Changing Perspectives in Changing Times

Changing Perspectives in Changing Times

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Changing Perspectives in Changing Times

Changing Perspectives in Changing Times

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2020 has been a year of enormous transformations. It is also the year Citihub Consulting became Citihub Digital, a reflection of the way we work with our clients to respond to today’s challenges and take advantage of tomorrow’s opportunities.

We chat with Associate Partner Paul Jones about his experiences growing with the firm.

How did your Citihub journey start?

I was 34 when I joined Citihub in 2013 as a Senior Consultant. I had had lunch with a friend (who still works for Citihub now) and casually mentioned how I was getting bored with the status quo at that time. Before I realised what was happening, he had set me up for an interview, and I made the switch. I made Associate Partner the following year.

What was your first assignment?

After two weeks since starting at Citihub, a colleague asked, “You know Python, right?” I said, “yes!” without knowing what the work was going to be. I thought it would be a simple assignment as I knew how to write code. However, with very little knowledge about the client’s business domain – their exchange connectivity infrastructure – we had to have lots of whiteboard sessions until I got everything squared away.

I was there for two years and it ended up being a success.

What assignment did you enjoy the most?

I have enjoyed almost everything I’ve worked on, but if I had to pick a favourite, it would be the MiFID II engagement where I spent nearly three years. I perversely quite liked filling my head with details from the regulatory spec (something I never thought I’d say) and figuring out how we were going to turn it into architecture and code. It was my first Big Data gig. I learnt a lot about Spark and Hadoop. It was also the best international team I’ve been a part of as I got on really well with colleagues out in Mumbai and Pune.

What memorable moments have you experienced, inside and outside Citihub, during the last 7 years?

I could choose my first Citihub conference, out in Whistler, but should probably choose the birth of my second and third kids, just in case they read this.

Professionally, passing Google Cloud Professional Cloud Architect last year sticks in my mind.  I studied pretty hard, but hadn’t been using the platform that long, and the exam required some serious concentration.

Another memorable moment was when Google handed out some fun medals at Cloud Next, and for the next 6 months, my 4-year old reminded me to “get another medal, daddy!” every time I left for the morning commute.

In your observation, in what ways have Citihub grown over the years?

Citihub has evolved as the market has changed. When I joined, we were at the tail of a boom in low latency market data and its supporting infrastructure. As the industry changed its priorities, we have moved deeper into public cloud, DevOps and applications, which are the topics closest to my heart. I’ve enjoyed seeing my colleagues with expertise in other areas start to see the world from a software engineer’s point of view.

What lesson can you draw from the changes you’ve experienced personally and professionally?

There’s a section of a book I once read which comes to mind. In it, the author notes that you shouldn’t be afraid to look back at old projects in fear of them not being up to your modern standards. In fact, you should fear the opposite: if work you did years ago does not seem like it could be improved, you’ve not learnt enough in the intervening years.

I think that over the past 7 years, I’ve learnt an awful lot. Perhaps, just as importantly, I now have a clear picture of what I enjoy, and I’ve been lucky to be able to spend a lot of time doing it.

What advice would you give to those looking to stay relevant in the ever-changing digital world?

  1. Ask for and give help readily.
  2. You can’t and don’t know everything, and it’s fine to admit it.
  3. Learn to code!

What’s life like at Citihub?

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