Why did you choose a career with FD?
After graduating with an honours degree in Internet & Communications engineering, I took up a software development position in a successful banking environment, gaining much knowledge and experience in designing digital packages for use in financial markets. After three enjoyable and insightful years with this company, I was ready for a new challenge and successfully applied for a financial engineer position at First Derivatives. From the moment I joined the company I knew it was the correct career move for me. The working environment is both challenging and rewarding. There are so many specialised areas where my experience knowledge and skills can be effectively deployed and developed. Shortly after commencing employment, the company decided to initiate a Calypso consultancy practice. The practice contained many talented, knowledgeable and diligent individuals and I knew that working alongside them every day would provide me with the perfect opportunity to learn and develop professionally in a relatively new and exciting field for the company.
Since joining the practice it has grown from 10 to almost 100 people in the space of a few years. We have people operating hugely successful projects all around the world and the department has seen year on year growth. With a number of new initiatives pending and constant recruitment, it is both an exciting and professionally fulfilling time to be part of this very successful department.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I very much relish working in a challenging environment, ensuring that deadlines are adhered to, where providing quality, reliable and effective software is the key to building and maintaining customer satisfaction in a constantly changing and increasingly competitive market. I enjoy the opportunities to interact directly with clients, to advise and recommend products to them, knowing that I have had a major part in their design and creation. Leading successful project design and development from idea to reality, combined with providing exceptional value to the sponsoring client provides me with much job satisfaction and affords me with many opportunities to apply logical thought and find creative solutions.
What does your current working day look like?
A current working day is hard to describe as it varies so much every day, and one has always to be resourceful and be prepared for the unexpected. Typically, it starts by reviewing the schedule for the day, including the timetable for team and client meetings as well as reviewing the schedule for planned software releases. Most of my current project work is with clients in the United States so the mornings present the ideal opportunity to focus on need to catch up individual tasks and responsibilities before planning and attending a variety of meetings in the afternoon. I also read emails that have come through during the night to ensure we’re up to date with the latest client requirements.
At First Derivatives, we are forward looking in our approach and practice and there will be a number of planned projects that will demand my attention. It may require setting up calls with potential clients or demonstrating our range of products and capabilities that set us apart from our competitors. In order to ensure we remain at the forefront of the market, we place a strong emphasis on training and staff development. This is a key fundamental for First Derivatives and everyone is part of the mentor/mentee programme. Part of my working day involves mentoring junior staff to help them develop and grow their potential into highly talented and capable individuals capable of contributing effectively to a first class company