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How can you stand out as an engineer: Moving from Traditional Banking to FinTech

The FinTech industry has become incredibly competitive and the notion of pursuing a career in the sector increasingly desirable. The idea of going from Traditional Banking to FinTech as an engineer is appealing, but how can you stand out and why choose FinTech? 

Why Choose Fintech? 

Brand New Technology

As an engineer at a bank, more often than not, you will be working on code that is approximately 10-20 years old and frustratingly, the code can be unreliable and outdated. Engineers in traditional banking setting are likely to spend most of their time maintaining a predecessor’s system. The opportunity to learn the ins and outs of what is required to build a complex and meaningful system is scarce.

Working in a FinTech company gives individuals a chance to work on brand new technology that will be used by end users. You will likely develop brand new code, work with clean and new tech stacks, whether that means exposure to Cloud based environments, or working in modern languages like Go and React.js. Additionally, you’ll be working in an environment that is relatively untouched, creating code that you can closely document making it efficient from the very first moment – you’ll never have to go back and attempt to decipher it.

Ownership Over Your Work & Meaningful Contribution

A FinTech environment is usually much smaller than a banks. Instead of working in a department of 20 there will most likely be three or four other contributors in your team, sometimes less! A smaller team with a less rigid structure leads to individuals having increased accountability and encourages team members to make more measurable contributions to projects.

The FinTech space is less heavily regulated, your work will be your own and you will have greater opportunities to learn new things and create your own direction and strategy. Being able to attribute the creation of a system or piece of software to yourself will be extremely attractive to future employers as it demonstrates your level of skill, opening many more doors for you in the future.

How to Stand Out as A Candidate

Moving from traditional banking into the FinTech space can be challenging, so, how can you stand out?

Highlight Projects You’ve Owned

A new employer will be looking for evidence that you can take the lead confidently and comfortably on a project without looking to a team lead or director for guidance. Emphasise ownership of previous projects – your interviewers you will be looking for someone who can get the job done, without the help of 10 other engineers.

Highlight your desire to work autonomously using any examples from your previous role.

Demonstrate your ability to collaborate

In general, FinTech companies will be looking for strong collaborators with excellent communication skills. A possible concern for interviewers could be that, coming from a large team in a traditional banking environment, your role is often siloed, so during your interview it is important to demonstrate your ability to work through complex problems by debating possible outcomes where the result will be optimal. 

Have thoughtful questions prepared

During your FinTech interview it is imperative that you have thoroughly researched the business. There are far too many candidates that are under prepared and have done little to no research about the perspective company. You need to have enough knowledge about the business to ask insightful questions so that the interviewers will walk away knowing you’ve done your homework. This shows that you are excited and serious about the opportunity.

Be prepared for Technical Interviews

To be successful in a technical interview you need to be prepared, you can’t just turn up and expect be able to complete it effectively. At most technical interviews, you will be asked to solve complex problems that aim to demonstrate your problem-solving skills and abilities.

Interviewers will use out of the box questioning methods to gain insight into the way you think. You can prepare for this through various online coding challenges such as Codility or Hacker Rank. Or if you prefer reading, a book called Cracking the Code is insightful. Putting the time in to sharpen your skills by utilising these tools will help you stand out.

If you want to have a conversation about working in FinTech, get in touch and we can talk you through it: [email protected]

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