‘Future Leaders’ is a series of blog posts by the Financial Times in which we interview our team members and ask them how they got into technology, what they are working on and what they want to do in the future. Everyone has a different perspective, story and experience to share. This series will feature colleagues working in our Product & Technology teams. You can also connect with us on Twitter at @lifeatFT.
Hi Katerina, what is your current role at the FT and what do you spend most of your time doing at work?
I am a software engineer in the Scout Asia team and spend most of my time either discussing tech with my colleagues or typing (😉). Scout Asia — the team I am currently in — has a wide tech spec, and I am glad I have an opportunity to touch on everything from React front-end to misc databases and other AWS services. I am really fortunate from time to time to take part in the discussions of potential architectural solutions.
How did you get into the technology industry?
I studied “Applied Mathematics and Computer Science”, mainly because I was, and I still am, a huge fan of Maths. But since then I went through a long journey of trying different careers — from M&A investment banking to being an artist. At some point, looking for a new career to try, I bumped into Makers Academy. And realised that this is an experience I had to try. This is where I discovered my love for software creation. Now I love being a software engineer so much that it seems like I finally found something that is really mine.
What is the project you’ve worked on at the FT that you are most proud of?
I could name a few:
- A ‘personalised email time’ for MyFT Daily Digest. In this project, I had to invent and build a system that would send daily email digests at exactly the time when it is the most convenient to a customer.
- We built a website to showcase our culture and roles, which was a building of a simple non-js website from scratch, quite a change from what was my day-to-day workflow.
I am really enjoying being part of the Scout Asia team right now, that is also a lot about gathering together and analysing lots of data.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in recent years?
I think the first one is a bit banal one; Don’t be afraid to do what you want to do, and to search for what you really love. Do not go for compromises.
And secondly, a huge part of being in love with what you do comes from the people that are around you when you do this. Finding a great place to work is crucial.
What would you like to do in the future?
I continue to enjoy learning something new every day. Every time when I change teams I find this infinite well of knowledge that I can acquire. And it’s quite awesome to do it. So for now, I see myself growing my software knowledge.
I enjoy having an overview of the software structure, to come up with the best possible solution and the most optimal algorithm. I love to refactor old code, improving it through making it more clear and concise. That is something that makes me love going to work every morning. So I definitely see myself writing code in the future.
You can find all of our current open vacancies on https://roles.ft.com/.