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.

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.

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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