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Meet Scality Team Member: Sylvain Killian

Scality’s leaders have created Le Club in order to recognize and reward team members selected each year for their exceptional contribution to the company. 

Together with this acknowledgment, Le Club members are also offered the opportunity of taking a trip together, to rest and enjoy the Scality spirit outside the workplace.

For the year 2016, 16 employees have been chosen. Scality will publish a portrait of different team member once a week.


39 years old “In all Modesty”

When Sylvain Killian was asked if the fact that he had been chosen to be a Club member was important to him, he immediately replied, “I’m a bit embarrassed. It’s too much for me. Anybody on my team could have been chosen instead of me.” Reserved yet smiling, this 39-year-old engineer is extremely modest. Rather than put himself in first place, he prefers to highlight the value of his colleagues’ work.

Sylvain’s modesty is his strength at Scality. As a software engineer, he creates the new tools necessary to simplify the work of Scality’s software developers. In order to do this, he must listen carefully to his colleagues all the time. “It’s important that we can brainstorm together to compare ideas, he says. We must be opened to each other’s opinions so we can be receptive to other solutions, not just our own, so that what’s best for the company is brought to the forefront.”

Sylvain has shown humility throughout his career. After having obtained his diploma at the engineering school in electronics of Grenoble, he started his first job in England at a company that makes television decoders where he developed the user interface. In this post, Sylvain had the opportunity to live abroad for one or sometimes two years at a stretch, in Hong Kong, South Africa, Greece and Turkey. “These experiences were extremely enriching for me,” he confides. “They permitted me to get to know people of different nationalities, which really opened my mind.”

It was at this time that Sylvain turned down a managerial position that was offered to him in this same company. “I couldn’t see myself directing a team and running the risk of losing touch with everything that means the most to me, that is to say being a programmer,” he explains.

Self-motivated and always on the lookout for new experiences, Sylvain decided, after having worked for 10 years in his first job, and then 2 years in another company in France, to take some time out for himself. He decided to focus completely on a personal project: that of creating his own software from A to Z. For one year he put all his energy into developing the prototype for a participative website that debates political ideas. At the beginning, his objective was, above all, to challenge himself to conquer this technical feat and to acquire new skills in doing so. Nevertheless, the project grew to such a point where he even envisaged employing people to launch the site.

At Scality, Sylvain is completely in his element. Firstly, because he finds himself in the multicultural ambiance that he loves. Secondly, because he can satisfy his thirst for knowledge by developing completely new programs. Finally, because his position is above all to be at the service of the software development team by listening to their needs, which suits his personality perfectly. And today the results are here. One of his colleagues observes, “After only one year at Scality, Sylvain has become a natural guide for the development of these tools.”

Not that we could imagine Sylvain showing off in any way. Modest in all circumstances, he doesn’t have any grand career plans. “I’m incapable of planning more than two weeks in advance,” he admits. “I take each day as it comes and as long as I’m happy, I’ll continue to do so with enthusiasm.”

Story by Julien Bourdet
Photo credit: Frank Roesner

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