Graduating with a degree in physics, Rémi Denoyer isn't the first person most hiring managers would think to put on a technical software engineering team, but his passion for innovation and his thirst for learning landed him in exactly that role. As a founding engineer for Plato, Rémi was thrown into the mix of a fast-paced startup that was so new it was still operating out of a garage.

Rémi Denoyer
Rémi Denoyer Rémi Denoyer

Learning different programming languages became a necessity for survival, not just for Rémi's role in the organization, but for the organization itself. With time, Rémi became a master of Python, JS, Java, SQL, and more, continuously showcasing how he was able to solve any problem thrown his way. His role was so much more than the technical side of the equation, he was also helping to navigate business strategy, process optimization, and streamline the customer experience at Plato. To support the change from a bare-bones team to a company with 100 employees and over $100 M in revenue, Rémi created key algorithms that are still a major contributor to the company's success.

Plato, which matches highly skilled mentors with prospective mentees in the tech world, experienced rapid growth within Silicon Valley and beyond. First founded in 2017 by two French entrepreneurs, Quang Hoang and Jean-Baptiste Coger, the idea for the business emerged from the founders' own personal challenges of trying to find support and guidance for their engineering team from a previous venture. Today, Plato is the mentorship platform for engineering teams. The platform is powered by a curated community of over 1,500 mentors from top tech companies around the world including Google, Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Netflix, and Spotify. The idea has captured the attention and interest of many, and is now backed by a group of impressive advisors and investors including SaaStr, Y Combinator, the Slack Fund, S28 Capital, Eric Yuan, Mathilde Collin, and Andrew Miklas.

Hopping from data collection, data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence became Rémi's secret weapon; he could seamlessly move between different functions on the tech side of the business and, today, he leads data science for Plato, which is the perfect combination of his skill sets. Despite a rebellious teenage phase of not wanting to follow in his father's footsteps by studying computer science, it appears that the natural talent in the field is in Rémi's blood.

Working with the renowned developer, G. Renard, Rémi developed a cutting-edge neural network approach, using machine learning, that is responsible for using data to match mentors and mentees. This example of utilizing the power of technology to operate with ease is something that Rémi brings to all his endeavors, both inside and outside his professional role at Plato. His ability to connect technology with applicable problems is a skill he cultivated on his own. He often had to seek external mentorship or figure out problems independently, due to the organization operating as lean as possible, especially on the technical side.

Through the ups and downs of learning on the job, Rémi became an expert in his field, and his skills proved invaluable once again as the startup, just over a year old at the time, attempted to navigate the pandemic. Automation is critical to the culture at Plato and to the product offering itself, and the investment in automation helped the organization navigate all the challenges brought by a global pandemic.

Rémi will be the first to highlight the power of no-code tools, despite his expertise in multiple coding languages. He knows firsthand what it's like to try and solve technical problems when you don't have the technical skill set. No-code tools allow people who can't use traditional programming languages to solve similar problems, build solutions, and automate their own processes. These tools allow Plato to experiment with different aspects of their product before rolling out new features, and they empower the entire team at Plato to use technology as a tool.

After grad school, Rémi was working in a comfortable consulting job at a large firm, but he decided to take a chance. Not only did he have to give up a great salary, but he had to leave his hometown in France, move to the US, and navigate the challenges of life in a different country, all for a shot-in-the-dark opportunity at a startup! By this point, life adventures and permanent adaptability were woven into his very being. Navigating numerous challenging projects, and being a lifetime lover of fantasy stories helped reinforce to Rémi that he could do anything with his life.

Perhaps it was his determination not to fail that helped guide him through the challenging times, or maybe his ability to learn quickly and adapt is what made the difference. Whatever it was, Rémi is a clear example of what can happen when someone dives headfirst into something they're passionate about. Not only did the "chance" he took change his life, but he's responsible for helping to change the lives of everyone who uses Plato, too.