Why did you choose a career in Capital Markets Consulting with FD?
From a young age I’ve always had a strong interest in computing and IT and believed that as a career choice, there’d always be a demand for IT skills for years to come. After graduating in Computer Science from Queen’s University Belfast in 2004, I worked in Belfast in a housing association creating and maintaining their intranet and internet sites. Although I enjoyed this role, there wasn’t much scope for career progression so after a year I was on the lookout for a new challenge. First Derivatives were hiring at the time and the available roles were just what I was looking for – financed based IT consulting.
I have been employed by First Derivatives since 2005 and have had multiple roles during that time, generally in the management of the IT support teams within capital markets. My time is split between FD’s near-shore offices in Newry Northern Ireland and on-site with the client in London. FD are able to provide cost cutting options to the client by basing a portion or the full support team near-shore.
The excellent training provided by FD and the experience I have gained with various clients have given me the opportunity to progress from a member of application support into a senior management positon in a highly competitive market encountering new and rewarding challenges on a regular basis. The world of finance is constantly evolving along with the technologies used so it is an exciting sector to be part of.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Managing a production IT support team can be demanding, but when you see the benefit our level of service provides to the client, especially when the application in question is one of the most critical to the client, it can be very rewarding. There is also a lot of satisfaction to be gained from identifying a serious impacting issue or user reported problem and progressing that the whole way through the lifecycle until it is ultimately released to production. This makes the underlying application a better and more robust platform which is hugely beneficial for both the client and our application support team.
Interacting with the global user base and local development, testing and business analyst teams on a daily basis can also be very enjoyable during and outside of work. I have made a lot of close friends through my time with FD and continue to meet new and interesting colleagues both at home and abroad.
What does your current working day look like?
The day begins by reviewing the previous night’s production batch and addressing any failures or reported issues. We also hold a daily handover call with our FD colleagues in Sydney. When a support team are based across five different global locations, communication is key. All support team members interact either via internal messaging software, email or telephone. This prevents any chance of duplication of work. Conference calls are also a great means of coordinating a global team during a serious incident or outage.
Some of my main daily responsibilities include reporting to management, attending numerous meetings on forward release planning, incident management and performance and growth. I also need to ensure all service level agreements with the client are met on a daily basis across the application support team, for example the time taken to respond to and resolve issues.