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Senior Software Developer

First Name: Alastair
Position: Senior Software Developer
Education: PhD in Computer Science, University of Nottingham
Nationality: British 

Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
At Eclipse, I work in the Risk & Pricing technology team.

Outside of work, I am passionate about rock climbing. My favorite place to climb in Hong Kong is Lion Rock which combines spectacular views of Hong Kong with some of the longest and most technical climbing Hong Kong has to offer.

What were you doing before joining Eclipse?
Before joining Eclipse I spent the last 4 years working for Barclays in their Equity Derivatives Technology department. It was a great place to work and taught me a lot about how to write and support business critical software. I have spent most of my career working in investment banking, focusing in particular on technology for market risk management of equity derivatives. Prior to that, I did a PhD at the University of Nottingham looking at grid computing technologies.

In which activities, organizations or hobbies were you involved during your studies?
I have always loved the great outdoors. While studying for a PhD I got actively involved with a climbing and mountaineering group through which I climbed all around the world including trips to New Zealand’s spectacular Southern Alps and the awesome Cordillera Blanca in the Peruvian Andes.

Why did you join Eclipse?
I joined Eclipse because I wanted an opportunity to work in a small company where I could be involved in every step of the software development process from choosing the right technology to testing the final product with traders.

Describe your role and tell me about your work everyday.
I work in the Risk & Pricing part of the Trading Systems team. Our team focuses on delivering risk management software to traders such as risk limit monitoring and risk scenario analysis software. I spend a good portion of a typical day writing code. On a good day, I can be writing code within 5 minutes of arriving at the office. Because Eclipse is a small company, developers tend to perform a broad range of tasks. A typical day for me can include sitting with traders to understand and prioritize their requirements, designing, writing and testing the code and helping the support team to diagnose and resolve production incidents.

Describe your journey through Eclipse in terms of roles and responsibilities
I joined Eclipse around 2 years ago. I have spent all that time working in the Risk & Pricing team. When I first arrived, the focus of my work was very much on improving the stability of our software, focusing heavily on increasing automated test coverage. Now, I am happy to say, much more of my time is spent on building out new features and new services.

Why do you like working at Eclipse?
There are many things I like about working at Eclipse. Being a small company, I have much greater control over all aspects of the software development process, starting with requirements analysis, through to prioritization, technology evaluation and selection, design, development and testing and then finally to UAT testing and deployment. I also enjoy working in an environment which is receptive to new ideas and open to change.

What is unique about Eclipse?
The close partnership between traders and developers is one of the key aspects of Eclipse. Being a small company, developers and traders sit very close to each other. Traders here are very approachable and have a real desire to help improve technology.

What would you say to someone considering a career at Eclipse?
If you want to work in an environment that values good software developers and understands the importance (and cost) of building quality software, provides lots of interesting challenges and combines all that with a good work life balance then Eclipse is the place for you.