Maxime
Systems Tester
Our People, Our Strength

Take it apart, put it back together better

Thirteen years into his ADGA career, Maxime is doing the crucial work that he enjoys best—testing and troubleshooting to ensure that the software systems we engineer and manage for our clients are secure and operationally efficient. As he puts it, “I just have a knack for finding creative ways to break things.” A teenage electronics hobbyist before earning his technologist degree at college, Maxime has always found the best way to understand how something works is to take it apart, test it rigorously, and put it all back together again.
“To me, looking for new and interesting ways of breaking things is like troubleshooting backwards. There's even some friendly competition between those of us in testing and the people on the development side. But it’s all with the ultimate goal of making a better product. I suppose I also like it simply because I'm good at it.”
Figuring it out is fun

As a teenager I always liked to fiddle with wires, to open up a piece of electronics or machinery to see how it worked and what would happen if it broke in this way or that. I didn’t really understand electronics at the time, I was just trying to figure it out for myself. Troubleshooting problems was fun!

Understand every little detail

It’s not really about attacking a piece of software from all sides, like how people might normally think of it. It’s more about deconstructing, understanding all the cogs, and then focusing on trying to break all these little pieces individually. You want to see if it breaks the whole system, or if there are defences around it already. Often there will be challenges, like every time a new component is introduced, and you will need to research it and talk to developers. I’m still a hardware guy at heart in many ways, so my approach to testing generally still comes from there.

Enjoy the craft of it

I used to play bass guitar in rock bands but not so much anymore. I still consume a lot of music and go to festivals when it’s possible. My father’s an accomplished woodworker, he even made some of my instruments, so I’ve picked up woodworking from him and that’s how I spend my weekends now. That and homebrewing—that's probably my main obsession lately. I decided to try, and I found out my beer is drinkable, so I keep going.

My ADGA Mentor
Andrea Cleveland, Project Leader

She’s the best boss I've ever had. She lets you figure out whatever way of doing things works best, as long as it makes sense. If necessary she knows when to just nudge you in the right direction, but is focused on enabling you to perform at your best. In my experience, it’s rare that you find people who really appreciate the work that you do but I always feel that with Andrea.

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