The web development market is becoming growingly complex and evolving at an exponential pace. Accordingly, companies are continually on the lookout for service providers and software engineers to anticipate the market changes, and develop custom solutions accordingly.
BDD sat with Walid Ghanem (WG), Co-Founder and CTO of Poyesis, who believes in the power of Lebanese talent, catering to the web development needs of the French market. He discusses the transformations in web development and the needed skills of software engineers in a highly competitive market.
BDD: Why did you set up Poyesis? Was there a market need you identified?
WG: We set up Poyesis to enable top-level, highly-motivated Lebanese software engineers to serve the web development needs of demanding French clients. As a former Lead Developer of a top-level web development agency in France, I understood how difficult it was to recruit French software engineers in service companies, as French startups (especially our 25+ Unicorns) have become increasingly attractive to them. In the meantime, because of the economic downturn, and thanks to its great educational system, Lebanon is full of skilled software engineers seeking well-paid, high-quality jobs. Poyesis seeks to bridge this market imbalance.
BDD: What is the value proposition of Poyesis?
WG: I would like to think of our value proposition from both from our clients' and our developers' viewpoints.
For clients, we offer them state-of-the-art, fully-customized web and mobile development services. Our pricing is competitive, but we are definitely not a low-cost offshoring company. We compete with top-notch French Development agencies (Theodo, Galadrim...), offering slightly lower prices.
Our recruitment process and level requirements are exactly the same as in these prestigious French firms (thus our 3% selection rate), which enables Poyesis to position itself on the high end of the French market. We do not compete against French agencies offering lower cost outsourced services from other countries.
For employees, we offer them the opportunity to develop their skills at a faster pace, in a demanding, yet caring (and fun, I hope!) environment. We offer very clear career paths within the company, inspired by those of strategy consulting firms. Our growth is mostly enabled by internal promotions. This month, we have already promoted one of our developers to a senior developer position, only six months after his joining Poyesis. We want our team to reveal their potential and develop themselves within the company and support its growth. Last but not least, we provide top-of-the-range salaries in Euros, and each promotion goes with a significant salary increase - consulting style.
BDD: The web development industry is becoming growingly complex. Where do you see it heading?
WG: The industry is becoming increasingly divided between two opposite needs:
- On the one hand, there are standard needs (e.g., basic e-commerce websites), which can be addressed with CMS (e.g., Wordpress, Shopify) or low-code solutions (e.g., Bubble)
- However, there are also custom needs (e.g., complex back-office applications), which require custom-made development with highly-skilled workers. This is where Poyesis comes in.
Moreover, as a general tendency, I think that clients will increasingly need to (i) think mobile-first, (ii) anticipate the technical requirements at an earlier stage, to scale their platforms and (iii) adopt the agile framework to build their digital assets - which we do at Poyesis.
BDD: How has your previous professional and academic background guided your entrepreneurial journey?
WG: I have always enjoyed maths and computer science - two guidelines which have driven my academic and professional journey so far. I graduated from Ecole Polytechnique, where I acquired the theoretical knowledge to start my career in the computer science and machine-learning industry, first as CTO of a startup, then as Lead Developer of a web development agency, and now CTO of Poyesis.
My co-founder (and best friend) Maxime, whom I have known since high-school, has also graduated from Ecole Polytechnique but joined the other side of the force: he kick started his career in consulting, working for five years at the Boston Consulting Group, which he left as a Project Leader.
So together, I do not think there could be a more complementary duo. As CEO, Maxime handles the sales and project management part, which I know little about, and as CTO, I handle the technical and production part, which he knows nothing about.
BDD: Why did you choose BDD to set up your local operations in?
WG: This one is a no-brainer! I could not think of another place in Beirut more suitable for young-minded, fast-growing companies with high expectations regarding services, including a 24/7 fast internet connection and facility management solutions amongst others. Not to mention its central location in Beirut. Last, but not least, working at the BDD is a compelling argument to recruit top tech talents - our team enjoys the place a lot.
BDD: Do you believe in the potential of Lebanon and its talents? If so, why?
WG: I believe in the potential of Lebanon for one reason - our educational system. Despite all the hardships the country has gone through, the Lebanese educational system remains a gold standard not only in the Middle East, but in the whole world - thus our amazing diaspora. Where there is education, there is a future!
BDD: So what advice do you have for aspiring web / software developers? What skills are integral in today / the future workplace?
WG: I would tell them not to focus too much on learning all coding languages, rather, try to master a few and understand their logic and structure deeply. Doing so, you will lay the foundations to become a proficient, fast-learning software engineer. At Poyesis, we are not afraid to recruit bright people with little knowledge of our tech stacks. We don't bet on your current level, but on your potential.
To learn more about Poyesis, visit https://poyesis.fr/