From a broken API to a real company
Building a team is not only gathering cool and talented people in the same room, shaking, and waiting for some results. We strongly believe that a company can share values and a vision, specifically about our relationship with our jobs.
So we asked the team: what does it look like to work at Bump?
How did it begin?
Sébastien, our CEO, has been a software engineer for a long time and has a special relationship with APIs :
Everything (almost) started when I broke production while working on a payment API.
Sébastien - CEO
Keeping a strong desire from his student years to create his own company one day, the project took a little longer to shape up in his mind.
After he forged the first concepts of Bump, he met Anthony, our Head of Product and former student at Le Wagon. One invited the other to a bar, they talked and the rest was history. We cannot disclose more details here: we sign a very strong NDA at Bump that covers everything happening in bars.
A few weeks later, Anthony received a phone call. He was a freelancer at the time and thought Sébastien wanted to offer him a small opportunity.
“Would you build a company with me?”
And he said yes 💍. Otherwise, we won’t be here sharing the story. If we would love to tell you about the first fundraising, it will be for another time.
Right after the end of this huge step, the first advice they got was to hire “rockstars”. Sébastien and Anthony were more into hiring people they could trust and that won’t leave the project after a short period of time.
They met people. But ultimately they had a crush on someone sharing the same vibe:
Meeting Polo is some kind of experience. With a huge beard, but not big enough to hide his permanent smile, he makes you feel comfortable in a few minutes. Polo’s background could fit in a book: you could have met him building the new Tangier port in Morocco, as a math school teacher or ultimately as a web developer.
Being a web developer was for me the best solution to maintain a good work-life balance: doing an interesting job from an interesting place. With my family (wife and daughter), we moved to a small town in French Alps, Saint-Marcellin (yeah, like the cheese), to build our house on a beautiful green and wooded land.
Polo - Backend Engineer
Taking care of everyone and everything is a full-time job. And we wanted to create a great environment to work in. One of the cofounders' biggest decisions was to build a totally remote company. No offices. Everyone can work from anywhere. Bump provides everything needed to work in the best conditions, whether you work from home or in a coworking space.
Working remotely was mandatory to support this decision. I was really relieved to join Bump with a 100% remote job.
Telecommuting is possible, and a great possibility, but going to an office can be great too. I’m glad to have found a coworking place, funded by Bump, where I can go every day... Or not: my call to decide :)
Polo - Backend Engineer
Quickly, it was obvious that Polo needed some new folks to work and play with. Bump started to look for qualified engineers and great human beings. From a previous position at Capitaine Train, Sébastien had some great people in mind but they had to get through the interview process, like anyone on the team.
Thimy and PaulR.
6 months after Polo’s arrival on the team, Thimy and PaulR joined the adventure, both had worked together in the past.
There were several reasons for me to join Bump.sh. First, it was a job where I could work on something that had a real sense to me: I love developer tools and I love giving good tools to developers even more.
During my interview, I explained that I had some personal projects I didn’t want to drop. Sébastien told me that it was possible to have a full-time position but with half a day per week free. That was decisive to me.
PaulR - Backend Engineer
While the team was growing, we understood that working remotely could be tough. Sometimes, you miss the connection with your teammates and chat tools won’t replace a real coffee break, as Thimy felt.
We don’t have a centralized office where we can meet our coworkers daily, share a
coffeetea or play a quick game (or ten) of Mario Kart. I certainly miss that, especially because my Mario Kart performances have drastically dropped since then.
Which is a dramatic issue.
Our main communication channel is Slack (how surprising). We try to communicate as much as possible about what we are doing, with a weekly video meeting to go into deeper details. Sometimes we hop on Slack’s voice chat (Huddle) to take a break and chitchat together, and we’ve just instated board games Thursday lunches to play on Board Game Arena and rage about how dice rolls are unfair.
Thimy - Frontend Engineer
Even if we all know someone is cheating.
When I started Bump, it was not a simple tech project among many others. To me, it is a pirate ship and its crew from the beginning.
Sébastien - CEO
Sébastien and Anthony made it crystal clear during our interviews. The team looks for autonomous people, people they can trust and rely on.
As the writer of this article, I’d like to share my personal opinion here. I feel that part every single day. We definitely are a crew. Everyone knows what they must do or where they are expected to be. We help and care about each other. One’s problem soon becomes the crew’s problem.
Speaking of the team, we are a small number at the moment so it’s super easy to give an opinion about how we can improve the product or how we work together. My peers might be super talented (I’m not but they haven’t noticed yet) but they are above all people who I can talk to and who will listen to me. They are very open to discussion, they will make themselves available to help when I need it, and I can always have a good laugh.
Thimy - Frontend Engineer
We do not pretend we are reinventing the wheel here. We are just trying to be the company and the team we would like to work for, building the tools we would love to use.
Every voice matters. Sometimes we disagree and we have strong opinions. But we always keep in mind we are here to move forward, and more importantly, together.
We are well aware that we are not like other companies, having taken root in the early days of a health crisis, we have evolved through exceptional challenges, which we have taken a taste of, and which have thus nourished our strength. Nothing is taken for granted here. Through my own evolution in the team, I feel the comfort of constantly questioning myself without being judged. Quite the contrary, I always feel supported.
Like a living organism, we evolve every day, driven by a common goal of building our dream environment, enabling us to offer a unique experience for the thousands of people we serve every day, our users.
Anthony - Head of Product
For the next generation.
Welcoming newcomers is a challenge: we want them to feel comfortable as soon as possible. From our experience over the past two years, we have been working on our onboarding and still have a long way ahead.
We recently welcomed into the team our new Head of Product Marketing: Christophe. He took off like a rocket as he immediately jumped in an already planned IRL with the team.
Sharing such a rollercoaster needs a complete article: a great opportunity to write a bit more about our vision of onboarding and greeting our new teammates!