Where is French Tech, that of developers?
“France / United States” comparisons are difficult for reasons as deep as they are formal, but they can be true. Especially when it’s a Frenchman, Sylvain Kalache (While 42, Slideshare), surely one of the most promising in line with his elders, who highlights this in an article: Developer, crowned best job on the other side of the Atlantic ”and in France, what do we think of Devs?
I support FrenchTech, even if I agree with Sylvain in his reasoning that doing “FrenchTech without tech” is suspicious… We are not going to complain too much about a first initiative which is “overall” excellent, apart from the fact that ‘it saw its action accelerated through the “Chapters While42 »(Nothing to do with 42 I specify). [Lire l’article « A San Francisco, la French mafia s’organise » du 20.12.2013]
However, I think that the developer is not perceived in the same way in the United States as in France for several consequences linked to a single cause: France has not yet assumed that we are changing the era. Do not try to create industry: this sector will disappear and a new one will appear. As when in 1840 the world went from a predominantly agricultural and artisanal society to a society of commerce and industry, we are moving towards digital.
The fall of Detroit and the advent of the “Valley” is a symbol of this. In the meantime, if I were at the Ministry of Productive Recovery, I would worry about knowing what the consequences will be when we can print our car … and in my opinion, it is in five years at most.
Our IT market is massively dominated by service companies which massively employ our IT specialists. We must thank them and especially their customers. But who are they?
If we know that 25% of French growth is driven by digital technology, we assume that 75% is by the rest, and it is they who call on service companies. In these companies, the job of IT specialists is to offer solutions to digitize existing industrial processes. In any case, we are talking about a creative profession here. It is a profession where the added value of the IT specialist is “97%” in applying what the client says who – I would like to say – know nothing about IT. Société Générale, for example, which employs thousands of IT specialists, has created a GTS (Global Technology Service) entity, which is quite simply attached to Group Resources (RESG). SG does not consider this profession as value-added but as a resource, a general service. Rightly so: banking is not IT!
The digital age is when the coder and his professional counterpart, the developer, will finally be able to let go of their imagination, to create solutions, objects or even sites that no one else could imagine, precisely because… they don’t know anything about computers!
Sylvain (one of the most illustrious representatives) is talking about this developer that Silicon Valley is so fond of, not the one who makes it possible to computerize Taylorism and boost the sale of cars from a few units per day to more than ten millions. We are talking about the one who is able to invent Growth Hacking, Facebook, Criteo … He is just as much adored in FrenchTech as in the Valley, but “present” only in the digital sector (25% of our growth ) and therefore almost invisible to the general public and its representatives, politicians.
As in 1840, countries are moving at different speeds in their transformation. But, Sylvain, do not worry: soon France and Europe will be fully in the digital air. From here, from FrenchTech, we’ll beat you like Airbus with Boeing!
Kwame Yamgnane is the co-founder of School 42, the computer programming school launched with Xavier Niel, Nicolas Sadirac and Florian Bucher. He is Education & Innovation Expert for FrenchWeb.