I work in QDAT (Quant, Data, Analytics and Technology) Systematic Market team, where we provide analytical insights, automate operational processes, develop reusable modules for traders, sales, and global capital market teams. Our team’s purpose is to power and transform Institutional Banking & Markets (IB&M) through strategic deployment of data, insights, mathematics and technology.
As an Associate Director Quant Engineer in Global Capital Market, the principle ‘life is short and I use Python’ lives in me. We also use a complete suite of engineering tools including GitHub, CI/CD, cloud deployment, auto job scheduler, and BPMN workflow to enrich the development potentials. Applying engineering design like object oriented models, I get to build reusable and extendable modules in pricing, embedded with key mathematical principles. Apart from those modules, I also develop interactive applications to streamline operational processes with enhanced transparency and measurability.
I usually start my workday around 9 am. A couple of days a week we have a team stand-up first thing in the morning. This is always my favourite part of the week as it’s a time to collaborate with my team and hear what everyone is working on. It also helps us to stay connected when we’re working from home. The people I work with are very important to me - my colleagues are not just smart and knowledgeable, they are also friendly and open minded. Whilst my work can be challenging, my team always make coming to work enjoyable. The people in my team have a pretty unique skillset - we look for people who can code and also have experience in object-oriented and mathematical modelling. Knowledge of financial markets is also a bonus but if someone is enthusiastic about this space and willing to learn they could also thrive here!
At the start of each week I provide email updates to key stakeholders in Global Capital Markets regarding the tracking status of multiple projects I’m working on and discuss what we have coming up. Currently I’m working on a project which involves automating an existing workflow in the global markets team - the workflow relates to pricing updates of a new issuance of corporate bonds.
When we work in the office I normally spend my lunch time with team members in the kitchen or garden downstairs. Whenever there’s special occasions like new team members, farewells or anniversaries, we go out for team lunch or sometimes we do team activities like bowling or escape rooms.
Whilst working from home I tend to have my lunch a bit later at around 1pm. I do enjoy having more time to make a tasty lunch and having access to my own kitchen - although I definitely get more tempted to go in for extra dessert!
Afternoons tends to be when I have most of my meetings. Many of my meetings are spent giving demos to my stakeholders in Global Capital Markets – at each project milestone I like to make sure we’re all on the same page and if not we can realign quickly. I also usually have more one-on-one chats with my team members in the afternoon – either to talk about code reviews, or catch up on issues in our projects, or sometimes just a non-work related chats about life.
We have a large codebase in QDAT, which is contributed to by members of various teams. It’s such a useful asset as it helps us learn so much from everyone’s good practice in coding and design thinking. The team culture is similar to the open source spirit you find at tech firms. We have a very good tech set up at CommBank which is one of the things that attracted me to come and work here. For example, we operate in a cloud based and code first environment. Thanks to this set up, we’re able to deliver high quality apps and deploy robust code using good engineering practices.
I never stop developing my technical skills and may dedicate some time in the afternoon to learning. We have 20 hours continuous learning built into our KPIs for the year - however the culture of collaboration means we’re encouraged to learn from peers, stakeholders and anyone who excels in what they do.
Towards end of the day I usually check my inbox and respond to emails. During the evening my partner and I enjoy watching shows like Grand Designs, Restoration Australia and Four Corners. One day we hope to build our own dream home but for now we’re focusing on finishing our reno before we get married next year!