[MEET METROQUEST] Simon Bourdeau, Software Development Team Lead


At MetroQuest, we believe that exceptional public involvement begins with an award-winning solution: and our award-winning solution would not be possible without our incredible Development Team. Today, I am excited to introduce to you Simon Bourdeau, the head of the Development Team here at MetroQuest! Simon leads the team to ensure our survey solution is not only up to date and working reliably but enables agencies and firms nationwide to deliver exceptional public engagement results.

Check out my conversation with Simon below to learn more about his background, what it’s like to lead the Team and to find out what he enjoys doing in his spare time.

Simon, can you give us the 10,000-foot view of your role at MetroQuest? 

As Team Lead of Software Development at MetroQuest, my role consists mainly of helping the team work effectively. My main goal is to help ensure everyone on my team has the resources to move our software forward. In order to accomplish this, I try to promote a learning culture so that everyone is aware of new technologies, techniques and processes. This means making myself available to provide mentoring, which typically consists of answering technical questions, performing peer coding or providing direct help. I also spend a good portion of my time thinking about how we want to build the product in a way that gives the most value for our customers, while setting realistic goals for a team of our size. And because of my experience as a backend developer, I also build some of those invisible product pieces myself.

Tell me about your team! What’s it like being the Team Lead for Development? 

We have an amazing Development Team here at MetroQuest! While we are small, we are very close and everyone has a lot of fun working together. We care for each other and that makes it important to respect everyone’s perspectives. For me, it’s important to have everyone’s input before changing any processes or making long term decisions on our technology. In the end, MetroQuest is not simply a place to punch in and punch out, but a place to have friends to talk to and do fun things together.

What’s your background as a software engineer? 

I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering from Montreal where I grew up. Following school, I worked for a couple of small firms as well as some larger ones such as IBM, Avanade, Boeing and Pearson. Throughout the years, I found myself working primarily on backend technologies like Oracle Database or SQL Server, which became my specialty. Since then, and through my time at MetroQuest, I’ve become a much more versatile developer. I now find myself working on C#, JavaScript, Angular, Python and, most of all, on public cloud infrastructure. This has been a very beneficial shift for me. I find myself not only working on projects I love, but expanding my skillset with new projects as well.

What do you see as the most valuable aspect of MetroQuest for the public engagement industry? 

To me, what differentiates us at MetroQuest is our proven track record. We have a proven technique that has helped countless planners obtain the information they need to move forward with their projects and plans. We offer a product that is flexible while making sure our customers can leverage true value from our survey platform. We provide images and visual charts so that the surveys that our customers make are truly engaging. Not only does this help guide planners who might be new to MetroQuest, it does a better job at informing and engaging citizens. Because of that, I believe our survey platform conducts citizen engagement the right way.

How do you believe technology is changing the world today and in the future? 

Technology is changing society in a variety of ways, most of all by optimizing and automating a lot of tasks. While I don’t believe that technology can replace human interaction and support, it does help streamline some of the cumbersome tasks associated with our jobs. Think about driving, shopping and making financial transactions, for instance. These are examples that have and will continue to radically change. Governments do great work in this era and are still the backbone of a healthy economy. They are essentially building the required foundation for societies to move forward. Planning public works needs to be a transparent process in 2020. The age of information requires it. Our product lets governments do just that. I consider our product to be technology for good and for progress, and I am very proud of that.

What do you like to do outside of work? 

Family is where I love spending my time but when I’m not enjoying a board game at home, I love playing ultimate frisbee, skiing and cycling.

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