Comedic. Helpful. Computer Savvy.
Ilias is the self-proclaimed ‘loudest of the programmers’ and defends his title with his recognizable laugh. As an active member of the CMiC community, Ilias is a fire warden and one of the founding members of the Health and Safety Committee. You’ll often find him wandering the office inspecting first aid kits or rehearsing fire drills, but regardless of what he’s up to, Ilias is someone you can count on for help (or for a good laugh).
When did you join CMiC and why?
I joined CMiC on April 1, 2016. I needed a change of pace after being a Reports Developer for a promotional products fulfillment and distribution company for 2 years prior. I found CMiC on the internet and noticed the similarities in the role to my last. I interviewed and was hired (obviously, if I’m doing this interview). I also liked CMiC’s location—it’s close to where I live.
My background includes a 3-year advanced diploma in computer programming and 3-year advance diploma in accounting. Simply put, I have both a business and technical background. I ultimately chose CMiC because there was an accounting component to the role, and it was a rare opportunity for me to combine both skillsets.
What is your role at CMiC?
I am currently an Integrations Developer, but I started at CMiC as a Reports Developer. I transitioned teams after I was approached and asked if I wanted to move based on my skillset and lovable personality. *chuckles*
In my current role, I build web servers for integrations between third-party software systems and the CMiC software. I’m also part of a team of folks who diagnose and solve web service problems, as well as assist customers with the setup of their own API and RTI services.
What was your favourite bug fix?
When I determined why a document resource wasn’t communicating between systems. It turns out that it was a mistype (i.e. a typo). Even though I spent countless hours trying to figure out what the problem was, the satisfaction of solving the problem was so great.
Okay, okay, so I should also mention that it was also my own typo, but as a developer, it’s always better to find your own mistakes. When someone else finds your mistake, it’s bad… but when you find your own, it’s good!
Share with me your best CMiC memory.
Going to my first CONNECT Annual User Conference in 2018 for the 20th anniversary celebrations. I absolutely loved the opportunity to interact with customers face-to-face and to see how we conduct business outside of the office walls. Developers are often excluded from client facing events, but that’s not the case at CMiC. I staffed the CMiC Support Campground at CONNECT, a station where customers can ask experts about their support-related questions. I was the point person for inquiries regarding Collaborate and PM Exchange.
Why did you join the JHSC (Joint Health and Safety Committee)?
I joined to be more involved and to be a voice on behalf of employees. Health and safety are also passions of mine. I saw the opportunity to be a founding member of the JHSC after we exceeded 150 employees (there’s a bylaw that makes it mandatory for companies our size). Last year alone we hired over 75 employees, and it became apparent to us that we needed specialized training to ensure we have the tools to protect all employees. Although an office doesn’t (and really shouldn’t) look like a construction site, it’s interesting how—in a lot of ways—it needs to operate like one. Everyone needs to be healthy and feel safe, and this committee ensures we have procedures in place to guarantee that for everybody!
Where is the best lunch spot?
The best lunch spot in this neighborhood is Sofra’s on Steeles Avenue and Norfinch Drive. Its Mediterranean vibe reminds me of home (they’re Turkish; I’m Greek). The atmosphere is always lively.
In the office, I would say the 3rd floor kitchen because it has the most light.
What do you listen to on your morning commute?
What I listen to depends on my mood or the weather. Either the news or Flow 93.5. If the weather is nice, I listen to music. If it’s bad weather, I listen to the traffic report to make sure that I’m not driving through nonsense.
Go-to CMiC office snack?
I don’t have one because I follow the ‘keto diet.’ I can eat a portioned quantity of the chocolate covered almonds in the office… so a handful—max. I usually eat two egg cups for breakfast and chicken with mixed veggies, topped with cream cheese and butter, for lunch. I don’t have snacks. Coffee with cream is considered my snack.
What’s your favourite programming language.
Java for its strength and flexibility. Java is one of the only languages that is cross-platform capable. I use Java and XML primarily in my role with a little bit of SQL.
What is your favourite part of the day?
Lunch because I get to stretch my legs and see what’s going on around the office. Lunch is a fantastic time to corner people with your questions. If you don’t answer my emails, I’ll track you down. Even if your mouth is full, I’ll come. People do it to me, so I pay it forward. I’ll track you down.
Any tips for someone looking to join the CMiC team?
We use multiple languages, so depending on your ‘flavour,’ you’ll have plenty of opportunities to experiment. Especially as our company continues to grow, programmers are becoming more and more of a necessity. Also, all of your bosses here are pretty cool.
What is a common misconception about programmers?
That we are always looking at the floor because we can’t maintain conversation. Oh, and we don’t shower.
Well, first off, I shower daily.
And two, at CMiC, programmers are bright and efficient. We’re all interactive and we work effectively as a team. But as programmers, we do yell at our monitors a lot when our code isn’t working.