Hi! I'm Romain Boulay 👋
I am currently working as the iOS Platform Lead at SoundCloud. Originally from southern France, I live in Berlin since 2013 with my wife and two daughters.
I'm passionate about building software in general. After the university, I started to work as an intern on the development of iOS apps. This was in 2008, at almost the very beginning of the mobile revolution. I instantly loved building iOS applications. I felt that my work was finally producing a sizeable value. I am still driven by the satisfaction of being productive and the pleasure to closely interact with the well-designed apps that my team and I are building.
In my professional career, I started to build iOS apps as a junior developer. Sometimes by myself, sometimes in small teams. In my first 4 years, I worked for two small mobile agencies in southern France. Both companies were relatively small (less than 10 people each), which allowed me to work in many different areas and learn various skills. On top of my development tasks, I could experiment with UX design, assess new technologies and prototype ideas, and even meet with some customers to sell them our products. In this period, I participated in the development of 40+ native iOS apps. This context helped me to increase my hard skills.
After this period, my wife and I decided to go for another adventure... for one year or two. This is how we landed in Berlin.
In this period, I joined larger companies. I discovered a totally different culture. First, I had to address some language challenges (I might be this cliché of a person that speaks English with a strong French accent...). Then, I needed to learn the various processes and ways of working. Coming from small companies, that was new to me.
In contrast with the first part of my career where I worked on many applications, I could focus on fewer projects and develop different technical skills. I increased my knowledge of software architecture, system design, best practices... This period was intense. As I was learning and growing, I was presented with more and more opportunities. Eventually, I got to lead a team of 7 people, which was a fantastic experience. These experiences also helped me to increase my management and leadership skills.
All of this brought me to SoundCloud, which I joined in April 2016 as a Senior iOS Engineer. Two years later, I was promoted as iOS Platform Lead, a technical leadership role mixed with people management tasks. My role is to lead the iOS collective, which is the group of all the 15+ Engineers who participate in the development of SoundCloud's iOS apps.
I have been challenged by all the problems that appear at scale. I have learned to define processes and to build tools (I am also a member of the tuist's core team) aiming to increase everyone's productivity. In collaboration with the collective, I also designed an architecture and an infrastructure to support our needs. While there are always new challenges to solve, it has been so far a pleasant and fulfilling experience.
In parallel with all of this, my wife and I decided to have kids. The "one or two years" Berlin experience transformed into a"well, we're pretty good here" one. Currently, my days are rhythmed by KiTa and work duties, and that's for the best!
So that's me! If you think we could work together, don't hesitate to shoot me a message. Merci !