What can Barclays offer developers


Lakh Patra - What can Barclays offer developers?


What can Barclays offer developers?
As someone who started as a developer and has worked in different companies, I can see why some people would be reluctant to join a big corporate organisation like Barclays. But, as well as there being obvious upsides in terms of sheer level of investment, I think there are plenty of other reasons to join that people perhaps don’t think about.

Working life
Traditionally working in a large organization, in theory, you're a small cog in a big wheel. We don't work like that. You're working with the core first, you're talking to the people who use your code daily, you're talking to the traders, sales and operations users on the frontline who will use your applications on a day to day basis. We don't believe in having a separate person getting the requirements, and then handing it all to the developer. The developer is involved in the full life cycle of the development, including continuous improvement. Making sure it can handle any future demands.

Future proofing is one of the major things every product needs. And when you consider how many people are using our products every day; how many trades we’re doing, it’s a big challenge. Can you build something that can handle doing over 1.5 million trades every day? And can you make sure that it won’t break? Our systems operate six and a half days, on a 24-hour basis. We start trading in Wellington, New Zealand on a Sunday night UK time and we stop trading in New York at 10pm London time on a Friday. And it’s nonstop. It's 24-hour trading. So whatever you build. It needs to be fast, effective and resilient.

Career progression
Historically, if you wanted to progress your career you needed to get into management. That’s what I did. But I know it isn’t for everyone. Which is why we don’t do that anymore.
Of course, if you want to get into management, there’s a track for that. But if you're a good technologist and that’s what you want to do, we'll reward you for that too. There is a tech path, and there is a management path.

And for those who love tech, there’s so much opportunity. We’ve had Java programmers working in some of our products areas, who have moved onto new challenges with different coding languages and technologies, for instance in Big Data – we try and give our technologists varied opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge.

And if you want to travel, we have that option too. I've been lucky. I've had the opportunity to work in Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo, New York. You're not going to get that in most industries. It's a very, very international industry.

The people
I’ve worked at a number of well-known international banks. And I’ve never known a culture like this. People sit around the table; the business, technologists, the operations teams and their motive is to get things done. They lay out the benefits, get people on the board, and when they walk out of the room, they work together to make sure it happens. They put the company first rather than their own motives. That's refreshing.