Fincoder is run by the organisers of London Fintech Week, and offers a new conference tailored especially for Fintech developers.
We had four of our CF:Gs join as participants on the day, and also had our very own CF:G CEO Amali de Alwis join as a speaker, to talk about how to recruit a more diverse developer workforce.
You can read a bit more about the conference from some of our CF:Gs below.
A Noob present when Money met Tech - Aseel Mustafa
Coming from an engineering background I can safely say I am a “newbie” in the fin-tech scene or as techies call it a “noob”!
I was quite excited to be in an event that combined the upcoming talent in the fin-tech scene, brilliant entrepreneurs, developers and financiers with a vision. I felt a very interesting combination of emotions I was both inspired and humbled!
I was inspired being around this amount of talent. It made me look forward to learning how to code and joining ranks, so I can start working on the ideas that I have. I was humbled by the amount of talent that I was surrounded with!
I learned so many valuable things but the highlights of my day were knowing that it is a world where even new talent is welcomed as more than one speaker (including Amali) touched on the fact that start-ups and established fin-tech companies are not looking for the best talent but they are willing to invest in talent that promises potential, and the fact that they are trying to diversify the talent within the industry and address the gender imbalance by encouraging female developers to join the scene aligned perfectly with everything Code First: Girls is promoting.
Fincoder Conference - Phoebe Hugh
Fincoder was the first “Fintech” conference that I have attended, so with my strong interest in the area, it was a brilliant opportunity to hear from figureheads within the finance and technology industries.
The highlights of the day were hearing the very impressive statistics put together by Ian Dowson, on the amount of funding raised, by country and by industries, such as banking, insurance, cryptocurrencies, and peer-to-peer. We also heard from Nicolas Cary, the Co-founder at Blockchain, who told their journey, and stressed some of the present challenges facing Bitcoin, such as security. Bitcoin is an area that I would like to explore more as it’s still a fairly foreign concept.
Finally, Bhaskar Dasgupta of HSBC made some noteworthy points around “how not to sell to banks” and gave the perspective of what a COO or CIO wants to hear when a start-up comes in to pitch; drawing on the importance of establishing credibility with them, understanding the problems facing their business, revealing the value that you will add, whilst speaking in their language.
The key takeaway was that API’s are the new economy, and the future of the financial services lies in the ability to take services from trusted suppliers and deliver them via a smartphone to a targeted market.
AVIVAxFINCODER - SONIA J. WIESER
As a newbie to the tech scene – and a complete newbie to the fintech scene for that matter – I was both super excited and a bit scared when I heard that thanks to Aviva and CF:G I got the opportunity to go to the fincoder conference in London. Would I even understand anything? What questions could I ask? And what would I talk to people about?
Thus, I chose a strategy that helps quite often when insecure about things – to listen (and to google whatever you don’t understand). And to my own surprise, I understood. I understood that the volume of funds raised in and through fintech are extremely relevant. I understood that whilst the financial services that can be used on mobile devices are rapidly expanding, this also creates security risks for both the customers as well as the companies that have yet to be tackled. And finally, I understood that fintech can be used to connect people to financial services that are traditionally excluded from this privilege.
This last point was strongly highlighted in the talk that inspired me the most: Nicolas Cary, the Co-Founder of Blockchain talked about the possibilities of connecting people in remote places and underprivileged positons to financial services through bitcoin. This is incredibly promising both for investors, as the market is rather big and not yet penetrated, as well as to development projects that want to increase the ability of people to help themselves. Of course, coming from a critical political background, some tech-unrelated questions popped up in my mind. I contemplated if the digital divide really allows all people to be connected by bitcoin and if the dangers of putting too much power into the hands of one ‘central bank’ really alleviates the risks and disadvantages created by exchange rates. All in all, however, I would say that bitcoin – and related to this, Blockchain – are products that deserve further attention and exploration.
The day at fincoder was incredibly inspiring and I really did learn a lot about many new and exciting things. Thanks again to Aviva and CF:G for giving me this opportunity!
O2 interview with CF:G Programme manager Clarice Hilton - An expert perspective: how to get started in coding
Our programme manager @Clarice_Hilton recently talked to O2 about why individuals in small businesses might want to learn how to code. A few extracted questions below, and you can read in full on the O2 blog here.
Knowing how to code opens up a whole world of possibilities: you can build (or help to build) your company website, customise its design and manage any updates. We caught up with Clarice Hilton, programme manager at Code First: Girls, to get her perspective on the importance of coding for small businesses.
Why is it so important for businesses (both big and small) to equip themselves with coding skills?
In every area of business, technology is being created. Businesses that don’t educate their staff in these areas risk falling behind in their field. Having a basic understanding is important to be able to talk with developers in a meaningful way.
I have a friend who’s not very technical, who created an app and website that give you information about cheap things to do in London. Because he didn’t have much of an understanding of tech, he asked his developer to create something that they weren’t happy with at the end. Basically, he found it difficult to communicate what he wanted and didn’t understand the limitations or time constraints – there was just a mismatch in understanding. Having a basic understanding means briefing someone to do something is far easier.
And how has learning to code changed your attitude to tech?
There’s something about building something that’s so satisfying. I’ve done the courses myself – each one leads up to a competition using the skills you’ve learnt over the course to build a website. In my python course, my team created a website to find the middle meeting point between two addresses and recommends places for you to go in that location. At the beginning of the project it was daunting; we were getting a bit confused about different APIs and then we suddenly had that ‘Eureka!’ moment – it all worked and suddenly it was returning something. It was one of the most satisfying moments I’ve ever had. Building something that works and has a function is incredibly fulfilling.
Great job Clarice!
Code First: Girls