I work in a bank: The Rebound Job

A rehab story

So, since two weeks now I have taken on a new job: I work in a bank. This sounds very weird because I am not at all a bank type person. I’ve always worked in media style companies and I am attracted to creative fields with start-up mentality. But since my last experience in this very type of environment went ballistic (see The Mega Shit Day) I got a little fed up and quite disgusted of this start-up mentality that is not at all as evolved as everyone thinks — I’m still working on my report to detail that. So when I came across an opportunity to work in this bank, the job sounded interesting, technically, and my idea of the world of finance is that it is very organized and serious. So I thought, I need to change settings, I want to work in an organized workplace where people are serious and take me seriously. So why the hell not? Let’s do this. I was not very confident at first of my choice because I kept wondering why I was doing this so much it is unlike me, but all in all, I think it’s good. I really needed to change my environment, and I got it. What has not changed though is the technical job, and I am really happy about it.

After The Mega Shit Day I got a little cold with programming, for almost two months I stopped programming because the intensity of this horrible situation I lived disgusted me of programming and my job, it was totally psychological. I almost quit and stopped working because of this event. But then I thought I could not do that, it is crazy, and I think the way I found to “cure” myself without even knowing it, was to change and go to this bank. Something about the people I met, and the job told me I would learn something from it and it would be good for me.

So right now I architect the front-end of a new tool the bank needs to monitor millions of trades made on international financial markets, I think it’s cool. I’m totally free to invent my architecture, and they absolutely trust me, I love doing that. And what’s great is that I rebounded with programming and technology, phewww. When psychologically you are disgusted of something, it’s possible that you never recover from it. But it’s cool, my love for technology is still there, I can still program and most importantly I could dissociate programming from what happened in The Mega Shit Day.

What is cooler also is to discover that tech people love what they do across fields. The field has changed for me, but the technical stack is better than where I was, they are very modern, and very evolved. You get the idea, somewhere, that “interesting” jobs are only in start-ups or big tech companies because of this silly hype tech culture, but tech is tech and it’s everywhere. I work with a guy, who loves UI like me, in the bank !! The bank is the last place I would go to to do UI work, yet you find people there that are as much in love with technology than all the techies hipsters out there, they just apply technology to something actually useful. UI is actually a big deal in banking systems, I discover that now. There is so much data, that you need powerful interfaces to make it meaningful.

Also I’m glad because it’s the first time I meet an engineer who insists than the software design should be very well thought from the start. OMG. So just to back up a bit on my experience, until now I’ve only worked in places where you should deliver deliver deliver in agile mode and do as quick as possible. There was never any emphasis on the fact that it should be well done. I love programming but for me it’s not the real thing. I think the real thing is to build a solid architecture that is robust and well thought so that it is not hell to understand and to maintain afterwards, this is what I like contributing to. And until now, I’ve only worked with people who think programming is the real thing. So when I work with that engineer and we can discuss how such software design is better than another one, it is so much more interesting than any “quick delivery” I could do at a hype start-up. Also for me, it gives me space to evolve as an engineer and get feedback on my architecture from someone who has more serious experience. It’s pretty cool.

So, the bank has no idea I’m using it as a personal hospital, for them I am just – as they called me – “Madam Javascript” which is the coolest nickname ever really. And I get to try another self, and reinvent myself a little bit, I mean, finally, I can dress up like an adult and grown up woman, niiiiiiiice. So I am slowly recovering, technology is still my thing and across fields I will always love it I think ♥.

Posted in Life, Stories

  • Jon B

    Another great post. It’s so easy to think that banks and so on are terribly dull, but it’s interesting to see how the front end UI of the major banking websites have become so much slicker and more user friendly.

    Hope you continue to enjoy your new environment – I guess it’s not so new since I am rather late to your blog!