Get to Know Jamie

Meet Jamie, Development Manager, Risk Architecture at Quantifi. Our Employee Spotlight series features the talented individuals that make up our dynamic team and takes a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to work for Quantifi.

What motivates you to get out of bed for work?

The opportunity to learn – whether it’s looking at new technology or understanding our clients’ businesses better. I’m motivated to keep learning every day. I’m also passionate about problem-solving. Fortunately, we’re in the business of creating solutions.

How would you describe your day job to a child?

I tell my own kids that I create ‘Apps.’ That’s about the best I can hope for a 4 and 7 year old to understand. I used to give new starters a training session informally called “Credit Derivatives pricing for a smart 10 year old.” I still think most pricing models can be explained in simple terms like a coin toss game. Why these things comprise an entire industry is harder to explain.

What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?

I’m based in Sydney, so my morning usually starts early with a series of phone calls to my colleagues in the US. I then have a daily stand-up call with my team here in Sydney. If anyone raises a question or requests help during the stand-up call, I’ll follow up with one-on-one calls over the course of the day. Sometimes, my day will finish with additional calls to the UK Office.

Part of my focus each day will be on urgent issues, keeping the next delivery on track or kicking off a new project. There will also be planning for the next sprint – who, what, when, etc. Once I get on top of these items, I’ll have time to do some deeper thinking and discussion around the design of a new feature or system and strategize how to move towards our architectural goals. If I’m really on top of things, then I may write some code and maybe prototype a design.

What do you like most about your job?

I like that the quality of our architecture and modernity of our tech stack are recognised as a strategic advantage for us. This means that we are always working to improve our systems and stay ahead of our competition. I like the collaborative environment. If you have a good idea and can advocate convincingly, you get a lot of opportunity to influence what we build.

I like the collaborative environment. If you have a good idea and can advocate convincingly, you get a lot of opportunity to influence what we build.

What advice would you give to recent new entrants?

First of all, no-one expects you to know everything on day one. You should use this period as an opportunity to learn. If you don’t understand something, ask. There are no stupid questions. The best way to learn what will make our solutions better is by speaking to our clients. However, don’t just let them tell you how to solve a problem. Work to understand the need motivating the request and try to think how it can be made more general and re-usable.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

In addition to software architecture, I’m really interested in the architecture and design of the built environment. I’m interested in how we can move towards a more sustainable and humane economic system. However, I don’t think new technologies can solve our fundamental problems. In fact, in many cases, we just need to revisit solutions that have already proved themselves over thousands of years. Check out #GoodUrbanism to get a sense of it. There are also big overlaps between software architecture and good building design. I’m a big fan of the architect Christopher Alexander whose work on pattern languages has had a seminal influence in the software patterns community. Another fantastic architecture book for software engineers is Stewart Brand’s “How Buildings Learn”.

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