Where did your journey into tech begin?
Ali Asgha r: It’s something I’ve always enjoyed. When I was 13 or 14-years-old, a friend of mine got a new computer and was making little programs with it. I got to play around with that a little bit – just small things like writing code in a text editor that says “My name is Ali,” hitting F9 and then seeing it come up on screen was a “Eureka!” moment for me. At university, I did both my undergrad and postgrad in computer science, so you could say that I knew from the beginning that this was the field I wanted to go into.
Tell us about your role at Cassini.
Ali Asghar : I’m a lead software developer at Cassini Systems. It’s primarily a developer role, so very hands-on, but the other factor is that I lead our two weekly scrum meetings, making sure things are progressing and that everybody has what they need. It’s not necessarily a hierarchal manager role, but it’s more ensuring that from a technical perspective, everything’s moving in the right direction.
What does a day as lead developer look like?
Ali Asghar : Each day is very different and that’s one of the things I love about Cassini. We start each day with a 15-minute team stand up where we sync up on what’s happening, what we did the previous day, the plan for today, and if there are any roadblocks the team is facing. For the rest of the day, given that Cassini has a flat structure, is very heavily focused on development and writing code. There aren’t many meetings on a regular basis that would occupy a lot of the day, most of our time is actually spent looking at code.
How do you find using Scrum?
Ali Asghar : I like it because it gives structure to the team. It’s great for setting a baseline and it gives the non-tech teams an idea on what the scope of work is for the next couple of weeks. So, we could have a scrum that’s focused on UI or whatever the case may be, and we know that at the end of the two-week sprint, the clients can expect that area to have been worked on and improved.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining Cassini?
Ali Asghar : When I joined Cassini, it was the first time I had worked in a small company having previously worked for big banks. I love being technical and I love writing programs and being able to be hands on and Cassini offers that. It’s a place where everyone is encouraged to give their thoughts and ideas. Everyone from senior developers through to new devs get involved in design discussions. It’s great having everyone in the same room because you get many different ways of looking at a problem. It makes things so much easier when everyone gets involved like that.
What do you look for when hiring?
Ali Asghar : Over time, I’ve been involved with some of the hiring here, and we want to hire the right people and right skill set, but we know how important culture is too. Given that we’re a smaller company, but growing, it’s important that we get the culture right and ensure that it stays collaborative and open.
What does 2022 hold for you?
: We are currently working on a new margin calculator required by industry changes, with other calculators in the pipeline as we look to constantly increase the scope of the exchanges we cover. Also there is a lot of work focused around extending our capabilities for Hedge Funds. Beyond that, as our platform is growing, we’re always looking at tech debt and core infrastructure updates to constantly improve performance and client experience. We’re also working on a new UI which is rolling out in several phases through 2022, so plenty to keep us busy and move us forward.