The first big challenge one is confronted with when joining Coveo is coming to understand the product and what we do. For a marketing gal like me, that task was a bit more of a challenge. Who better to go to with my questions than Marc-Antoine Veilleux, Director of R&D, who has been at Coveo for the last 7 years?
Let’s dive into the R&D universe.
First things first, can you describe Coveo and our product in a few words?
Coveo is a Québécois business and a pioneer in the field of research and AI-powered recommendations. Our goal is to offer a personalized digital experience for each user by employing AI. Thanks to our solution, each person promptly receives the most relevant information given their context, whether it be through the research or recommendation features.
Concretely, our product is a cloud-based platform, hosted on AWS, that permits one to search through different sources of information, collect signals and content, and utilize advanced forms of machine learning. This is what allows us to offer APIs as well as research and recommendation interfaces to our clients. For the sake of a quick comparison, think of us as the equivalent of Google for enterprises.
What forms of technology does Coveo use?
We work with microservices that run on AWS, configured with infrastructure-as-code via Docker, Kubernetes, Terraform, Puppet, and countless others. Quite a few of our microservices are coded in Java/Scala, but you can also find some C#, C++, GoLang and Python. On the interface side of things, we use mainly TypeScript and React. What’s most important at Coveo is to use the best tool for our specific needs.
To know more about the teams and their tech stack, see The teams behind your queries.
What’s your role at Coveo? How has your career evolved over the last few years with the company?
I am a R&D director and have been for almost 2 years now. I am primarily responsible for the Service integration teams, such as Salesforce and ServiceNow. More recently, I launched a new initiative – Coveo DX -which has the goal of making our platform more easily accessible for developers. Our objective with this project is to make our product as fun to integrate as it is to use.
As you mentioned in your introduction, I have been with Coveo for the last 7 years. I began my career path within this company as an intern, and then I became a full time employee. I began my career over on the connectivity development team, but we quickly realized that there was quite a demand on the Salesforce side of things. As a result, a complete team, with me as a Team Lead, was thus put in place to work specifically on Coveo for Salesforce. And then I became a R&D director.
What would you say makes Coveo a nice company to work for?
We really have a beautiful company culture, what we call the Coveolife. It’s centered around spending good times with colleagues, and this has definitely made its way into the workplace. Everyone collaborates on a common goal: innovate and excel in everything we do!
Each person has a real impact on the company’s success and, therefore, on our clients’ success as well. It’s an environment filled with opportunities where flexibility, freedom of thought, and creativity are essential components – each member of the team is encouraged to be the best they can be.
We believe that the best ideas can come from anywhere. I remember when I started at Coveo – I had this idea of having virtual visits to present our new office, so I mentioned it to management. One month later, we were all in Morphsuits, filming a virtual tour of the new Quebec office. We even made a remake a few years later.
Whether you are an intern or part of the leadership, you can make an impact! It’s the passion, collaboration, integrity, and inclusive nature of this company that makes it truly unique.
What sets Coveo’s R&D apart? How does it all work internally?
R&D follows a horizontal structure that eliminates bureaucracy as much as possible. All our teams are Agile and utilize the method that works best for them (Scrum, Kanban, Scrumban, etc.). Within each team there are people dedicated (QA, documentation, etc.) to facilitating an autonomous workflow, with the intent of having the biggest impact on our product. It is through this that we are able to deploy more than 1,000 times per month.
In conclusion, what would be your advice to someone wanting to work in R&D at Coveo?
- Be persistent, and certainly do not hesitate to reapply! We know that people evolve, and as we are constantly growing, we always have new roles opening up.
- Be curious to learn, and stay humble. We search for truth not “being right”. Be prepared to challenge and be challenged in return!
- Stay up to date with tech news. And don’t forget – be curious!
Interested in joining the Coveolife? We still have quite a few openings!