12 July 2021
Richard DEVOS, IT Project Manager – PlenR
1/ What has been your career path so far?
In my first life, I was an electrician, often involved with tasks that interested me little. Then I discovered computer science on a personal level and it was a revelation. I was doing fairly technical projects for leisure and gradually realized that it would be good to make a living out of it. After taking some adult training classes, I realized that going back to school was the best option. I went back with younger people than me and continued on to bachelor’s degree. About twenty years ago, I entered the wind power sector and the field is directly related to electricity and electromechanics. The circle was closed.
2/ Could you tell us more about your current role / your missions?
Being in a small structure, IT is understood in the broad sense. I am a developer first and foremost, but I had to train myself in system administration: servers, linux and application settings.
3/ What do you like the most in this job?
To see a result. I think there are many jobs where you don’t necessarily see the results of your labor, except through numbers or charts. Starting from an idea and the machine does what you imagined, automating or eliminating repetitive tasks, etc., I find it rewarding.
4/ Could you name 3 must-have qualities for this job?
Curiosity above all. IT is a field where developments have been rapid, if you do not want to discover new things you will be quickly overwhelmed. When I was very young, I already liked to dismantle the devices “to see how it works”. Usually, I don’t just find a solution on the internet that solves my problem without really knowing how. I need to understand. In my case, I would even go so far as to use the term passion. I was lucky enough to be able to make it my job. Versatility. This is obviously even more true in a small structure where the computer scientist is expected to know how to use almost everything that goes through a computer. Luckily, I have been expanding my area of knowledge for a long time, such as computer graphics: I gave 3D lessons for 10 years in several schools, equipment and other topics. I’m not a specialist, I have a broad technical culture which is very useful to me. Autonomy out of necessity. Being the only computer scientist, I cannot ask my colleagues to look into my problem. I still use my network when I need help.
5/ Any anecdote or major fact you would like to share about your job?
When wishing to offer my services, I discovered a technical design office, then a pioneer in wind power, I immediately liked the spirit that animated them, their passion and even their activism. I immediately accepted to join this team, delighted to assist two experts, and to participate in a (r) evolution to come.
6/ Are you a land or sea person?
I am rather a land person. But until the age of 20, I had always lived a few hundred yards from the sea and finding myself in the army in eastern France, I missed the sea. This idea that all around me there was nothing but land was a strange feeling, as if the sea was not a limit but on the contrary an opening.
7/ What are your hobbies and interests?
Music, IT, old radio devices or any old device