Alistair Vining is a backend developer at Cassini Systems. He talks to Client Server about his decision five years ago to move from studying medieval history to coding.
How did you get into software development?
Alistair Vining : This is actually my first full-time role as a software developer. I was trying to be an academic at one stage in medieval studies and have completely turned around. I was volunteering at the Trussell Trust and I wrote an internal tool for them. Somebody there knew someone at Cassini Systems, and I moved into a role here. I’ve been here five or so years and seen the company grow from four or five of us above a garage to where we are now. It’s been quite a journey, definitely.
What’s your role with Cassini?
Alistair Vining : I’m a backend developer, mainly working with Python and a bit of Java. We’re mostly working with an agile methodology in two week sprints, so I can be pretty clear what I’m going to be working on. Two-thirds of my time is spent on development of the main product, the rest on support issues or helping with proof of concept development. It’s a mixture of planned and unplanned work but there’s a lot of flexibility too.
What’s it like to work for Cassini?
Alistair Vining : The thing I appreciate is the focus and closeness we have with customers. In some roles, you never know who is buying your software, but here we work closely with the customer. We know what our customers want and can see the benefit to their individual business. We can then balance those specific needs with our blue sky thinking and plans to build a better product as a whole.
And I understand there’s a strong learning culture at Cassini too?
Alistair Vining : Yes, absolutely. Both our product and development teams have worked widely in the financial sector, so they have a lot of domain knowledge and experience. There is always an opportunity to learn and grow at Cassini which I’ve found really beneficial.