They left the tech sector to enter the public sector

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La promotion EIG qui a fait sa rentrée en septembre est composée de développeurs, data scientists, designers et juristes du numérique.

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Posted on Oct 7, 2021, 12:00 PMUpdated Oct 7, 2021, 12:37 PM

In 2021, Alexis Lavie is working as a web developer. He is on a permanent contract, has a well-paying job at AppDynamics, a subsidiary of Cisco, the world's number one computer router. He lives in Krakow (Poland), a city he appreciates. However, he is not completely fulfilled at work. He finds his daily life redundant and does not have the impression of exploiting all his capacities.

One day, he saw a post on LinkedIn about the General Interest Entrepreneurs (EIG) program. Created in 2016 by the State, it allows each year a promotion of a few dozen tech professionals to work on projects for ten months. Objectives: create new services that will be useful for the administration and citizens and improve communities through the use of data.

Alexis Lavie is applying for the fifth promotion, which will start in September 2021. His profile is retained, he resigns from his company during the summer. It is now developing a platform to facilitate the procedures for awarding the Legion of Honor, the National Order of Merit and the Internal Security Medal.

Profiles from 23 to 46 years old

38 people make up its promotion (out of 471 applications received). Average age: 32 years old, with profiles ranging from 23 to 46 years old. They are developers, data scientists, designers and digital lawyers. A good half worked in the private sector, others are recent graduates, have had an entrepreneurial experience or were in research. 34% have converted to digital. “They bring real richness thanks to their previous experience”, details Corine Waroquiers, responsible for the EIG program. And to add: “For the first time, the promotion is made up of 50% women – a figure to be highlighted in a still very masculine tech sector. “

All are working on one of the fifteen projects decided by the State, in duo or in trio, in the sectors of ecological transition, sovereignty, economy, entrepreneurship, education, health and social. Their salary: 3,500 Pounds net if they have up to five years of professional experience in total and 4,000 Pounds net beyond.

What interest for the State to appeal to this kind of profiles? “Have a new look”, explains Amélie de Montchalin, Minister of Transformation and Public Service, who received them at the end of September in her ministry. She expects them to prove “Creativity” and that they “Take risks, dare, question”.

She says she is optimistic because large-scale projects have emerged thanks to past promotions. Example: Signaux Faibles, a tool that aims to detect companies in poor health using artificial intelligence to anticipate bankruptcies. Or Refugees. info, a platform which aims to facilitate the integration process.

Resign from a unicorn

Among the recruits who left the private sector for the public was Sarah Cocher, 26. After her studies, this CentraleSupélec graduate tried to join the National Information Systems Security Agency and the Court of Auditors, without success. “So I turned to the private sector where I had found a technically interesting and well-paid assignment. I knew it was temporary and that eventually I would join the public service because II wanted my work to be of real use. Not that we cannot be useful within a company, but the latter are often in a logic of profitability. Getting a meaningful job in the private sector, in a company with a great vocation, seems quite complicated to me ”, she believes.

When relatives told her about the program in 2021, she said to herself that she had to try her luck. And it worked. In the summer of 2021, she resigned from her job as an image engineer on a permanent contract with Meero, a unicorn that connects photographers and clients.

From now on, she works for the State as a data scientist. She is responsible for developing an algorithm to allow the police to take a picture of a weapon (a pistol seized during a search for example), to upload it to a platform, and to instantly know the model. “I was convinced that my skills could bring added value to this project and that it could potentially facilitate the work of tens of thousands of public officials”, says the young woman.


She and Alexis Lavie are very popular profiles on the job market. “When I was in post, I received two to three messages every week from companies or headhunters who were looking for a developer”, he testifies. However, he does not regret having opted for this ten-month fixed-term contract.

VSthis mission allows me to make a network, explains the one who works in an office at Place Beauvau. I am propelled into the heart of the upper echelons of the administration. If I prove myself, I hope it opens doors for me in the public or private. “ Sarah Cocher has made her choice. She projects herself into the public after her mission. Among the previous promotions, 60% of the workforce remained in the civil service.


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