Principal solutions architect - Payments, Banking and Fintech
There are masses of people who do not have access to tech and we need to ensure they can take advantage of the benefits that digitisation brings.
What do you do?
I work with clients to understand their vision for their customers and staff. I run workshops to truly understand the proposition and drill down to ensure we understand how the technology and business operations will work for the customer and staff. I look to bring the best of breed technology to the client solution to ensure it delivers.
Why did you choose this field?
I joined Barclays at 16 years old as a Bank Clerk - as I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I was told to earn my keep. I completed my banking exams at night school. I found a use for my Computer Studies GCSE which allowed me to apply for a Systems Administrator role. I identified a need in that Barclays had to keep control of their branch premises budgets and I developed spreadsheets to monitor heat, light and power costs etc within my local area. They were quickly adopted region wide. At the time, Barclays trained their programmers in House and at 22 I applied to be a COBOL programmer. I worked as a programmer for a couple of years but I found I wanted to be in the room for the business and technology decisions and quickly moved into Design and Architecture. I found that my business knowledge combined with my tech skills allowed me to talk at all levels across both communities.
What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?
Leaving school at 16 and working as a branch cashier at Barclays in Blackpool, there was a documented process for everything, no room for free thought, I was so bored and constantly being told things couldn’t be improved and to just do my job.
Why do you love working in STEM?
I love turning a one sentence business vision into a fully developed solution design that is then delivered.
I am also passionate about digital inclusion. How do people who can’t get on the internet find the best price for utilities? I want our solutions to be accessible to all, there are masses of people in the UK who do not have access to tech and we need to ensure they can take advantage of the benefits that digitisation brings.
Best advice for next generation?
For each aspect of design, business or technical, keep the who, what, when, where, why and how in mind to ensure it will be optimised to work for all.
Inspo quote / fun fact / role model
My favorite website is Twitter. I have a number of accounts, one set up for following accounts in my local area - Lancashire and Manchester, technology influencers, thought leaders, Fintech’s, charities, trade groups and councils, to see what’s going on and where I can contribute. You don’t have to comment, just learn what’s going on in your community and see where you can help.