Name: Rémy Baudet
Hometown: Montignac, Périgord, France
Education: Master’s Degree in Computer Science, Electronics and Image Engineering, from University of Bordeaux, France (2000); Executive Certificate from MIT Sloan, Cambridge, USA (2018). 
Work Experience: Director, Technical Architecture, Capsule Technologies; Sr Software Solutions Architect, NXP
Team: Digital Experience

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What was behind your decision to join Essential?

I joined Essential to launch our new Software Architecture and Development practice. It was an excellent opportunity for me to support the digital experience and design teams by doing what I love in an environment that excites me. I have always wanted to be part of a creative and innovative culture where people work collaboratively to achieve a common goal, and Essential is that place. I have a depth of technological experience in enterprise-grade, edge-to-cloud applications, and IoT systems; by being part of this team, I get to combine my expertise with our cross-disciplinary experts to create the most innovative product and service solutions possible for our clients.

 

You started your career as an in-house Software Developer in France, and now you’re leading Software Architecture at a Design Consultancy in Boston. Help us understand the difference between software development and software architecture.

Similar to building architects, software architects make high-level decisions and set the vision for a project. This includes articulating the rationale behind the structure, technologies, and interactions of a system. In contrast, developers are responsible for executing on that vision using a specific programming language. Where a developer can successfully build a digital product with the knowledge of just a single programming language, an architect relies on both a deep and broad-level understanding of multiple technical solutions to make decisions. Software architects can be hands-on, but they also need to be able to step back and see the technical, business, and product vision of a complete system, which often includes people management and product management.

 

It seems like the transition from development to architecture is a natural progression. What did this look like for you as you advanced throughout your career?

Yes, this is a normal progression since an understanding of software development is necessary for software architecture. I started my career as a software developer in France, working on the research and development of innovative digital technologies, like AI, VR, and 3D platforms. I then joined Capsule Technologies, a medical technology start-up, to oversee the architecture of connected medical devices and health data management products. In 2014, I moved to Boston to help grow and manage Capsule’s technology architecture team in the United States and continued that through its acquisition by Qualcomm. I spent the next few years leading long-term innovation at Capsule, including overseeing the device-to-cloud strategy for hospital and homecare products. Finally, wanting to expand my industry expertise beyond healthcare, I shifted gears to the consumer category, focusing on smart home products and services.

 

remy dribbling, playing basketball
When he's not in the office, Rémy can often be seen on the court playing basketball, a longtime hobby of his.

 

Why is your role such an important part of the work at Essential?

My role is to build the team and grow our software architecture and development business. With this new capability, Essential can go further with our clients. Our digital and design team can now design, develop, and deliver digital solutions that are based on actual user and system feedback. This feedback is critical to the design process because it gives our clients confirmation that they are getting a solution that will function in the real world. It also creates the opportunity to accelerate the implementation of the end solution. For example, if we were to design a new smart thermostat, we could connect it to the cloud to collect real sensor data and system feedback that we could then use to improve the design and UX of the interface. We might prototype a connected fitness device with Arduino, Sensors, Bluetooth, and Raspberry Pi or ThingsBoard.io one day, and then develop a mobile app using Flutter and TensorFlow Lite connected to Azure the next. In this connected world, software is everywhere, and the demand is clear: all things need to communicate with the cloud, devices need great UI and UX, and data needs to be used in smarter ways!

 

What types of challenges do you often see our clients facing?

Technology evolves so fast that it’s not easy to make the best decisions that will be sustainable over time. Our clients need to focus on their core business and bringing innovative products to market while also keeping cost, portfolio, and future integration needs in mind. The companies we work with understand the value of design in business and will hire us to design the most user-friendly experiences for their customers. The challenge, then, is to build a codebase that is reusable, extensible, and also supports their front-end vision. This is especially challenging for companies with limited software development and architecture expertise. That’s why this new downstream capability for Essential is so important! We’re able to give the technical guidance needed to define a vision and advise on the most future-proof options.

 

What are the most significant emerging tech trends influencing your work right now?

We’ve proven that we can connect devices to the cloud, exchange data with the cloud, and control devices remotely - that’s the Internet of Things. We’ve seen advancements in Edge Computing enabling devices to get smarter with greater autonomy and less user input – that’s Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. Now we’re seeing a trend called “Ambient Computing” or “Ubiquitous Computing”. It’s the combination of Hardware, Software, User Experience, and Machine/Human Interaction and Machine Learning - all these things becoming the idea of using an internet-enabled device, without even necessarily consciously using it. Together with PA, Essential has expertise in all these areas, and software is the glue between all of them! (Read more here: What Is Ambient Computing, and How Will It Change Our Lives?)

 

We hear you’re really into basketball. Tell us about that.

I started playing basketball when the Dream Team came to Barcelona for the ’92 Summer Olympics Games! I haven’t stopped since, playing many times a week (when I’m not injured) - even when I’m traveling because it’s a great way to meet people and discover new places. I also love technology, both in general and how it’s being used in sports and in the home. And I enjoy using wellness devices to track my athletic performance and general well-being.

 

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