Innovation back in Financial Services?

•December 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Startups are giving financial services a good kicking from a retention and hiring perspective.  Everyone wants to be in a startup, live the dream, be involved in a cool product, and hopefully be rewarded appropriately.  Wall Street and Technology has had a number of articles this year offering insight into the innovation that financial services is driving to not only re-build the sector, but also I suspect to keep staff engaged.  BNY Mellon and Fidelity are the two recently called out, but a quick google will provide some insight into the money being invested into startups by the top 10 or so banks.  Interesting times both within financial services and outside.

Agile Frustrations

•December 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Not Just Code Monkeys presentation from Martin Fowler offers an interesting journey through his presentation.

Conversation stories – programmers should be part of story development.  BA’s and UX’s shouldn’t be left to define the backlog without engineering conversation.

Domain knowledge for a developer is king.

Engineers need to take responsibility for the code

Mr Fowler really doesn’t like finance.

Stream Processing

•December 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Coupled of interesting presentations on InfoQ:

  • High Throughput Stream Processing with ACID Guarantees
  • Mantis: Netflix’s Event Stream Processing System
  • Real-Time Stream Processing as Game Changer in a Big Data World with Hadoop and Data Warehouse

First video is from CASK which has a number of products that look interesting. Anyone played with the CASK products in a financial application context?  There’s a vague financial use case hereTigon looks possibly interesting from a risk perspective, or depending on how low the latency is, maybe even pricing

Platform and Dog Food

•December 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Old but interesting read:

  • The Secret to Amazons Success Internal APIs
  • 6 Things Jeff Bezos Knew Back in 1997 That Made Amazon a Gorilla
  • Ex-Amazonian urges Google to sample Amazon’s secret sauce
  • Getting SOA Right – Thinking Beyond ‘The Right Angles’
  • Google Engineer Accidently Shares His Internal Memo About Google + Platform


TimeSeries AggregatoR – TSAR

•November 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

InfoQ’s presentation “TSAR: How to Count Tens of Billions of Daily Events in Real Time Using Open Source Technologies” is worth viewing if you have time.  Apart from the beer trending (24:10), I’d be interested in knowing if anyone in capital markets has looked at user TSAR to understand customer trends, order trends, etc.


How Google Works

•November 26, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Recently just finished reading How Google Works.  Like so many book, the start of the book is better than the end in my view.  However, I still think its a great book, providing some good insight into practices used by Google that can be leverage elsewhere:

  • Page 28 offers a view on how how the Google culture works in solving problems – in this particular scenario, the result offending ads.  Culture
  • Page 30.  Culture.  Decision by committee vs autocratic or combative approaches.
  • Page 42. Rule of seven.
  • Page 45. Reorg day – get it done fast
  • Page 48. Exile knave but fight for divas
  • Page 64. Don’t be evil.
  • Page 97.  Hierarchical hiring doesn’t work.
  • Page 115.  Some good commentary around interviewing
  • Page 123.  The hiring pack – all to often I have seen committee’s make hiring decisions on lack of data
  • Page 125. Reward outstanding people
  • Page 127. Trade the M&M’s, keep the raisins
  • Page 132.  Google’s Hiring Dos and Don’ts
  • Page 139.  Know your elevator pitch
  • Page 156. Do something, even if its wrong
  • Page 163. Running meetings well – some good rules.  Unfortunate, many forget about meeting etiquette  :(
  • Page 170. Get a coach, not a power point training deck!
  • Page 179. Snippets – weekly status reports
  • Page 189. Email wisdom: respond quickly. clean inbox, Crisp delivery
  • Page 192. 1:1s – performance on job requirements, relationship to peer groups, management/leadership, innovation

Drive – Do you have it?

•November 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Can’t remember who recommended this book, but it was worth the read. Of note:

  • Page 32, “As organizations flatten, companies need people who are self-motivated”
  • Chapter 2, “Seven Reasons Carrots and Sticks (Often) Don’t Work…”
  • Page 51, “People will choose the quickest route” to the destination for an extrinsic reward
  • Page 57, “Companies pay a steep price for not extending their gaze beyond the next quarter”
  • Page 86, Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE)
  • Page 138, “The MBA Oath”
  • Page 162, “Try 20% Time With Training Wheels”
  • Page 169, “Turn Your Next Off-Site into a FedEx Day”
  • Page 173, “If you use performance metrics, make then wide-ranging, relevant, and hard to game”
  • Page 203,  “Carrot & sticks are last century.  Drive says for 21st century work, we need to upgrade to autonomy, mastery and purpose”

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