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American writer Paul Auster wrote, “The truth of the story lies in the details.” And a universe rich with details is the one in which Maxime Lubin, Software and Data Engineer, does his magic. While living in Japan for his data science engineering studies at the prestigious Keio University, it was the “sum total of little details” that made an impression on Maxime, for example, the efficient train system and ordinary hand gestures. “I wasn’t the same person when I came back to France,” he says.
Attention to detail
Maxime’s attention to detail and penchant for efficiency and elegance reveal themselves in the unique way in which he generates solutions. Rather than relying solely on conventional problem-solving methods, he reframes the problem in order to come up with simple yet innovative fixes. “Maxime is able to step back and visualize new solutions, while also digging into the details. He does some reverse engineering in order to understand the code and see how we can improve it. That’s something he’s really good at,” explains Anh Nguyen-Phuoc, Director of Software Engineering. This ability to think outside the box is what led Maxime to recently come up with an ingeniously simple and cost-saving solution for extending the feature set of the Scality Ring. “It’s brilliant! It’s really new and so simple,” Anh remarks. “Maxime really likes to do a good job and make sure everything is well-designed and thoroughly tested. He goes the extra mile for sure.”
Although detail work often involves its share of thankless (but essential) tasks, Maxime takes them on good-naturedly. He and a colleague recently tackled a number of backlogs of issues which had accumulated over the years. “It’s not a sexy job, but it’s very important,” Anh asserts. “If we don’t do that, there’s a loss of efficiency and it impacts the quality of the products. Maxime and Xavier went really far beyond what was expected. They did a great job.”
For his part, Maxime modestly downplays his superb work performance, claiming that he only does a good job to avoid being plagued by bugs later on.
“If I don’t do it perfectly, it can backfire on me. After a year at Scality, I started getting new bugs. I took a look and thought, ‘Who did this?’ and then realized, ‘Ah, it was me!’ And now it’s happening more and more often, so it’s a nightmare!” he laughs. “My motivation is to not overwork my future self,” he jokes.
In any case, Maxime’s talent for persevering is also apparent in his passion for marathon running. One of his greatest memories is his experience participating alongside his Scality colleagues in the uber-intense 800-km Course du Coeur marathon, which started in Paris and ended in the Alps. “When I saw the planning, I was a bit scared. In the first two days I had to run 50 km! Overall I think each of us ran around 80 km.” He goes on to reminisce, “The atmosphere was amazing. There were one or two cheering songs that everyone learned, and whenever the team regrouped, we had to sing them and do the gestures. Then when we had a hundred people doing that, it was quite fun.” He adds with a laugh, “When we all crossed the finish line, I felt very tired. But so happy.”
Despite how challenging la Course du Coeur was, Maxime’s hardest run was actually another marathon, la SaintéLyon, a grueling 70-km sprint from the Alps to Lyon.
“The only race I didn’t finish,” he laughs. “You start at midnight in winter. That year it was super cold. There was snow and when we were on top of the mountain it was minus 14 degrees and windy,” he recounts. “But it was also really amazing because when you stopped and looked back, you could see all the headlamps of the runners forming a river of light. It was very nice.”
Besides marathon running, Maxime enjoys reading science fiction and gathering with friends to cringe-laugh at horrible movies. “They’re just so bad they become funny,” he grins. His special recommendation? A remake of Hitchcock’s Birds called Birdemic. In the future, he looks forward to seeing more terrible movies, taking a 3-week trip to Japan, and – surprise! – reattempting the the SaintéLyon marathon! “I didn’t finish it last year so I want to make more of an effort, and this time, I will succeed.”