I’m generally up at 6.00 am for a morning gym session (membership subsidised by IMC!) before my baby daughter wakes up around 7.00 am. I then look after her till about 8.30 am where I’ll either login and do a VC or chat with developers in Chicago (aren’t timezones fun!), or head into the office.
I’ll usually be in around 9.00 am, first up on the agenda is always a strong cup of coffee and breakfast, and I then do a walk of the trading floor and catch up with traders before the markets open. Talking with trading is a really critical part of my job; being aware of what is going on in the markets and what problems they encounter helps me prioritise work for them, and gives me insights which might inspire new solutions.
By now I’ll have looked through chat logs from the previous night in case anything interesting happened in Europe or America and caught up with any emails. Our development team works on a globally shared system and we tend to “move fast and break things (safely)” so being in tune with everything that is happening in the other offices means I can hopefully catch things before they might affect the traders I deal with locally.
After this, I’ll catch up with the rest of my team, make sure tasks are progressing smoothly and assist in any way I can. Once or twice a week I’ll have a scheduled one-on-one with one of my reports where we’ll discuss the status of their projects and higher-level career progression topics.
Between now and lunch I actually get to write some code! I’ll slip on my noise-cancelling headphones and try and focus on a problem at hand. Generally, mornings are the busiest for the development team. If things are going to go wrong it will happen early. Our team has “firefighting” responsibilities for our systems, so at least some of us will be busy dealing with one problem or another.
We are generally out for lunch around 12.00 pm, and we head out of the office for a walk. Most often, just across the street to North’s Sandwiches! We head back to the office and eat in the breakout area. Everyone here is really friendly and it’s a good way to meet people across different departments. It’s funny what little bits of information you pick up over lunch!
After lunch, I’ll likely have meetings with trading about a number of topics, discussing new ideas, prioritising work. If I’m free of meetings, I’ll probably be coding away myself. I block out my calendars to ensure I get time when I need it, but being in management tends to fill up the calendar pretty quickly.
Coffee time! Luckily this lines up with the lunch break for the Hong Kong Exchange, so I usually go for a walk with some of the traders I work closest with and grab a coffee. This is a great time to discuss ideas in a more casual setting. After I’ve refueled, I will likely either finishing off my own work or spend the afternoon reviewing code from the rest of my team – these days I’ll spend probably more time reviewing than writing my own code.
My wife and I both work, so one of us at this time has to head home to take care of the baby. We try and alternate schedules so one of us is home earlier and one of us hangs back at work a while longer if needed.
Staff in Amsterdam are just getting into the office to start their morning, and some nights I’ll have a VC with developers or traders in Europe.
Baby is put down to sleep, and I will have dinner and spend the rest of my night relaxing with my wife. No laptops allowed!