Sleepover at Polytech… (not really)

Since 2007, on the first Thursday of the month of December, La Nuit de l’Info takes place on several campuses in France.


What is La Nuit de l’Info about?

La Nuit de l’Info is a national competition where students, teachers, and companies come together and work on different challenges to develop a web application in one night.
This year, La Nuit de l’Info started on December 5th at 4:39pm, as the sun was
setting and it finished at 8:03am, the following morning.
To participate, teams of ten students each are created. This challenge is not only for computer science students, as students from other courses are welcomed to participate and bring new ideas to each project.
Each company proposes a different challenge and the eventual prizes that can go from gift cards to actual money.

I had the pleasure to meet up with Emma, a TIS3 student who participated at this event and was eager to tell me all about it!

– Could you please introduce yourself? Why did you want to take part in this project?

My name is Emma Theffo and I come from Reunion Island. I am studying Information Technology for Health at Polytech Grenoble.
When I heard about this project, I wanted to participate because I love adventure. I was very keen to try something that I have never done before and further my knowledge about Computer Science.

– Could you please introduce your team?

The name of my team was Polyglottesand it consisted of Gilles Mertens, Valentin D’Emmanuele, Bertrand Baudeur, Ethan Malecot, Paul Cirstea, Titouan Minier Mancini, Daphné Lambert, Mathis Mutel, Alexandre Soulard and myself. Everyone is a student at Polytech, besides Valentin who studies at Ensimag.
We had a coach that was there to guide us during our project. His name is Mathis and he works for
Sogeti, a company that provides technology and engineering services all around the world. However, no teachers were there to supervise us. All the work was done by students!

Selfie time for the Polyglotte team!

– What were the challenges proposed to your team?

This year’s main subject was “to increase the empowerment of students facing precarity”.
This subject was imposed on every team that participated in La Nuit de l’Info.
We could also choose five other challenges, and together we decided to choose:
“Escape from chaos monkey”, “A naming convention not like the others”, “Optimize your solution”, “Cartography”and “Sous la robe des LegalTech”.
Our main strategy to choose the challenges we wanted to work on, was quite
interesting …
(laughs)We actually made a choice based on how many teams were already working on it!
Unfortunately, we only had the time to do three out of the five challenges that we chose… We tried our best to cover all of the issues but sadly, our biggest problem was time! We did not feel like we had enough time to tackle everything… We really wanted to do the naming-convention challenge but we ran out of time before we could give it our best.
Mathis and I were kind of disappointed as we were trying to come up with a funny naming convention.
But on the brighter side, we
won twoout of those three! We came in first placein “Escape from chaos monkey” andthird placein “Sous la robe des LegalTech”.

– Would you recommend participating in this project?

If you like coding and are adventurous, you’re going to love this project!
The challenges were mostly done by the ones who were really good in computer science. Actually, everyone in my team had had classes of computer science before. Nonetheless, I would still recommend to try it out, even if you’re not very comfortable with coding.
You have to keep in mind that, even if you’re not coding, you still have other tasks to do such as choosing the website design, researching about the subjects so the websites can be created and full of information, and so on.
Oh… And don’t forget to cheer your friends up because when someone’s tired, they will need motivational words :).

– How did you manage to stay awake all night?

To stay awake, you need energy and energy comes from food!
We were given pizza, apple pie, apricot pie, and many sweets. Also, keep in mind that we had loads of Redbull cans which turned out to be very useful, along with other snacks that we brought ourselves.
To tell you the truth, it was really difficult to pull an all-nighter because I had classes afterward and I was feeling extremely tired.

– How did you like this experience?

This experience was outstanding! It was so much fun to do this with friends and to spend the night at Polytech.
Our coach, Mathis, was so funny and friendly. He was a big support system that really helped us to get through the night.
A few times during the night, I felt kind of useless but I would always find the
motivation to keep going and find new things to do and be helpful… I would say that it was a great experience overall and I am very proud of my team!

– Are you thinking about doing this next year?

Yes, why not! (laughs)
Hopefully next year, I will have the knowledge to help a bit more when it comes to coding.
I also found it very interesting that the main topic of La Nuit de l’Info, was an
actual topic that affects a lot of students in France and raises a lot of questions.

– Anything else you would like to add?

I would like to thank my teammates and our coach for everything that they’ve done. I hope you enjoyed it as much as me.
I encourage everyone that would be interested in La Nuit de l’Info to sign up next year and let’s get coding!

Did you know…?
During La Nuit de l’Info, several students rode the bicycles with mile trackers that were at Polytech to help the Telethon fundraising!

Interview of Mr Promayon – The head behind the TIS department

Well, to begin with, I had the pleasure to interview one of the veterans of this school and one of the pillars of the Health Technology Information department, Mister Emmanuel Promayon. He’s a computer science teacher in this department and throughout this interview, he will introduce you to the TIS department and its evolution over the years. But first who is M. Emmanuel Promayon you may ask?

By the way, I recommend you finish reading the article, there is a small interesting fact at the end. 😉

1)   Who is M.Promayon?

Promayon is a computer science teacher in the TIS department but besides teaching in Polytech, he’s a researcher in a laboratory near the University Hospital of Grenoble. His research consists mainly of modelling behaviour on the body, also called biomechanical modelling, and developing software tools useful in the development of new products used in the clinical environment. His story with Polytech began in 1999, just a year after finishing his PhD, and he was recruited to work on the project of implementing a new department which became the Health Technology Department that we know today.

2)   The origin of the TIS department…

The person behind the creation of the Health Technology Information was Pierre Baconnier and others were involved in this project such as Catherine Berrut, Pierre-Yves Gumery, Sylvie Charbonnier and Emmanuel Promayon, who all still teach in Polytech. The reason behind its creation was to take into account the development of the health industry, especially with medical instruments and devices, as health science really started to open to IT. Also, at the time, to have the same competences as the TIS graduates, you needed to have a computer science background and have worked with health professionals for many years so that they understand their needs and finding adequate tools to help them. In order to get the project started, they implemented a competency list so that they could track what they need from an engineer coming from this department and opted for a single option, which resulted to adding up two other options nowadays, in the final year before graduating. After all these implementations, they began recruiting in 2000. In the beginning, the industry didn’t have a specific type of need while the new engineers entered the market but things have changed today.

Interviewing Mr Promayon
3)   …till its success nowadays

Promayon was the director of the department 2 years ago, where he had a 5-year time span where he managed the TIS department and developed new ideas that could benefit the department. At the end he just thought that the position needed some fresh air. Today, he is really satisfied with the result and of what his colleagues and him achieved throughout the years. In fact, the department responded clearly to the need of the industry where the new graduates have a clear profile of being intermediates between the technology part and the health professionals. Furthermore, some companies didn’t know this kind of profile was needed which explains the fact that most of the new engineers get a job right after their course. Even though everything has been settled, new challenges are still yet to come…

4)   His vision on the future

While the department is well established, he still thinks that huge challenges are still to come due to the constant evolution of technology and health and companies looking for new specific profiles so they always need to think ahead for what’s coming in the future. In addition to that, they need to have an idea of the tendency of the job market to change some implementations and adapt to the need of the industry with their new criteria. Despite these challenges, he’s very confident about its future, especially how it is well-organised in order to get all the inputs needed in the real world.

5)   His advice for the future upcomers

Studying hard was one of his pieces of advice obviously but most of all to enjoy the student life as much as possible, especially with the diversity that the departments of this school has to offer. In fact, particularly in the TIS department, newcomers have widely different backgrounds so it’s a challenge for both sides, for the students and the teachers, to adapt and to understand despite the difference of levels within the class.

To finish this article, I want to thank M.Promayon for this opportunity and his interesting point of view that I wanted to share in this work and we wish him all the best in his future.


Mr Promayon has a very exquisite knowledge of English mainly because of his Irish wife and his two children, all bilingual, so they tend to speak mainly English. His children even correct him whenever he makes a mistake. LOL!

How to easily make your online privacy more… private?

You maybe wonder: « But… why should I care? »

Privacy is a right (just like freedom, justice, etc.) you haven’t always had, people fought for this in the past and will undoubtly continue to do so. It is something you should value and care for. You should care because information can be dangerous: if you entrust someone with your data, you cannot know that it will never be leaked, intentionnaly or by being hacked. You never know what is goind to happend, this harmless information today could become the material for a blackmail in the future, against you, your company or someone you know. And you do care about privacy, it is not necessarily that you have something to hide: just like when you shut the door when you go to the bathroom, everyone knows what you’re doing, still you would feel uncomfortable if someone happened to open the door.

These are just a couple easy hacks, you can of course dig and do more.

1. Don’t log with your Google of Facebook account on every website, prefer to use an email instead. And if you already did, you should be able to revoke their access by searching in the settings.

2. Be wary about the data you give: when you have the option to not give some of it you should keep it to yourself. Does this random website really need to know your birthday or your phone number?

3. Think about what you share online. Check who can see what you do and generally speaking just post online what you wouldn’t mind being on the front page of the newspaper.

4. Try not to centralize your online activity. For example, do you know that Google represents 90% of all online searches and that Chrome is 60% of the internet browsers installed wordwide? (1) And I bet a lot of you use a Gmail account. If you want to be more careful, you can try switching for example to Firefox, DuckDuckGo and ProtonMail. I invite you to look what would suit you best.

5. Security is important if you want your data to remain private. Try to use long passwords, unique to each account (look for how to create a passphrase), and if you have the option I recommend you to use two-factor authentification. This is particularly important for your most sensitive accounts: for example if your email is hacked, it will be impossible for you to prevent your data to be accessed to by someone else.

Happy surfing!

(1) :

[NDI] J’ai passé ma nuit blanche à Polytech (et c’était génial)

Logo créé par Céline Auzias

L’année dernière, alors que la filière Informatique portait encore le nom de RICM, j’ai eu l’occasion de participer à la 11e édition de la Nuit de l’Info (NDI) qui s’était déroulée dans les locaux de Polytech Grenoble. Si je n’avais pas beaucoup eu l’occasion de coder, faute à ma grande inexpérience dans le domaine du développement web, j’ai pourtant pu apprendre énormément de choses grâce au travail – et à la patience – des autres étudiants présents, ainsi que des représentants des entreprises qui avaient fait le déplacement.

Forte de cette expérience, c’est sans hésiter que j’ai décidé, cette année, de me relancer dans cette aventure. Mon équipe ? Les Panic Button, huit jeunes étudiants de l’école mais aussi du campus, prêts à en découdre toute la nuit. Nous ne nous connaissions pas avant cet événement, mais étions bien décidés à passer outre la timidité passagère pour former un groupe soudé et convivial.

Je vous propose donc de suivre notre parcours, quinze heures et vingt-six minutes de travail intensif, tout au long de la nuit !

    • 15h08 – Nous nous rejoignons dans la cafétéria de l’école où le staff commence à installer le buffet pour la nuit. Les présentations se font joyeusement, nous sommes tous très contents de pouvoir travailler ensemble.
    • 15h46 – Après avoir signé la feuille d’émargement et nous être vus remis un badge et une écocup, nous nous rendons en salle 107, le quartier général pour les seize heures à venir. Je pose avec soulagement mon sac dont la fermeture éclair manque d’exploser, à vouloir contenir mon matériel de survie : mon ordinateur – évidemment -, un pull et une grosse écharpe, du thé, de quoi grignoter, un autre pull et.. ouf, mon chargeur. Il est temps de prendre place, de s’étaler et discuter de notre stratégie pour la soirée.
    • 16h23 – Nous sommes rappelés à l’ordre par le staff, il est temps de nous rendre dans l’amphi de présentation du sujet !
    • 16h39 – Ca y est, le thème de la nuit nous est enfin dévoilé ! Les bouches s’entrouvrent sous le coup de la surprise, mais aussi d’une légère angoisse. L’assistance numérique d’un explorateur en conditions extrêmes. Le sujet, porté par Stéphane Levin, nous semble ambitieux, mais tellement inspirant ! Développer une application de cockpit numérique pouvant accompagner un scientifique dans ses missions les plus dangereuses, voilà quelque chose de motivant !
    • 16h50 – Nous remontons dans notre espace de travail. Un brainstorming s’impose, au vu des nombreuses idées qui se bousculent dans nos esprits. Heureusement, nous avons à notre disposition quatre tableaux blancs. Le profil de notre application se précise avec ses différents modules, les rôles se mettent en place.
    • 18h02 – Nous avons fini de choisir les quatre défis annexes que nous comptons remplir en fonction des points forts et des envies de chacun. Création d’une mascotte, développement d’un chatbot sarcastique, mise en place d’une interface web présentant des canvas ou encore prise en compte des données géo-spatiales, rien ne nous fait peur ! Les représentants des entreprises passent nous voir, nous aident à voir un peu plus clair quant à nos décisions.
    • 18h06 – Une énième crise de toux et quarante-deux mouchoirs usagés plus tard, je me rends compte que j’ai oublié mes médicaments. Eh oui, où serait l’amusement dans une nuit blanche si on n’était pas malade ? Je suis donc contrainte de quitter temporairement mes courageux camarades pour aller chercher de quoi apaiser la fièvre qui gronde sous mon front. J’en profite pour prendre mon pot de miel, c’est toujours excellent dans une tasse de thé !
    • 19h38 – Dans la salle 107, la lumière se coupe brutalement. Nous ne sommes plus éclairés que par les écrans de nos ordinateurs. Heureusement, le staff est réactif, et de charmantes petites lampes nous sont amenées, rendant l’ambiance de travail beaucoup plus cosy.
    • 20h11 – La rumeur commence à se répandre, les pizzas sont arrivées ! D’un commun accord, nous nous descendons à la cafétéria prendre notre pause repas. L’ambiance est bon enfant, et tout le monde est encore en forme. Étudiants, entreprises, personnel encadrant, tous échangent et décompressent, une tasse de café dans la main gauche et une part de pizza dans la droite. Certains s’affrontent sur Fifa, d’autres au ping-pong ou au babyfoot. Rassasiée, je me ressers un grand verre de thé bien chaud et je remonte à mon code.
    • 00h02 – Attendez, il est déjà minuit ? Je jette un coup d’œil au décompte qui tourne sur le site de la NDI. Il nous reste un peu plus de huit heures avant le rendu. La moitié de la nuit est déjà passée. Autour de moi, l’ambiance est studieuse : les bugs se font coriaces, mais ils ne tiennent pas devant l’alliance des étudiants et des représentants des entreprises partenaires.
    • 02h00 – Un de me camarades de classe vient prendre son tour de surveillance : il fait partie des courageux étudiants qui sont venus aider les organisateurs à encadrer l’événement. En passant me faire coucou, il me fait comprendre que mes cernes commencent à se voir derrière mes lunettes. Qu’importe, pour l’instant, je suis concentrée !
    • 03h49 – Combien de litres de thé et de café avons-nous consommé ? Combien de papillotes, de tartes aux abricots et de bonbons engloutis ? Nous avons arrêté de compter. La fatigue commence doucement à se faire sentir. Les têtes ne dodelinent pas encore, mais les raccourcis clavier se font plus hésitants.
    • 5h31 – L’angoisse commence à monter. Les modules se finalisent, mais restent en proie à des bugs qui nous paraissent insolvables… Jusqu’à ce qu’on prenne un peu de recul, et un peu de caféine. Nous naviguons entre les différents postes de travail qui se sont montés au cours de la nuit, cherchant à poser un regard neuf – quoiqu’un peu engourdi – sur le code des uns et des autres. On ne lâche rien !

      Mascotte réalisée dans le cadre de la NDI 2018 par Amine Farhat
    • 7h27 – Ok, tout va bien, il ne nous reste même pas une heure, mais tout va bien. Bon, peut-être que tout n’est pas rose, mais nous avons encore de l’énergie à revendre ! Tout le monde est concentré pour cette dernière ligne droite !
    • 8h05 – Ca y est, cette nuit de folie est terminée ! L’application est rendue, les défis sont envoyés et une grande lassitude nous envahit. Enfin, nous pouvons nous accorder un peu de répit… Enfin, pour ceux qui n’ont pas cours ! Un pain au chocolat et hop ! On file en salle de TD !

Cette nuit a été incroyable ! Avec un peu de recul, je me rends compte des connaissances que j’ai pu accumuler, encore une fois grâce à l’aide et à la patience de tous ceux qui s’étaient réunis à Polytech durant cet événement. Et comme on dit… Jamais deux sans trois ! Alors, à l’année prochaine !

PS : Je tiens tout spécialement à remercier Aurélien, Rémi, Kadir, Thomas, Amine, Mohamed et Nacer qui ont fourni un travail exceptionnel et sans qui je n’aurais jamais pu passer une aussi bonne soirée ! Félicitations pour ce que vous avez pu accomplir, et merci encore !

[SAVE THE DATE] La Nuit de l’Info, du jeudi 6 au vendredi 7 décembre 2018

Cette année encore, Polytech Grenoble se prépare à accueillir les étudiants de tout le campus pour la 12e édition de la Nuit de l’Info (NDI pour les intimes), qui se déroulera du jeudi 6 au vendredi 7 décembre.

Il s’agit d’un hackathon national réunissant, sur plusieurs sites en France et dans plusieurs groupes de travail, des étudiants de tous horizons. L’objectif pour les équipes participantes est de développer un site web répondant au thème de la NDI, révélé évidemment le jour même de l’événement. Habituellement, le sujet est axé sur la prévention et le social (par exemple, l’année dernière, il s’agissait de prévention routière auprès des jeunes).

D’autre part, de nombreux défis sont lancés aux équipes par des entreprises partenaires de l’événement, pouvant ainsi pimenter les contraintes de développement, ou demander des compétences ne relevant pas des capacités purement techniques. Eh oui ! Les profils de développeurs ne sont pas les seuls recherchés : webdesigners, pros de la communication ou simples curieux, vous êtes les bienvenus !

L’événement débutera à 16h39 le jeudi (même s’il est plutôt conseillé d’arriver vers 15h, de sorte que tous puissent s’installer tranquillement) et se terminera à 8h05 le lendemain matin. Une longue nuit de travail au sein de l’établissement donc ! Le staff et les représentants de dizaines d’entreprises partenaires seront présents pour accompagner les équipes, les conseiller sur leurs travaux ou tout simplement échanger avec les participants autour d’une pizza ou d’un café à l’espace restauration qui sera dressé toute la nuit dans la cafétéria de l’école.

Pour ceux qui n’ont pas encore d’équipe et qui souhaiteraient tout de même participer, vous êtes invités à remplir ce formulaire et à venir à Polytech le jeudi 29 novembre dès 14h pour une install party : les équipes seront finalisées ce jour-là avec l’aide du staff, et les discussions techniques permettront à chacun de s’organiser pour le jour J.

Il s’agit d’un événement formateur et ludique, se déroulant dans une ambiance studieuse et bon enfant, alors n’hésitez pas à vous inscrire !