Chris B.

Business Intelligence Developer
Happy to mentor
Happy to be contacted

About me

Chris B.
Computer Science
Programming Languages
Research Postgraduate
United Kingdom

My employment

Business Intelligence Developer
Financial Services company
United Kingdom
Finance and consultancy
Large business (250+ employees)

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A day in the life of a Business Intelligence Developer in the United Kingdom

Although I knew I would work as a programmer, I certainly wasn't expecting to work with databases in a Financial Services organisation.

Briefly describe the organisation you work for

I work for a Financial Services company. Businesses outsource us to manage their financial data, reporting, and operational activities.

What do you do?

I am a database programmer. I am part of the BAU (business as usual) team, which means that I help to ensure that all the day-to-day operations run smoothly. This includes maintaining the data warehouse, investigating any problems with the daily batch processes, and producing regular reports for our clients.

Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?

After graduating I was applying for various software development jobs with no success, but one day my recruiter approached me for a Business Intelligence Developer role. I had never heard of the job title before, but it sounded interesting, and they were considering applicants without a specific skillset. My recruiter processed my application, I received a non-technical interview, and a few days later I was hired!

Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?

Yes. Although I knew I would work as a programmer, I certainly wasn't expecting to work with databases in a Financial Services organisation.

Describe your most memorable day at work

About six months into my job, I was assigned to a small project to patch our data warehouse with some past data that was missing due to a defect. This was my first piece of development using SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS), a tool suite that's commonly used to implement tasks to move around data between different sources and transform it. I used existing code to help design and develop my solution. It wasn't an especially difficult technical task, but given that it was a first for me, it felt immensely satisfying to see it work correctly in testing, to see it pass peer review, and to see it be deployed into the live environment and work succesfully!

Are there any challenges associated with your job?

This sounds cliché, but most days present a new challenge. Given the area I work in, there's a high chance of me encountering a problem I've never seen before, and often needs fixing as quickly as possible. Personally I love the variety of work: it's one of the aspects of job that keeps me motivated.

What’s your work environment and culture like?

My company is very conscious of the environment and diversity, which is a great motivator to work hard and do a good job for the business. I feel valued as an employee, and I like that the company actively promotes a strong set of core values for all personnel to uphold.

What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?

I played chess during university. Chess is an excellent game that reinforces analytical, thinking, problem solving, forward planning, and even lateral thinking. These skills are essential to be a good programmer and complemented the skills I developed throughout my studies.

What would you like to do next with your career?

I am very happy with my current career. There is a wealth of technology and tools to learn within Business Intelligence and Database programming, so my thirst for techy knowledge will always be fulfilled.

What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?

Take a year in industry or, if it's too late for that, try to find an internship you can take during your degree. My job search would have been much less painful if I had some industry experience to my name - getting a foot in the door is the hardest part!

What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?


Next steps...

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