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Employee Spotlight

Sebastien Lindor

March 5, 2024

Sebastien Lindor - Pixel Pioneers

As Violet Labs's first engineering employee, Sebastien Lindor strives to be a solver. He got his start by majoring in computer science at Florida State University, building a strong foundation of both knowledge and experience. As a member of the Frontend team (the “Pixel Pioneers”), Sebastien keeps busy finding creative solutions for integrating third-party apps into Violet's framework. Sebastien is a Jack of All Trades though - he's an asset in both front and backend engineering due to his tenure on the team, and he led the charge building up Violet’s first end-to-end testing framework.

Tell us about yourself Sebastien! What do you do with your free time?

I love photography. I'm a Sony shooter, and I shoot with a Sony A7IV. I have been thinking about switching to Fujifilm. I like how they look and feel, they're more economical. I can get similar performance for the type of shooting that I do.

I like to wake up early during company offsites, stroll around, and take shots of the city. I've sort of become the camera guy for the team! I enjoy taking candid shots during our time together. There have been 5 offsites now, and it's cool seeing the growth of the Violet team over the last year and a half.

I also really enjoy cooking. I'm pretty sure it derives from my upbringing. My grandmother would call me to help her with various tasks when cooking dinner. It's one of the few things that always felt natural. One of my proudest moments is making pasta from scratch: spaghetti, lasagna sheets, ravioli.

I was introduced to Pho in college by my peers and it is one of my top 5 favorite dishes, and yes, I've made it on my own before! Very time consuming!

I am not a huge gamer, but from time to time I can get lost in career/franchise modes in sports titles or role-playing games. The most recent game I've played is Horizon Zero Dawn.

Hermosa Beach by Sebastien LindorHermosa Beach by Sebastien LindorHermosa Beach by Sebastien LindorHermosa Beach by Sebastien Lindor
As the first employee of Violet Labs, how would you describe your experience?

Admittedly, it was a little overwhelming being my first startup experience. I was just trying to find ways to produce and contribute while we were trying to figure out what we were building. So yes, starting out was “interesting” at times but It's been pretty cool to see how everything continues to come together.

I would say that one thing coming here was that I never felt stupid for asking a question. I feel like it was and is still encouraged because we are all figuring things out. I feel like Violet has done a good job as a team that just encourages you to ask questions and seek out help. Not only that but they listen to your goals that you have and they set in place plans of action to push you towards that goal.

The world of software engineering, technology, and startups can be so foreign to those not working in the field. How do you describe to your friends and family what you do here at Violet Labs?

I think Violet hit it right on the head when it marketed the product; it's the Zapier for hardware.

Basically we're connecting to all of these different apps and tools that hardware teams use daily. I'm pulling in all of this useful data and storing it in Violet, giving the teams a place or platform to go view and interact with the data. Otherwise, they would have to log into all of these different applications that they're using.

From Violet they can view things like changes that are going to occur on external apps and they can see cool things like data points and how data from this external app relates to data from some other external app.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

One of the challenging things about writing the software is dealing with all the different APIs. It's hard to figure out how you connect to these apps, create a connection and get their data to a point where we can pull it in.

APIs should work in a consistent way, you can sort of expect certain things and some APIs just don't conform to that and they have these weird quirks. That requires us to write these one-off solutions just in order to get this integration to work with our system. So it can be… demanding. Yeah, I think demanding is a good word for it.

Tell me about your work from home set up. What's your favorite tool?

My iPad with the pen. I'm a big fan of digital note taking. I do like the feeling of writing on paper more but you're restricted to just that. The reason why I choose digital note taking is because I can see my notes across different devices. If I'm trying to solve a problem in the back of my mind, I can pull up my phone and just look up some notes or jot down quick little things that may help me solve a problem.

I also have my standing desk. I don't stand as much as I should. Usually when I stand it up I wander around the house for two or three minutes and I come back to it. Just a reminder to go for a walk.

Also, I got the loudest keyboard that you can find. You can hear me typing from another room. Engineers and programmers have loud keyboards. Not sure why.

Have you ever had to unlearn something in your professional life?

The need to do it on my own is definitely something that I've had to unlearn and still needs improvement, but I'm working on it!

Struggling on a problem and just trying to figure it out on my own. Not only in software engineering but in life also; doing it on your own is not the way to go about problem solving especially when you're part of a great team. Everyone needs some direction or help. I've been working on giving myself a fixed amount of time to make progress on something and if I don't then I'll go ahead and reach out and get a different perspective on it.

If you could only listen to one song the rest of your life, what would it be?

This is honestly the hardest question for me to answer. I'm a big fan of J Cole, but I think Kendrick Lamar won out with Die Hard which is off his latest album Mr. Morale and The Big Steppers. That's a great song. My son sings the hook every time.

What motivates you?

I think saying family is a given. Being able to provide for them while doing something that I enjoy; I'm grateful for that.

Another thing that is motivating to me is that I want to be a great software engineer. It's a field where you are constantly learning, things are constantly changing. It's the first startup that I worked at and I've learned so much in so many different areas of software.

It can be a little daunting at times because there's days where everything makes sense. It's like, I get it okay, I'm fine, I'm rolling. Then there are days where I feel like I know nothing and I start questioning myself, but whenever I overcome an obstacle, the feeling that I get, I feel so accomplished. It’s pretty neat.

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