Career Interview with Kevin Chollet, Linux and Infrastructure Manager

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EMPLOYEE INTERVIEW

The Net4All team is made up of people who are passionate about their careers, curious about their environment and, above all, versatile. This is the case for Kevin Chollet – Head of Linux, Infrastructure & Networks – who has been working with the company for 4 years. In addition to being a coordinator for his team and for our customers, he ensures the development of Research & Development and keeps the entire company up to date on security aspects.

To help us better understand his role within Net4All, Kevin took the time to respond to our questions.

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To begin with, what is your position and what does it entail?

I am a Telecom Engineer by training, but I have evolved within Net4all to become Manager of the Linux, Infrastructure and Networks Division. My main mission is to coordinate the use of the open source environments we operate for our customers.

The “Infrastructure and Networks” aspect is particular, in the sense that it covers a very broad spectrum. It ranges from planning the evolution of the infrastructures operated by Net4all to R&D on recent market developments (such as public clouds), as well as operational tasks requiring a high level of expertise (on the network side, in particular).

I also occupy the role of Information Systems Security Correspondent. As such, I lead our growth in terms of certifications, security services and raising awareness about security issues among our teams.

How did you end up here? How long have you been working in this field?

I have a particularly atypical background: I started my career by training as a CFC electronics technician during which I had the opportunity to create a company that was active in the field of web hosting and the operation of on-premise infrastructures for SMEs. At the same time, I pursued on-the-job training as a Telecommunications Engineer.

En 2014, j’ai eu l’occasion de rejoindre l’aventure Net4all en tant qu’administrateur système. J’ai eu, dans ce cadre, l’occasion de travailler sur des infrastructures très éclectiques, ce qui a été très moteur pour moi. En 2015, dans le contexte d’une augmentation de l’effectif au sein de la partie « Expertise » de Net4all, j’ai pu en prendre la tête, ce qui m’a conduit à la position que j’occupe aujourd’hui. Des projets comme la mise en place de CerberHost, l’exploitation de nos clusters VMware ainsi que le passage de certifications comme ISO 27001 ont rythmé mon quotidien. Cette année, en 2018, cela fera 10 ans que je suis actif dans le domaine.

What is your typical day like?

A “typical” day is difficult to describe. Operating our platforms 24/7 imposes an extremely fast pace and we never know when the day will begin or end. However, most typical days start at 7:30 AM with a telecommuting review of all the alerts and emails I received during the night. This may include managing customer emergencies, or employee absences due to overnight contingencies. I then travel to our Operations Centre to start my “visible” day with a quick briefing with the team I’m in charge of. The rest of the day is generally punctuated by customer appointments (e.g. workshops) or pre-sales, followed by operational tasks. I am very often in contact with our partners and service providers.

Do you work alone?

Today, some of my tasks are my direct responsibility. However, the other team members autonomously manage a large part of the day-to-day operational tasks. I am only here as a Senior Expert on the technologies I am involved with.

How much initiative and autonomy do you have in your role?

The position I occupy offers and demands a great deal of autonomy and initiative: mainly on the infrastructure and R&D side; I offer the technologies that will be used in the future for the benefit of our customers. My role is to be able to propose a concrete and viable project to company management in order to be able to position ourselves on innovative and differentiating projects.

What do you like most about this job? Is there anything that bothers you?

Beyond the autonomy that my position requires of me, what currently drives me is the joint venture and the project that Net4all represents: creating movement in order to motivate everyone to dedicate their energy towards reaching a common goal. It is a virtuous circle allowing everyone to grow and to enjoy what they want to do from day to day.

Today, I am one of the privileged, able to do a job that I am passionate about, which has the immense advantage that nothing bothers me.

Is your job dependent on technological evolution?

Technological evolutions give material to work on in terms of innovation. They are what allows us to build the services of tomorrow.

What is the expected profile for this career?

There is no standard profile for this career. The only characteristics necessary to carry out these duties are a passion for new technologies and a great deal of curiosity, both for new things and for meeting new people. It is essential to take advantage of every opportunity to enrich your knowledge.