it.

Have you got a favorite book / song / piece of music?

It would be a tie between ‘I am Pilgrim’ by Terry Hayes (a great book I couldn’t stop reading) and a comic book ‘Locke & Key’. As for the song, the one that I can listen to again and again without getting bored (until now) is Royksopp’s ‘Monument - The Inevitable End Version’ featuring Robyn.

Describe your role and team at Workable:

I started here as a DevOps engineer, but my role quickly evolved to cover data analytics and reporting, which is my real passion. I moved over to form part of our Business Intelligence team just over a year after starting with Workable. We multi-task a lot within the Operations department. On one hand, we provide a second level of support and investigate potential issues. But we also deal with specific requests from customers, such as data migration. It’s always interesting.

The best thing for me is Workable itself. To really feel valued, to enjoy your work, and to work with colleagues who always push you to give your best is something lots of people want but never get. So when it happens, it’s really a game changer.

When did you join the company?

In March 2016. But time flies fast here, it almost feels like it was yesterday.

What was the hiring process like for you?

A few days after I applied for the role of Customer Support Specialist, Workable got in touch with me to let me know about a more technical position that was available. They thought it was closer to my previous experience and education and something I could be interested in. They were right! The role was actually a very good fit with my profile as well as my expectations so I decided to give it a go. As part of the hiring process, I was asked to do a technical assignment at home. I had a week to do it, but I was extremely motivated so I started working on it as soon as I got back to my house. It was an interesting challenge and fun to complete. Once they had reviewed my assignment, I was invited back to the office to talk it through with some engineers from the company. I was given the chance to explain what I had suggested and why. This was so rewarding for me. There was no right or wrong approach to the task - it was all about helping them get an idea of my way of thinking and working. And also my chance to see the kind of challenges I would experience in the role. The hiring process as a whole was like this. It felt very complete and interactive. A real two-way experience and a chance to find out about each other.

I remember in one of the interviews I had during the hiring process, I was asked where I would see myself in the near future; if I had some path in mind. I told them that I’d like to move towards a more data-analytic/business intelligence role at some point. Well, shortly after joining Workable I was given the opportunity to do this! This kind of question often comes up in interviews. But most of the time it’s used to see if the interviewee has ambitions, not really as something that the company will remember and take into consideration. I guess Workable is not like most companies!

What or who can you see from your desk?

Usually some coffee. Lately some art toys from Kozik.

The best thing about working here?

Well, the free food, coffee, drinks and snacks are extremely enjoyable. The training and development package is good too. The first training I did was about Ruby and Rails. What I really appreciated was that they didn’t rush this first phase of training. They gave me enough time to get a good understanding of the language. We get to go on conferences too. I went to Amsterdam for the Velocity conference organized by O’Reilly. This was so great. I got to hear talks from inspiring speakers such as Lara Hogan and John Rauser. It made a real impact on me.

But the best thing for me is Workable itself. To really feel valued, to enjoy your work, and to work with colleagues who always push you to give your best is something lots of people want but never get. So when it happens, it’s really a game changer.

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Personal achievements, professional successes, first jobs and favorite foods, get to know some of our other Workablers (and Workable) a little better.

I try to grab opportunities when they present themselves and I knew I had to give this a try. I had several interviews. The interview process was different from other jobs I’d interviewed for – it was genuinely a great experience.

There’s a really positive atmosphere here. You’re encouraged to discover and try new technologies, to find ways of simplifying the work you do, to be more flexible and work in a smarter way.