If Steve Collard were asked how he started his career at Coveo, he would probably answer “by truck.” With more than 15 years of experience, Steve was a veteran truck driver, just like his father. At Onboarding–Coveo’s three-day intensive program for new employees at our Quebec City headquarters–his unique story really stood out. We caught up with Steve to learn more about his career decisions and how he joined Coveo as an Technical Support Specialist.
On the Road
Steve has always had an interest in IT. “Around the time I graduated high school, it was kind of the beginning of a new era where Internet was becoming more and more accessible. Several friends decided to study computer science, but I wasn’t one to like school very much. I ended up taking a four-month program to become a truck driver, but any time anyone needed help with their computers, I would be the one to help,” said Steve.
Steve initially worked in food transportation, but it was mainly with Truck’N Roll, a company that transports touring equipment for bands and musicians, that he spent most of his career. On the job, he traveled across North America, from Texas to British Columbia, to the Great Lakes and California.
Contributing to the logistics of major North American tours, long days and sleepless nights were very much a part of his reality. Despite the fact that he was away from home roughly 320 days a year, he loved his profession. “You see a lot of places, and you get to meet people of all walks of life,” he said. When asked about his favorite city, he answered, “It’s a tie between Denver and San Francisco!”
Steve found himself quickly growing his career at Truck’N Roll. Only after one year of being with the company, he became the team leader. “Improving myself is something that I take seriously. I would constantly observe the person in charge so that I could develop myself,” explained Steve.
Heeding His Call
It was while listening to Nicolas Genest, CEO and Founder of CodeBoxx, on the radio that Steve felt readier than ever to take an official step towards his initial passion: IT. He began to entertain the idea of attending CodeBoxx’s 14-week bootcamp to learn programming. However, doing so meant that the father of two would have to put additional sum aside to support his dreams while supporting his family.
Fortunately, the unconditional support he received from those around him, especially from his girlfriend, enabled him to move forward fearlessly. “Without my girlfriend’s support, I could not have started this adventure. She has never put any pressure on me; she has never made me feel guilty about being away from home in the entire time that we have been together,” he said.
Taking a Leap of Faith
CodeBoxx’s bootcamp launched in 2018 and Steve was admitted to the program. “My employer at the time was well aware that I would be leaving my job as soon as the program started,” said Steve. “I did not have any expectations of the program. I simply kept telling myself: let’s just try it and see where it goes. The most important is to do as much as I can.”
Fall rolled around and CodeBoxx opened its doors to its first cohort. In his trucking career, Steve was comfortable; his skills were recognized. But starting boot camp was like returning to the bottom of the ladder. Boot camp was very difficult at times; he was on the verge of quitting, twice. “We’re sort of thrown in! They push our limits of what’s possible, and often we have no idea how to do it. And obviously, sometimes we can’t help but compare ourselves to others.”
“I have never given up on anything,” he said, however. “And I am committed to continuing this trend; I will go to the end and see what happens from there.”
Challenges resumed even upon entering the hiring process at Coveo. Steve got a taste of Coveo’s motto: “If it were easy, someone else would have done it,” when he learned about a technical test he had to pass in order to move forward. “By then, I had other job offers on the table, but I really wanted to be at Coveo. So I went through with the hiring process and when I was finally hired, I was ecstatic. Residing in Quebec City for an additional month for training was worthwhile and I was happy my girlfriend was understanding,” he said.
Living the #CoveoLife!
Steve joined Coveo in January 2019. His teammates and the workplace atmosphere are just a couple aspects he appreciates the most about his new employment. Coveo’s culture of taking security very seriously impresses him. For instance, the infamous Donut Rule comes into play when an employee walks away from their computer without locking it. Colleagues are encouraged to type “donut” into the company-wide Slack channel. Whoever is donuted has to bring a dozen donuts to work. Steve has happily been “donuted” once already.
But #CoveoLife is much more than just donuts and a nice gym or a foosball table. “At Coveo, people work hard. Yes, it’s fun, colleagues are cool, but when it’s time to work, we work hard and are able to stay on top of things!” Steve said.
He also appreciates the balance between autonomy and supervision. “You are left to carry out your duties, but you have everything you need in order to be successful. Patrick, my manager, comes to see if I have everything I need, at least once a day.”
Concluding the interview, we wanted to ask about his career plans moving forward. While Steve confided that he never knows how to answer such question, he shared that like his colleagues, he would like to see what he enjoys doing the most and “become an expert in it.” Welcome to Coveo, Steve!
Interested in joining Steve and living the #Coveolife? Take a look at our open positions on our careers site.