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Building a community for developers at the butt of the joke

grahammcbain profile image Graham McBain ・1 min read

I can't tell you how many times I've been at a developer meetup and some form of the "I've been writing code since COBOL" joke is trotted out. Making fun of banking technology is so ubiquitous it's almost cliche. Having now spent some time up close to this space I understand why it's so easy.

The core banking providers represent some of the most ubiquitous and stable code bases on earth. Anything that monolithic is bound to draw criticism. But what it also draws is smart and talented people who want to solve hard problems. After spending time running up against these systems banking engineers often find themselves in possession of extremely valuable knowledge.

Along with that knowledge comes a desire to share it. While building the Moov community we've seen that banking engineers are keen to not reinvent the same solutions to old problems. We're also seeing a strong desire for the type of open collaboration that other developers get, but in financial services.

In growing this community I've seen startup founders get advice from former CTO's of large challenger banks and lead engineers at headline grabbing fintechs share silly meme's. It goes to show that even in the slow moving heavily regulated world of banking, building a great community can be a powerful force multiplier.

Discussion

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Ben Halpern

banking engineers

What's the pathway into this career in general. Is it purely folks who've long been a part of it, or is there an active recruitment pipeline?

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Graham McBain Author

Honestly if you're going to work for one of the five big banking cores the #1 way to work there is to live in the town where they have an HQ. Do an internship out of college and get a junior role.

A lot of them also hire outsourced teams. Not a lot of competing with Big Tech for engineers.

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Ben Halpern

Do folks who get into this space typically stay there and make a specialty of it, or do they move to and from other disciplines?

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Graham McBain Author

As far as I've seen they make a specialty of it. You can make good money bouncing between the five cores and to banks themselves. Each bank has more than one core if you can believe it.

One of the major banks has.. 1000 cores from all the acquisitions and different product iterations.

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Graham McBain Author

If you're in a heavily regulated space I would love to learn how you're engaging people to be part of your community.

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Alex Angel

I'm very curious about this, too! Thanks for posting about this.