What does the role of Technical Leader consist of? Case study of an Antaes consultant
Antaes consultant for over a year and a half now, I was responsible for a mandate for Technical Leader services within a large cantonal administration.
As part of this very rich project, I took responsibility for technical aspects during different phases of preparation and during several weekends for the elections for which this cantonal administration was in charge. Among other things, I took charge of the main application necessary for the good conduct of these elections. I organized the acceptance and installation on test stations and load tests, integration tests for new versions of the critical application migrated to Windows 10 and modified at each election to integrate a new repository of elections (candidates, parties, electorate, ballots…). In connection with the supplier and the cantonal administration services, I managed the multi-task optimizations of the application and the optimization of its database (creation of index in the Oracle DB) to obtain satisfactory results in terms of performance.
I also ordered and reserved more efficient workstations for election weekends and then piloted the packaging of the production versions as well as the deployment, with on-site tests of the scanners, the digitization stations connected to these scanners and supervision stations linked to other applications in the centralized analysis software chain. I was also a supplier of technical solutions to improve the security of the linked scanning process.
I also coordinated all the pre-production test batteries, loaded tests of the Virtual Machine scans, of the Unix servers hosting these VMs and the database, tests of degraded modes in case of loss of a server, network access in degraded mode, as well as print servers and printers on the various sites where the elections were taking place.
During the operating weekends, I participated in the validation and start-up tests of each room dedicated to the various stakeholders participating in the election. For each incident observed, the team had to respond with maximum diligence, efficiency and safety to ensure that the count was held on time and that the rules guaranteeing the integrity of the ballot were respected at all times, this under the eye of supervisors and in the presence of the press in parts of one of the election sites.
For the elections due in early 2020, in the face of the oncoming pandemic, the team had to adapt and respond to this additional challenge. Every day, we had to review our plans, develop and test new scenarios to take into account the health situation. I had to provide solutions adapted to this particular context, for example to make multi-use workstations to reduce the number of workers on site, to make remotely accessible a payment application initially deployed with a heavy client on a workstation dedicated to a person teleworking with a secure VPN. At the same time, I also analyzed the code of a Java application arriving in the service to migrate its database to Oracle.
I was able to collaborate with a multidisciplinary team from Antaes (Business Analyst, etc.) as part of this cantonal project. Antaes was always present during my various requests, and assured us of benevolent support in any situation.
It was an exciting, demanding project, very rich in human terms in an exceptional team of professionalism at the service of democracy and at the heart of cantonal institutions.