Florent has been a Software Engineer at Margo UK since January 2019. He is based in London, where he works with BNP Paribas CIB in a Front Office Support role. Read about his experience at Margo.
How did you first come into contact with Margo?
“After I completed my master’s sandwich degree in France, I was contacted by Matthieu Barral, the CEO of Margo UK, and we got on very well during the recruitment process. I had never worked in the market finance sector and I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the training I received before my first customer interviews. For example, Matthieu took the time to write finance fact sheets for me and coach me. I gained confidence because I knew what to expect, and it was easy to fit in with the BNP team that I’m part of today.”
Tell us about your project at BNP. What are your daily responsibilities?
“I have a Front Office Support position. As part of my job, I mainly offer support for two types of applications—booking and positioning apps. They are used every day by close to a hundred traders for help with decision-making and risk management.
My day-to-day role is to ensure that the apps used in the electronic trade sector on the Foreign Exchange work properly. As such, I am responsible for resolving any incidents that may occur on these apps and distort the information required by traders to make their deals. To this end, we use monitoring systems that help detect problems in real time. The traders who use our apps also assist us by sending alerts.
Another of my responsibilities is to launch the production of new features created by the development teams, either to add new functionalities requested by us or the business or to correct any ongoing issues. Production can be launched throughout the day if the applications allow it, or after the financial markets close.
Good communication between teams is important because we act as intermediaries for the business, development and infrastructure teams.”
What do you find most exciting about the project?
“I really enjoy the ‘investigative’ side of my job. Anytime a bug is reported, the root of the problem must be identified quickly. And each problem is different—you encounter something new every day! An in-depth knowledge of app architecture is essential because it provides a good overview of the entire information system from the point of view of electronic trading. It’s a great asset to improve with time. I also find it extremely rewarding to help others. People are quick to express their gratitude and it’s a pleasure to work in such an environment.”
Tell us about this working environment. How do you interact with the other teams at BNP Paribas CIB?
“We work with people around the world. Specifically, we work together with the teams in Singapore, Mumbai and New York as part of the ‘follow the sun’ approach in order to track all the various stock markets. Every morning at 7.30am, the Singapore team briefs us on the incidents that must be processed. And every evening at 4.30pm, it’s our turn to do the same for the New York team.
I’m also in permanent contact with the traders. We speak to each other a lot—that’s how you learn the most, and the better you know their business and understand their needs, the better you can help with their everyday problems! Proactiveness is highly valued in this field.”
What skills have you developed thanks to this project?
“I learnt a lot about the overall architecture of various apps and the way they communicate between each other within the same information system.
I was a Java developer before, and I think that it’s useful for a developer to really understand how the Support team works. Today, I realise how important it is to prioritise simple developments and to leave visible traces in order to write software in the way that is the cleanest and easiest to maintain.
As for soft skills, I’ve improved my sense of organisation and communication. In this job, it’s crucial to know where to find information, which requires seeking input from various stakeholders in various teams.”
As for Margo, what are you involved in apart from your customer project?
“At Margo, I take part in the recruitment process by conducting technical interviews with candidates. I also coach new Margo consultants who want to join the BNP team in the same role as me by offering advice or insight into what I do every day. I was very well-prepared for customer interviews when I arrived, so I think it’s only fair that I return the favour. I really like this ‘transfer of knowledge’ side of the job.”
What do you think makes Margo stand out?
“I’ve already mentioned this, but the high quality of the preparation for client interviews is unquestionable. You really do receive all the support you need. Broadly speaking, the team is small and everyone knows each other. I know that I can reach out to senior managers if I ever have a problem and they’ll make themselves available to help me.
The atmosphere is also very friendly and afterwork parties are organised regularly.”