All Change Again Part 2 – Goodbye ThoughtWorks, Hello Finetix

As I mentioned in part 1 on my ‘life’ blog, today I’m moving from London to New York City.

For a number of reasons, I’ve decided to combine this move with a change of employer, and from Monday I’ll be working for Finetix.

Before I talk about the ‘new guys’, just a few words about ThoughtWorks. I worked for TW for nearly 4 years, and it was a brilliant experience and outstanding learning opportunity. I was able to work with some amazing people, who were not just amazing because they are some of the best technologists to work in the same part of the IT industry as myself, but also because they are great individuals. Over the 4 years I made a number of friends in ThoughtWorks, many of whom I will be making a real effort to keep in touch with, not simply because of a ‘networking opportunity’ but because my life is better having them as part of it.

ThoughtWorks continues to grow – I was the 11th hire in the UK office which is now more than 150 strong, with more than 700 people globally – and as it does so experiences the challenges of a growing organisation. I truely hope it can reconcile these challenges with the vision and energy that its people encompass, for the benefit not just of those people, but also for the clients it works with.

Right, enough gushing about TW – on to the future!

Finetix are like ThoughtWorks in that they are primarily a software development consultancy, but Finetix are a much more concentrated firm than ThoughtWorks. Their Manhattan office is their primary one, and has less than 100 people. This is the first thing that interests me – as I said in part 1 of this blog entry, I’m a bit of a ‘people person’, and I like to know to some level most of people that work in the same organisation as me.

Secondly, Finetix concentrate their client space – they work pretty much solely for ‘Capital Markets’ firms – investment banks, hedge funds, etc. ThoughtWorks gave me the opportunity for a broad experience, but part of what Finetix offers me is the ability to hone my skills into a particular ‘vertical’ and so become (at least for a while in my career) a ‘master of one trade’ rather than a jack of all.

This concentration of work not only allows Finetix consultants to build up a good background ‘domain knowledge’ of the finance industry, but also allows them to specialise their technology skills into a particular problem space. The problems that Finetix consultants face are tricky ones too – the success or otherwise of an investment bank partly depends on their technology, and their systems often include the very latest hardware and software techniques to allow them to beat their competitors sometimes in the region of milliseconds. I’m very much looking forward to improving my knowledge and experience in this area.

Finetix put ‘agile’ development forward as their preferred methodology. I’ve been practicing eXtreme Programming (XP) oriented agile development for all my time at ThoughtWorks, and I look forward to any opportunities that arise within Finetix and their clients to use some of this experience.

Finally, 2 of the 3 guys that run Finetix are ex-pats so I’m hoping that when England win the football (OK, soccer for you americans! 😉 ) world cup this summer I’ll be watching them do so with a few colleagues. 🙂

Joining a new company is always something of a gamble, especially when you leave a company with happy memories. I’m excited to take the opportunity of being part of Finetix, with the hope of gaining new knowledge, experience and friends.

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