b<>com's people: Interview with Florian Lebeau

For a new portrait of b<>com's people, we went to meet Florian Lebeau. From graduation to joining a b<>com member company, let's look back at this amazing journey!

Tell us a little about how you got here.

Right after graduating from INSA with a degree in Communication Systems and Networks, I joined b<>com in November 2013. I started at the Cloud Computing lab where I did development on OpenStack. After expressing a desire to get closer to "network" issues, I had the chance after one year to join the Network Interfaces lab in order to work on my specialty, specially FPGA programming. The goal was to create a platform that would incorporate both 4G and Wi-Fi for a seamless connection. In early 2017, during a project kick-off meeting, I got the chance to meet the executives of the company Kerlink, a b<>com member. They offered to take me on board while still letting me stay at b<>com for a joint project.

What project are you working on today?

I'm still working for the Network Interfaces lab on the Internet of Things. Our goal is to create a solution that can decode signals emitted by different connected objects regardless of the communication standard. Furthermore, we're also working on perfecting the sensitivity of the receivers so that we can then improve the geolocation criteria, which is an issue Kerlink has a particular interest in. There are about fifteen of us on the project, with people from Orange, TDF, and Supelec.

What attracted you most about b<>com?

When I got here in 2013, b<>com only had about thirty people, but it already has a very speed growth target. I was immediately impressed by joining a start-up at the ground floor and seeing it grow over time. Furthermore, b<>com has numerous technical experts with highly diversified career paths, so far a beginner's profile like I had when I got here, it was the ideal setting to gain skills!

What are the benefits of the b<>com model?

With several years of hindsight, I'm very proud now of the work I do and a lot of that is due to the b<>com model. That's because R&D plays a major role in our everyday routine, but we never lose sight of the goal of releasing a product at the end. Additionally, the technical and human resources are sizable, and enable us to complete our projects without constantly being squeezed. This can be felt each day. People are always ready to lend a hand if we need it! Finally, b<>com lets you meet people from different backgrounds and build contacts. This model is how I got signed to my first open-ended job contract... and still get to continue to work at b<>com!

How would you sum up your experience here?

Very positive, of course. First, b<>com allowed me to do the job I wanted. FPGA development is a cutting-edge issue, and early-career job openings are rare. After first working on the cloud, b<>com gave me an opportunity to switch to an FPGA development position in the telecom industry. Furthermore, we work in a very good atmosphere at b<>com. The average age is fairly young, and we like to organize fun activities (soccer, laser games, bubble soccer, etc.)

In closing, do you have any anecdotes to share?

My lab manager is a soccer fan like me, so I got in the habit of getting him up to speed on the latest trades and other news every morning when he got here.  ;-)