Good morning, dear readers,
It’s been a long time since I’ve done a post! Do you remember, in this post, I mentioned the fact that I was entering a professional master’s degree at Epitech? That was 2 years ago.
It’s done and I think that a little feedback is needed.
What is Epitech?
The School for Computer Science and New Technologies (EPITECH) is a state-recognized private institution of higher education created in 1999 by Nicolas Sadirac to train computer scientists. The school belongs to the IONIS group and is a member of its “Institute of Technology” cluster. IONIS is the leading private education group in France.
For 20 years, EPITECH has been the reference school for IT expertise, digital and innovation. Moreover, it is a major player in the digital world in France. The school currently has 21 campuses: 15 in France and 6 abroad.
EPITECH is a pioneer in France in its learning methodology, in fact, its pedagogy is based on self-training, the supervision is done by students during and at the end of the training;
We have done away with lectures but also with exams, and partly with individual grades.
An intensive and compulsory coding period, called the pool, is also set up very early in the curriculum. It is this physical and mental test that has been adopted by Xavier Niel’s School 42.
What’s the point?
You should know that at EPITECH, there is one supervisor for each class. This supervisor is in charge of presenting the different projects, providing additional information if necessary, as well as defining the technological perimeter set up.
Each project (about 6 per semester) will be different from the previous ones in every way, whether it is in its resolution, in the number of collaborators, or in its final result.
Having previously worked for startups and already having the basics of what a good developer is (e.g. knowing how to do a google search), only the new technology and “management” sides were rewarding for me.
Moreover, during these 2 years, each student of the promotion was able to put into practice what he learned during each project, within his company in work-study contract.
What kind of projects?
About all the projects realized during these 2 years, I would really retain only some, because they were either challenging in their execution, or the result was up to the expectations.
During my first year, two projects were good to do :
Our first security / devOps project where the goal was to automatically deploy a Laravel backend and an Angular frontend on remote virtual machine using Gitlab CI/CD, Docker and Ansible.
The difficulty here was to set up an agile devOps system, with deployment on remote machine using a technology that no one in the promotion knew about.
Our second web development project was just as interesting because of its intrinsic topic related to cryptocurrencies. The goal was to develop a web application, allowing to authenticate, and to have access to a list of crypto-currencies whose price would be updated in real time.
For the connoisseurs, it looks a lot like Cryptomarketcap in terms of functionalities.
To do this, with a backend in classic Express, a frontend in Angular, the use of WebRTC, TradingView’s widget and Auth0, we were able to complete this project, that you can find here.
In my second year, where I chose a specialization in Artificial Intelligence / Big Data, all the projects were harder and more challenging, but I preferred these:
Our first AI project where we had to make a program to detect in a lung X-ray dataset whether the patient had pneumonia, and if so, whether it was due to a bacterium or a virus.
This project arrived at the same time as the emergence of Covid-19 and with a little more development on it, it would be quite possible to adapt it to take into account patients with this disease.
You can find the code on this classifier on my github.
One of our last project of this year, which mixed Natural Language Processing with SpaCy, Speech-to-text, web development with Flask and path network analysis via AI with NetworkX.
The final result of this project can be found at https://iliketrainsbot.herokuapp.com/ and you can find the source code here.
Despite all the projects realized, some being more interesting than others, I think that the global feeling remains quite positive, because the goal of any developer is also to learn new ways of doing things, new technologies and methods, to be more efficient in his future projects.
During 2 years, I had the opportunity to work in 2 high potential startups, with benevolent and conscientious collaborators.
AI & Machine Learning
The first one was Where You Love where I was in charge as a machine learning developer to develop an artificial intelligence that could, via the inputs given by the user, propose him his ideal real estate.
These inputs were focused on the primary needs concerning an apartment search (e.g. living space, number of rooms, energy efficiency class, etc.), but also on the secondary needs that every human being has and which he wonders about when choosing his new apartment or his new house (e.g. distance to the work, parks nearby, an Indian restaurant with at least 3 stars on yelp nearby, etc.).
This work was essentially research and development because I was the only one in the startup with some knowledge in AI and machine learning, thanks to EPITECH.
Because of Covid-19, the company was shut down for several months. I felt the need to change and find a new company where I could grow.
Fullstack & Lead Dev
One year and a half after the beginning of my professional master, I joined Vinovibes, which is a startup creating digital tools dedicated to the wine tourism industry.
This company also develops in parallel an e-learning offer on the wine universe.
I started as a full-stack web developer and was able to evolve into a lead developer later on, with a team of 2 other developers to manage.
EPITECH is an experience in its own, which many IT schools are beginning to emulate. This school allows you to learn a lot of new languages, new technologies, and to build a network present in several countries.
The learning philosophy is perfectly suited for developers and provides a solid foundation for future professionals.
I can only recommend the professional master’s degree, which allows you to learn, to work for 2 years, but also to pay for the school, which is quite expensive (about 9000€ / year).
I met collaborators, friends and kind people who I think I will remember for the rest of my life.
It is now the opportunity to take time for myself and my various projects, hoping to always give the best in this profession that has become a passion over the years.