If you’re are regular at tech meetups in France and across Europe or if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you have probably already met with Charles Collas, developer evangelist at Mailjet. This week, we sat down with this former Starcraft 2 player to learn more about his job and his special profile. Because Charles is also a student.

Mailjet Monday- Charles Collas

Your profile is quite unusual: you work at Mailjet, but you’re also a student. How did you get here?

Apart from being a part of the Mailjet team, I’m studying programming and computer engineering at EPITA, a graduate school of computer science in Paris. I’m in my fourth year (of five). The school teaches us coding languages like C, C++, Java, which are not really Web-oriented. I wanted something new (and Web-oriented!) so I started working on websites as side-projects, as a freelancer.
I discovered the developer evangelist job on different blogs and tech websites that I follow regularly. But I really got the taste of what it could be thanks to Shubham, who is also a student at EPITA. It’s also thanks to him that I discovered Mailjet!
What does a typical day look like for you?
One of the aspects of the DevEv job is that there no such thing like a “typical day”! It all depends on the differents missions I’m assigned. As a developer evangelist, I have to engage with the developer community around Mailjet: we offer them an open-source REST API. I also attend a lot of events (conferences, hackathons, meetups) where I get a chance to connect with visitors and answer their technical questions.
 But sometimes being a Developer Evangelist can be a desk job. When I’m in the office, I usually start checking my emails and monitoring my notification alerts with Mention. Then, I log in to the DevEv team Trello account, which we use to work on and coordinate various projects: I’m mainly involved in developing and maintaining code wrappers, updating our API documentation and writting blog posts.

What’s your favorite Mailjet moment?

 Among my favorite moments, there are of course the huge events I’ve attended abroad (recently, I’ve been in Italy, in Portugal and in Sweden). Before joining Mailjet, flying abroad for just a few days wasn’t exactly a habit of mine!
I also remember the Ecommerce Salon in Paris. It’s one of the main events of its kind in France, so the whole Mailjet team was involved: DevEv, of course, but also our sales and marketing teams. It was very cool to see everybody in action.
And, of course, I always appreciate the afterwork drinks we sometimes have with fellow Mailjeters!

What’s your favorite coding language?

I’m hooked on PHP. It’s the language I know best, the one I used when developing websites as a freelancer. So obviously, I’m in charge of the Mailjet PHP wrapper. Although not everything written about PHP is positive, it still exists. As an example, Facebook is mainly written in PHP, and it’s a technology they invest a lot in.

Recently, I got interested in NodeJS, which is JavaScript on the server side. I use it on side projects for the moment. Soon I’ll also be managing the new Mailjet NodeJS wrapper, which will reimplace the one we have right now.

Why did you choose to become a Developer Evangelist instead of a developer?

Being a DevEv is the best choice for a young programming engineer who wants other opportunities than just being a developer. When you have spent five years studying programing, you want to make sure that all your knowledge sticks. As a developer evangelist, I use my technical knowledge, but also my communication skills, my ability to meet and talk to new people, so it’s a very rewarding and varied job!
Furthermore, Developer Relations are often associated with the startup world (Twilio, GitHub…). For the last few years, startups in France have seen huge developments and growth. Working for a startup yourself, you really feel being part of a dynamic ecosystem! Thanks to that, we can stay a step ahead on the latest innovations.
You can follow the events attended by Charles on his Twitter account and check his different side-projects on GitHub. And to keep track of the activity of the Developers Relationships team at Mailjet, follow this Twitter list!