Software Engineer at Apple
Mathieu is another talented French friend I've met in San Francisco. He currently works at Apple as a software engineer but he's always down for new challenges and crazy ideas.
Energetic and athletic, Mathieu is constantly seeking for the thrills, but he also knows how be quiet and mellow. I like these two sides of him and I admire his strength and his determination.
He is one of my favorite basketball buddies and I enjoy every single game with him. He's definitively an awesome teammate.
Describe your career path to become a software engineer at Apple.
Unlike most programmers I know, I didn't start programming until I was twenty years old. My parents were not really into tech and we didn't have a computer at home. I was more into soccer and outdoor activities. When we received our first computer, nobody knew how to use it at home. During one summer, I started learning by myself and quickly I was able to teach the rest of my family. That summer, my brother's friend brought home an Apple iBook. I became fascinated by this machine and the software. Looking back, I think my passion for computer (and Apple) started at that moment.
A few years later I chose to learn how to program and I joined the computer science program in my local school. To be honest, I didn't enjoy it at first and I wasn't necessarily good at it. I did my programming classes and, as soon as I got a chance, I decided to take Business Intelligence (BI) as my major. I liked how it mixed human and software skills. You need to be able to write small programs but also understand people needs through a process of "interviews". I think I'm a better software engineer today because of what I learned during my senior year.
To graduate, every students had to do a six months internship in relation to their majors. So I started looking into a company that could give me the opportunity to be an intern in their Business Intelligence department. During one interview, my interviewer told me how much he needed a programmer. He explained to me that he already had several candidates for the position of project manager. What he was really struggling to find was software engineers. I did some research and the demand in software engineers was increasing. It would be easier for me to work all around the world with skills like these.
A few weeks later I had a call from Apple Inc. in France. They wanted to meet me for an internship in their software engineering department. I was very excited, unfortunately the job description didn't fully match my school requirements. I talked to the teacher in charge of the program at my school and he understood the carrier opportunity. To this day it's the best decision I have ever made in my life.
It was 2009 and the iPhone was the most popular and revolutionary smartphone with infinite possibility. During my internship at Apple, I learned how to program for iOS and Mac OS X. After my internship I flew to Apple in California for a first final round of interviews with a team. But it didn't work out immediately. I didn't get the job. I used this opportunity to get more experience in two different companies in Paris.
I first got a job in a little startup and joined another company the year after and gained lot of experience. At the same time, I was interviewing for a job at Apple, and after a long and stressful process I finally received an offer letter from Apple. Two months later I was in the United States starting the biggest challenge of my life yet.
"I've worked really hard to be where I am today. Saying I'm not living my dream would be a lie [...] I'm fortunate enough to say that my job is my passion!"
Can you say that you’re doing your dream job on a daily basis?
I've worked really hard to be where I am today. Saying I'm not living my dream would be a lie. My job takes a big part in my life and writing apps is my passion. I'm fortunate enough to say that my job is my passion!
Do you have another super secret passion?
When I'm not working, I like to spend as much time as possible exercising. I practice different sports. Last year, I discovered a passion for volley-ball. I'm playing in an amateur league with some friends every week and I love it. I like the idea of sacrifice that requires this sport when you have to dive to save the ball. I'm also a big Basketball fan
Who was your favorite superhero/villain growing up? Why?
Batman without any hesitations! I've always been a big comic fan and still am. I think Batman is the best super hero of all because of the villains portrayed across the different adventures. They have rich and complex personalities that reflect their true self. More recently I enjoy watching the tv show "Gotham" that takes place in Gotham city before Bruce Wayne becomes Batman focusing on the different villains.
You know that Batman has his Batcave and Superman his Fortress of Solitude. What's your favorite place/environment to do what you love?
As surprising at it seems, I've learned how to use the time I spend commuting to work to do a wide range of things. My company offers a shuttle service with WiFi from San Francisco to Cupertino. You'll be surprise how much can be done during this daily commute.
Do you have a favorite object, like a lucky charm or something that really matters to you?
No lucky charm... The closest thing I have from a lucky charm is a drawing my sister made and gave me when I left to the United States. It is on my wall in my living room and you can see the main characters of the French comic 'Astérix et Obélix'. A gift that is very precious to me.
What superpower do you wish you had and why?
Wall crawling. Every summer when I was a kid, we used to go to my grandparents' in the French countryside. I always remember climbing trees, walls, basically everything I could find and would climb. I love that moment when you reach the top and you can see things you couldn't when you were on the ground.
Wall crawling is the perfect superpower to live that moment over and over again.
What is your personal Kryptonite?
PB&J sandwich... anytime, anywhere with anyone!
Who would you choose as a sidekick to fulfill your passion in the real life? Why?
I like to come up with new ideas and bring them to life through apps. Even though I'm a developer, I appreciate good design. I often find myself struggling to create an "identity" for my apps. A great designer with a great vision is all I need to fulfill my passion to make apps.
One of my favorite topics of discussion with one of my friends designer is to invent (silly) apps to make our (lazy) life even easier.
What is your definition of a modern hero?
A true hero is a regular person by all appearances. He lives his life and doesn't try to be someone he's not. A hero cares about the people in his life and can be goofy. A true hero is a great dancer.
One more thing…Mask or Cape?
Mask. Capes are a terrible idea! See "The Incredibles: No Capes!"