How did you come to Sinara?

Nicole: I started here as a graduate software engineer in 2014, the autumn after completing my Computer Science degree.

Adeiza: I came to work at Sinara quite randomly after doing a google search for Software Engineering roles and Sinara came up in the results. I applied for the role during my last year of university and was pleasantly surprised in the interview when one of the directors took the time to talk to me about the company, explaining the goals and the culture at Sinara. This led to me joining Sinara in 2017.

Jake: First encountered programming during my Mathematics degree at the University of Bath. It was one of the most enjoyable parts of my degree and so I decided to pursue a career in software development. This choice was further established by my placement in developing customised indices. In my final year of university, I found the graduate job opportunity at Sinara. It seemed an excellent fit, combining development and finance, and willing to take on graduates without a degree in Software Engineering. Fortunately, I was successful and have been working at Sinara since September 2020.

What projects have you worked on?

Nicole: I’ve worked on a variety of things across the whole tech stack – Sinara R&D initiatives as well as bespoke systems. That includes a trading calendar, a website for viewing up-to-the-minute market data, and various back-end applications for interfacing with third-party systems.

Adeiza: I've worked on various applications ranging from web applications that allow customers to carry out trades to systems that handle the allocation and distribution of products to buyers when products need to be delivered. At Sinara, you'll get the chance to work on a variety of projects on both the front end and back end.

Jake: During my time at Sinara I have worked on futures and options pricing for the LME, a system to expedite the delivery of agricultural contracts for Euronext and ongoing development and improvement of internal libraries. All the projects have been challenging but provide many opportunities for learning, both in improving my skills as a developer and in understanding the businesses we develop for.

How much support have you received?

Nicole: Throughout my time at Sinara, I’ve always found people willing to share their experience and help each other with solving problems. I’ve learnt a lot from my colleagues, whether about the trading business we work with, about the technologies we use, or about running software projects effectively. As a senior developer and team lead, I now get to be part of passing that on to new developers; I spend my time training and mentoring our junior staff as well as designing and developing software myself.

Adeiza: There's always support from colleagues and managers when you need help. We also have bi-yearly appraisals where our professional development manager helps us to determine our goals and things to improve.

Jake: Having had limited exposure to software development before starting at Sinara, I was concerned I would be out of my depth when coming to the company. When I raised this concern and asked if there were any good resources to use to get started, Sinara offered to pay for a subscription to a training platform. With this resource and the 2-week induction period, I felt much more confident when starting project work. Frequent catch ups and appraisals are held to inform you of your progress and areas to develop, and the project leaders are always looking for opportunities to improve the skills of junior developers within projects.

What is it like working here?

Nicole: I really enjoy working at Sinara. Because we are a consultancy working with a mix of client projects, I never feel like I’ve been doing a single thing for too long; and because we are a small company, I get a great sense of the “big picture” and can understand where the work I’m doing fits into that.

Adeiza: Right from my interview, I was given the impression that Sinara is a company that cares about the development of its employees, and I can say that in my time at Sinara this has indeed been very true. Sinara is the perfect place for a graduate software engineer to develop their skills.

Jake: From the start it was clear that Sinara cares about the wellbeing of employees. During the Covid-19 pandemic there was a focus on mental health, with weekly 'coffee mornings' and 'afternoon teas' used to give us all a chance to socialise and take our minds off work. Now we are returning to the office the company is offering lunch on Tuesdays, perhaps to encourage everyone to roll out of bed for the 'all hands' day. The management is keen to hear the opinions of its employees - there are monthly surveys to allow anonymous feedback and questions to management, and recently a question on the company's environmental policy kickstarted a review.