Q&A: Stefan Simons, BlueQuant

The IT director at hedge fund firm BlueQuant Capital Management - and IT Pro Leaderboard member - discusses how IT has evolved.

Describe your role in three words.

IT monkey

Who is your tech hero? And why?

Alan Turing was a pretty cool guy.

When I first started, being in IT was almost a shameful job. Very few people did it and equally few understood what it means. Nowadays, a significant proportion of the overall labour force work in the general IT sector. It's definitely no longer something to be embarrassed about.

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What does your current role involve?

Designing, implementing and maintaining the entire IT infrastructure for a small hedge fund.

How did you arrive at your current role?

I worked in Investment Banking for nearly 15 years and in that time built up a few contacts. The opportunity arose to be in a start up from very early on and I took it. 

Did you always want to work in IT?

I've always loved programming. I remember as a 10-year-old programming my Acorn Electron. I also remember for my GCSE Computer Science being very proud at using all 32k of the available memory in the school's BBC Micro - 32k! 

What do you enjoy most about your role/working in IT?

Building things - actually creating systems and seeing people use them.

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And what is your least favourite aspect about your role/working in IT?

The paperwork. Over the years this has got progressively worse to the extent that an individual's initiative is being removed from the workplace. I don't believe that's a good thing.

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