My Working Day: Satyaki Basu on the “immense pleasure” of solving problems
Satyaki Basu, a Barclays Data Architect based in Pune, India, shares how his working life has changed since COVID-19, the challenges that keep him motivated – and why he might have been a teacher in another life.
My alarm usually goes off… at 6:30-ish because I need to go for my run – I’m a marathon runner. During these coronavirus times I can’t go out, but I still wake up at 6:30 to do a bit of exercise.
My morning routine includes… tea, yoga and exercise. I surf some technical materials after reading the newspaper, then I freshen up and start work at around 9:30.
My job as a Data Architect involves… data governance for the UK. I’m also involved in looking into other initiatives within the bank, like data classification and data flows to ensure that nothing’s going wrong with these projects. There’s a lot of interaction with other stakeholders, people in the UK or India – a lot of meetings!
I first joined Barclays… in 2008, before moving on to work for a global financial company, where I was a Platform Architect leading a team of designers. I returned to Barclays in 2018 to work in the data architecture team.
I was drawn to Barclays because of its values – and because I felt the bank had highly competent people. I feel engaged because the colleagues around me are really knowledgeable, they are experts in their areas.
I feel engaged because the colleagues around me are really knowledgeable, they are experts in their areas.
Data Architect at Barclays
My working life has changed since COVID-19… as I’m confined to my home for almost 24 hours a day. I look at my laptop, do my work, take calls – and that’s it! Face-to-face interaction is always better. You miss the office environment, talking to friends, meeting new people from other teams. Things have changed, but that’s how life is right now.
A typical day at work… starts with reading each and every email. I write everything down: this is the work I need to do, these are the outstanding things, these are the people I need to contact. The next step is to start actioning those: this is the problem, this is the solution, this is the information that is required. Because of the time difference between the UK and India, most of my afternoons are filled with meetings. Beyond that, I do bits and pieces of coding work.
What I love most about my job… is the challenge. If I have designed something that then goes into production, that gives me immense pleasure. Or if I get stuck into a problem that’s not getting solved, and then all of a sudden I find that solution – I feel elated. New technologies also keep me intrigued and excited to learn. The scenario is really changing in terms of the technology footprint: today there’s one technology, tomorrow something else comes up.
A project I recently enjoyed… arose from an issue in data flows. I was asked to get involved as a coder, and I was engaged in the entire design to solve that particular problem. That was really interesting. The stats of the processing I have done are simply mind-boggling – I have scanned around 20bn assets in the bank to generate the data we are working on.
I get stuck into a problem that’s not getting solved, and then all of a sudden I find that solution – I feel elated.
Data Architect at Barclays
If I wasn’t working at Barclays… maybe I’d be teaching. In fact, I am one of the bank’s Python programming language trainers, part of an initiative by the bank to train people in coding. We conducted the programme for 1,200-odd people on a videoconferencing app for seven weeks, and I trained around 1,000 people for the Asia Pacific region.
To find people during this time who wanted to learn something new, and the fact that I could contribute to young people’s careers – these individual achievements gave me a lot of pleasure. I loved teaching the course and got very good feedback.
After work… I do a bit more exercise before dinner – one set in the morning, one set in the evening. I’m kind of a fitness freak. Then of course I watch movies and series. If I start one I have to complete it. At the moment I’m into a Danish show about a woman who has become prime minister – I just can’t pronounce the name.