Florent is our meditating, traveling, French chef, who, until recently moving back to Rennes, France, lived in South America with his Peruvian wife and baby girl. He also just happens to be a software developer with a background in mathematics, artificial intelligence, and French Education... So you might say he’s an interesting guy. Florent’s been at Intellum for 2 years, building new features and functionality and ensuring that our clients have the best LMS experience possible. He’s especially great when clients are in a crunch (maybe it’s the meditation?) and is infamous for speedy, quality work as the ‘Superman’ of our Product Team! Read more below to learn all about our in house software superhero, Florent!
Florent, one of the most interesting things I have learned about you is that you have a very strong meditation practice. I am in awe of the fact that you mediate for an hour every morning and evening! Can you tell us a little more about how and why you began your meditation practice?
I started in 2002, I was backpacking in Nepal at the time, and meditation was one of the different things I experienced over there... I knew nothing about it beforehand and did not have high expectations but it turned out to be so beneficial that I've kept meditating ever since. I react better to things over which I have no control, this avoids a lot of frustration and fatigue.
You recently returned to your hometown in France, after living for a while in your wife's home country of Peru. What cultural differences have you noticed living in Peru vs. living in France?
There are quite a lot! Relationship to time is a big one. In France you plan social events with much anticipation, that's quite the contrary in Peru... For example, 1 year of preparation for a wedding in France versus 1 month or even less in Peru. Arriving a few hours late at a social event is fine in Peru, much less in France ;). Good for efficiency and having sophisticated events for France, good for spontaneity in daily life for Peru.
Recently my wife and I went to a beautiful park in the French countryside. The car trip was easy and quick. At the end she said: "Here we've enjoyed the final destination, in Peru the main adventure would have been the trip itself, with all its complications and unexpected events."
How did you meet your wife?
I was traveling in Peru in a long distance bus from the north to the capital. During a night stop she got in the bus and lucky me the last available seat was the one next to me :). My Spanish was very bad at this time but thanks to her work in the Peruvian mountains and jungle she was used to interacting with non native speakers. So just enough communication to get interested in each other and start a long story...
Being a software engineer, you could work for any kind of business, what brought you to the eLearning industry?
To be honest I was more attracted by the company itself than the industry. That being said I appreciate my work helps people learn and progress, rather than developing another clone of Candy Crush or a social network for dogs... I worked several years for the French department of higher education, it is interesting for me to see what are the specific challenges of Continuing Education in the private sector and how Intellum tackles these challenges.
What is your spirit animal?
No idea, he has not contacted me yet!