What are you doing now?
I am Head of Development for Barrie and Hibbert. I am responsible for the software development, testing and project management teams. Barrie and Hibbert is a global Financial Risk Consultancy and our services and software are used worldwide by some of the largest names in the financial services industry.
Globally over $10 trillion of insurance and pension assets and liabilities are managed with the support of our products and services.
Our market-leading stochastic modelling framework allows our clients to model economic and asset scenarios, to help them to improve their understanding of financial market risk. Armed with this knowledge, our clients are able to make appropriate adjustments within their business.
What is your favourite memory from your time studying Computer Science in St Andrews?
The team spirit which was built up amongst the students through long hours in the labs was fantastic. I’m still in touch with several members of my class 10 years after graduation.
I enjoyed learning about the principles of programming as well as the practice. Learning the fundamentals has made picking up different languages and skills far easier and has allowed me to use my skills in many diverse scenarios and, through courses such as PSAC (Professional and Social Aspects of Computing), I learnt how these skills should be used to positively benefit a wider audience.
My favourite memory however must be the Reading Trips to the Burn – they were an opportunity to research topics that weren’t normally on the syllabus and also to practise softer skills such as presenting to groups – something that has proven very useful in my career.
What was your favourite module, and why?
I greatly enjoyed most of my studies, especially those in the honours years. I have two favourites – the classes on Computational Logic and also the class on Data Communications and Networks.
I enjoyed the class on logic as it was totally different to anything else that we had studied and provided a new and rewarding set of challenges.
Data Communications and Networks was a class that taught me a lot at a time when the Internet was just becoming widely used. Learning about how a PC actually ‘talked’ to other machines removed a lot of the ‘black box’ nature of the Internet and topics such as IP v6 and RFC1149 are still topics that are relevant today 10 years after graduation.
“Theory is when you know something, but it doesn’t work
Practice is when something works, but you don’t know why
We combine theory and practice: nothing works and we don’t know why.”
Matt is looking for a software developer to fill a developer position at Barrie & Hibbert. You can find out more on this here.