What was your background before starting at AquaQ?
I joined AquaQ right after I finished my PhD in Pure Mathematics. Until then all my work was done with pen and paper! Having no formal programming experience AquaQ’s training programme gave me the skills to apply my problem-solving abilities to financial IT systems.
How would you describe your role to a non-technical person?
Together with the other developers on my team, I look after our client’s P&L calculation engine. Traders need to see how their P&L currently stands, other more senior users want to see how their firm is performing on a whole. My work involves adding new market feeds, working on the calculations done and supporting the system fixing things when issues arise.
I also work on the historic capture of this P&L data which is used to monitor trader performance. This aggregates based on what particular strategy a trader was implementing. So for example a trader could have lost the firm money, but because they had made good decisions, the damage done was minimal, conversely a trader could have made the firm money but made some incorrect decisions which meant a lot more money could have been made.
Another aspect of my role is to build strong relationships with our clients. This involves flying out to New York several times a year to work on site – of course I always make sure to enjoy the food and do some site seeing when I’m there as well!
What have you learnt since joining AquaQ?
The main thing is KDB+ – a super fast column based relational time series database which is used a lot in the financial sector. I’ve also learnt quite a lot of Bash since most systems would use Linux servers to run applications. As part of my role I have also learnt Python and Scala, AquaQ have even provided courses for me in these languages.
I’ve also learnt about how the markets work, this came from a mix of classroom-based sessions run by senior members of the company and experience working for clients. I’ve also learnt how software is developed in a team, mainly using the agile methodology.