Meet Matthieu, Back-End Developer at Kardinal

A curious and passionate person, Matthieu is a Back-End Developer at Kardinal since April 2019.

After graduating from the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris and completing an engineering degree in computer science at the ENSEEIHT in Toulouse, Matthieu began his professional career in an IT company where he learned C and Python. These two languages enabled him to deal with real-time concepts and to optimize the code of the on-board speed controller systems he was working on at the time.

After working in an insurance company and experimenting with more web-oriented programming languages, Matthieu quit his job and started studying acting for 2 years, while building websites as an auto-entrepreneur for 5 years.

In 2014, Matthieu joined a service company where he met Hugo Farizon, current CTO and co-founder of Kardinal where he collaborated with him on several projects. Four years later, the project was launched and Hugo contacted him again to join the adventure.

“I was immediately interested in the subject of route optimization, as well as the technical challenges involved”. Matthieu was one of the first employees of the company.

portrait développeur back-end Matthieu Kardinal

His mission: to link the algorithms with the interfaces.

While the Front-End Developer is in charge of the ergonomics and navigation of a web interface, the Back-End Developer is in charge of the back-office and all the “invisible” elements that are essential to the proper functioning of the interface. He is responsible for the implementation, the setup, the development and the maintenance of the server and database.

Matthieu is part of the Back-End team that prepares the data for the Front-End team and the Operational Research (OR) team. “The Back-End makes the link between Kardinal’s core algorithms and what is shown to the user”. It fetches the data submitted by users (e.g., transport orders and available drivers) and stores it in a database. He then has to rework the data since it is not directly usable by the OR team, who’s in charge of optimizing the data in the Kardinal solver and sending the generated optimizations back to the Back-End team. These optimizations are then re-formatted and enriched in order to send them to the Front-End team, which then displays them to the client.

A techie always involved in decision making

With his experience, Matthieu is also Lead Developer, supervising projects shared with the two other developers on his team. He wanted to keep working on the operational side of things, as he enjoys “getting his hands dirty”. Matthieu is happy to have learned different computer languages during his career and has broadened his skills by joining Kardinal. He is proud of having successfully rewritten a computer module from one language to another (which he had just learned) while keeping the same interface and process: “it was a very interesting challenge to tackle!” “At Kardinal, we rely on the latest technologies, languages and tools, which saves time and allows us to be more efficient.”

Matthieu really enjoys the Back-End approach at Kardinal, as the decision process is much shorter than in larger companies where it can be more top-down. “Being at the heart of the decision-making process is a real advantage that is generally found in start-ups. Being close to the decision-makers allows for a more direct dialogue and a better understanding of the decisions made”. Matthieu is fond of the various rituals set up at Kardinal, whether it’s the monthly “speed boat” to review the technical team’s progress or the Friday lunchtime pizza shared among colleagues: “It’s these little friendly moments that motivate me for the day!”

An artist who loves to play with words and body language

Aware of disability-related issues, Matthieu wanted to learn sign language, which helped him discover other forms of communication. This experience made him aware of the limitations of spoken language that can be overcome by body language in situations where it is hard or impossible to hear (noisy places, behind glass, etc.).

“I was able to practice my sign language skills with my baby daughter. She couldn’t speak yet but still needed to communicate”. Signing with her hands made it easier for her daughter to express her needs sooner. “This beautiful language relies on body and facial expression, which reminds me of my acting studies.”

With a passion for drama acting, Matthieu took classes with Jean-Laurent Cochet, teacher to some of the greatest French actors. With a few friends, he creates plays and performs at least once a year since 2010.

At Kardinal, we are happy and proud to have Matthieu as a member of our team!