Interviews / Software Engineers & Developers

Balancing the Grind with Yoann Moinet, Senior Software Engineer at Datadog

Yoann Moinet is a JavaScript and NodeJS developer, currently working as a Senior Software Engineer at Datadog, a monitoring service for cloud-scale applications.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I’ve studied design in the south of France (Toulon), then moved to Montréal and studied interactive media.

I landed an internship in an international advertising agency (Cossette) and got hired as a creative developer. It was a really fun place to start my career and the position was really interesting, I was creating new ways of interacting with customers via advertising.

I hacked Kinects to create Minority Report like interactive screens, but also Motion Leaps, Bluetooth Low Energy beacons, QR Codes, NFC chips, etc. it was a really fun position.

Then I became a Senior Software Engineer on 3dsMax at Autodesk, working on some cloud rendering feature. Later brought back to Montpellier as a Senior Software Engineer by Zendesk to work on the Explore product.

Finally, I’ve bootstrapped the FrontEnd platform team at Datadog, where I’m now working on the tooling and the developer experience for +60 engineers.

I’ve also created Fenêtre and wrote about it on Medium. Also maintaining an open source library, NippleJS. You can find out more projects on my website.

2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

I’ve been working from home for the past two years now, and really enjoying it.

The regular workday will start around 8am. First, with my wife, we’re taking care of the kids (we have two, a 2yo girl and 6yo boy). Then, bringing them to school and at the nanny. Having to do this everyday helps me keeping a sane work schedule.

Back home at 9am, I start working. It’s usually a lot of coding, as little meeting as possible until noon. My wife gets the kids from school and the nanny and we all have lunch together.

Being able to eat together every day is really a godsend that the remote work allowed me to do. Then, the kids go back to school/nanny, and I’m playing video games or coding until 2pm.

Back to work, a bit more meetings because NYC is now awake, and coding until +6pm.

Back home, taking care of the kids, bath/diner/story/bed. Then watching shows/movies with my wife until she goes to sleep.

Finally, before going to bed, I usually code a bit on the current side-project I have for 1-2 hours.

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3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?

I’m a full time remote employee, so I am as flexible as I need to, which is very helpful when you have kids.

Being remote improved my family life a lot, I’m now able to have lunch with everyone, every days and waste zero time in commute.

Also, not going out to eat every day is a real monetary and health gain.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

It means being able to 100% cut from the job at a predefined time during my day. For me that’s between 12pm-2pm and after 6pm. And it’s the same every day.

Also, having a dedicated space to work is the best. So you don’t bring work home, which is very important to me. I’m able to differentiate what I code for work, what I code as a hobby and the time I spend with my family.

Playing with my kids, dolls with the little one, pokemon cards and legos with the old one. Reading them bedtime stories every night is quality time I cherish and look forward to every day.

5) What do you think are some of the best habits or routines that you’ve developed over the years to help you achieve success in your life?

  • Quality family time.
  • Separate work from life, physically and timely.
  • Hobby coding almost everyday.
  • Socialising with friends.

6) Are there any books that have helped you improve over the years?

Not that much, I’m more of a novel guy. Big fan of Chuck Palahniuk, Bernard Werber, Charles Bukowski, Hunter S. Thompson and old school dystopian novels like 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451.

7) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

Getting up early, having a routine and sticking to it.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I’ve always been amazed by highly productive people in the coding community, like Sindre Sorhus. But also people that are angular to their technology, like Axel Rauschmayer, Paul Irish, Dan Abramov or John Resig to name a few.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

Keep your work out of your life.

Keep coding as a hobby.

Keep socialising even if you’re remote, because now that you’re remote,

Your friends don’t have to be from work, you are fully in charge of your circle of acquaintance.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.