Yan Parenteau, Vice President of Mobility Solutions at Descartes, describes Descartes as a technology first company where R & D is highly involved in all aspects of product development and solutions take shape from the real-world experiences of our developers collaborating directly with our customers. 

Can you explain how the technical team(s) at Descartes are set up?

Descartes is a technology-first company. We build, sell, and support products for the logistics and supply chain management industry. Our technology teams are customer-facing and separated into multiple groups: IT, DevOps, Infrastructure, Information Security, and R&D – which is the biggest group that breaks down into smaller teams assigned to one or two products.  

Stephanie Redl

How is the R&D team involved across all product solutions? 

The R&D team is highly involved in all aspects of the development of our products. Focusing on new features, technical debt, and maintenance, they provide real-world insights and work directly on the solutions. For example, we sent mobile developers on the road with couriers to observe how they interact with our software- this was a rare opportunity to witness the product in action and enabled us to solve issues based on their direct feedback. 

In my role, I’m responsible for a number of larger products. As a result, my focus is to standardize our Agile software development process to align with modern best practices in automation. In addition, I’m looking for intelligent people to promote into lead and management positions internally to alleviate my day-to-day load.  

How would a new candidate find it exciting to contribute to these projects?  

As a company, we strive to be at the cutting edge, evolving our stack and the solutions we develop. Our solutions are focused on everything that moves in the world. The problems we have to solve are very different and multi-faceted because they occur in the physical world, impacted by: time, geography, materials, and people. We use artificial intelligence, IoT, and mobile devices to understand various package characteristics, such as temperature and timing, to ensure the quality is preserved. The data for these complex issues doesn’t necessarily exist, so we need to run different scenarios and calculations to ensure we maintain the quality of our products. 

Why should someone wanting to grow their career in technology choose Descartes? 

Building software at Descartes is a chance to see the result of your work in the real world. Almost everyone interacts with the Ecommerce industry, and often those products are coming from a company using one of our solutions.  

In addition, you can take pride in knowing that we are making a bigger impact globally. Our software solutions enable our customers to optimize routes, reducing fossil fuel consumption, and it’s predominantly paperless, so we are reducing our forest footprint on a very large scale.  

Descartes is a scaling technical product company where you can accelerate your career. Our executive leadership has grown with the company and truly believes in providing professional development opportunities and promoting from within. As a company that grows organically and through acquisitions, there are endless possibilities to move across teams and products and into increasingly senior roles. This is a place where ownership and innovation are encouraged and rewarded. 

Ultimately, at Descartes, we offer the full spectrum of a rewarding career: Work-life balance, the chance to work from anywhere, purpose and impact, access to cutting-edge technology, mentorship, and growth opportunities. That’s what makes us a great choice.

If you want to be part of a growing global organisation that listens to – and implements – the ideas of their people, we’re hiring across a number of impactful roles. You can find out more about opportunities by clicking ‘Join our Team’ above or follow us on LinkedIn to keep up with our news and openings.