Clement Chaine

one month in the paws of a metabroadcat

There aren’t many more exciting ways to begin the new year than with a fresh start in one’s professional life. I realise it has already been a month since I joined MetaBroadcast and I haven’t been disappointed.

in the arena from the very first day

Something I really like about MetaBroadcast is the general sense of pragmatism and my first day here was the perfect illustration of this spirit. Rather than being bored with soporific talks about Health & Safety or reading piles of dreary documentation, I was assigned a meaningful task in the first hour of my first day on the job.

I had to write specifications for the Atlas ingest for a new source of metadata. Not only did I have to understand the functioning of both systems, but I also had to map the two data models. Of course the initial spec was less than humble, but working on it really kickstarted me in the world of broadcast metadata.

Using some sensible practices such as talking to each other is another example of pragmatism. We do not wait until something is perfect to expose it to comments, this allowed me to have earlier feedback and to iterate over it very rapidly, resulting in a better document than if I had locked myself up in a room trying to deliver the perfect spec. And as I’m writing these lines, Max is implementing this ingest.

taming the lion

Alongside the new ingest, I had many other tasks such as drawing Atlas’s Class Diagram and enriching the documentation, figuring out how we will get our community to use Atlas Admin interface (with Liam‘s help), establishing a partnership with a clips provider and understanding how we will make their movie trailers available to our clients, or meeting clients and beginning to manage their projects with us.

One challenge was getting used to MacOS while achieving all that, as I had never used a Mac before. Don’t get me wrong, I love my MacBook Air, still, getting used to a new keyboard layout and new shortcuts can prove irksome.

As a matter of fact, one of the many reasons that convinced me to join MetaBroadcast is the software and hardware stack, which is another example of the pragmatic spirit here. I knew I would struggle a bit with my Mac, but I believe it makes sense to use Gmail for emailing, Skype for instant messaging, Jira for issue tracking, Confluence for documentation, cloud storage for file transfer, GitHub for revision control and source code repository, Spotify for playing music in the office, and whichever browser we like best for accessing the web. All that makes communication flow smoothly and keeps people happy resulting in an efficient way of working.

catnip and other treats

During my first month I noticed that amongst other things, metabroadcats relish cake (I have never eaten so much cake in my life), in-jokes, puns (for each pun, the offender has to make a contribution to the pun jar) and listening to good music (the canonical Friday playlist is just pure bliss) as well as listening to bad music.

Metabroadcats also have periodic rendezvous giving regularity and cohesion to the company’s life:

  • A daily Happy Hour to discuss the current and upcoming features.

  • A weekly Foodie Friday to celebrate the most impressive metabroadcat of the week by eating his favourite food (mine was sushi).

  • Monthly MetaBeerTalks to talk about specific subjects regarding the industry.

  • A quarterly Away Day during which we discuss long term plans for the company in the morning and relax with the team during the afternoon (this January we went climbing).

  • Finally we all celebrate every metabroadcat’s metaversary (I was lucky enough to be here for Adam’s metaversary).

This is just the beginning of my life as a meta feline and I hope this will last long. Continue to follow these catventures here!

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