BluCorner: Phil Herron talks about Neueda’s work in open source

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Over the last two years, Neueda has embraced open source software to help solve client challenges and share our solutions with the community. As part of our Neueda Knowledge blog series, we caught up with senior software engineer Phil Herron to find out more about our work in this area and gain an insight into life at Neueda.

Phil, can you tell us more about your role?

I’ve been at Neueda for three years this June and it’s been a lot of fun so far! I started by working on a research project for Queen’s University Belfast (NanoStreams) writing an LLVM based compiler, before moving into Capital Markets to cover work ranging from performance benchmarking, front end HTML5 development to leveraging SWIG to provide APIs from C++ from backend systems in other languages. Most recently, I’ve been working on different trading engines and associated risk tools.

BluCorner is Neueda’s open source community – why the move towards open source?

Our electronic trading clients have a common set of core challenges – managing electronic trading applications in an environment of continuous exchange change. We wanted to put together software that helped overcome these challenges and to provide a reference implementation which developers could leverage.

We have recently open sourced:

  • Front Office SDK (FOSDK) – All exchanges provide a messaging protocol for submitting and receiving data. FOSDK provides programmers with an extensible framework that manages all session level connectivity to help them connect to exchanges and implement their business logic
  • Codecs – Each financial exchange has its own message format to send orders which are subject to frequent change. Our Codecs provide encoders and decoders for all major European equity exchanges in one place.
  • SWIG (polyglot ready) – Developers can use the language in which they are most comfortable, we have provided bindings from our C++ code to the major managed languages (Java, C# and Python). Even something as simple as using the codecs in python to read binary data files gives you a nice environment to do any necessary analysis or testing on the raw data.

What open source projects have you been involved in?

We completed our first SWIG Proof of Concept 18 months ago for a customer with a trading platform written in C++ where we required APIs to develop a C# application. Using SWIG, we were able to reuse the core C++ components, avoiding complex duplication of work.

Our code was released onto Github recently at and we have put together as much information as possible to make this fully accessible. We can’t wait to take feedback on board and begin to introduce new features and functionality requested by the development community.

A dedicated slack community has also been created to allow those within the industry to communicate and exchange ideas with Neueda’s Front Office SDK creators – register to join at

What do you like most about working at Neueda?

Everyone is involved in architectural decisions, and anyone can take the lead on projects if they have the right skills and drive. It’s also great to give back to the open source community, which has always been a passion of mine.

Register to join BluCorner today and be sure to stay tuned to our Neueda Knowledge blog series for more insights into our latest projects and innovation.

Neueda Knowledge: Senior Software Engineer Laurence Darragh talks .NET

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Since Microsoft’s increased involvement with open source, we’ve seen the popularity of .NET grow once again. For the latest instalment of our Neueda Knowledge series, we sat down with Senior Software Engineer, Laurence Darragh, about the role of .NET today as well as his experience working at Neueda.

Laurence, can you tell us a bit about your role here?

I joined Neueda as a Senior .NET Software Developer 18 months ago and now have 6 years’ experience in this field of development. During my time here, I’ve worked across both Enterprise Services and Capital Markets which has given me exposure to customer projects across many industries. My first project was for a local public sector organisation, developing a web application where I spent time on-site with the client. I’m currently working on a communication application for an international client, with a team of 6 developers working from our office here in Belfast.

Can you tell us about the communications app?

Sure, it is a .NET desktop application that leverages VOIP technology to enable traders to instantly communicate with each other on the trading floor while removing the need and costs involved in physical infrastructure, such as leased lines. As you can imagine, the speed of communication, reliability and responsiveness of the application is crucial to the traders and is always at the forefront of the application’s design. On this project, the use of C#’s asynchronous features has been prevalent and has enabled us to meet the customer’s needs.

How have recent changes in the .NET Framework helped evolve this client’s project?

Microsoft’s release of .NET Core – a cross-platform, performant, lean and best of all, opensource development framework – has presented some exciting opportunities for both the client and the developers working on the application.

Plans are in place to reengineer our trader communication application using .NET Core. Its new features will enable us to work alongside the UX experts to design and develop an application to run seamlessly on touch screen devices across multiple platforms, not just Windows.

How has the .NET framework changed in the time that you’ve been a developer?

As a leading global organisation, Microsoft has the resources to enhance the .NET framework and its primary language C#, and so is continually introducing new features into the framework. Previously, the Microsoft stack was locked down to Windows Server and IIS, meaning the cost of running your services was going to be much higher compared to other technology stacks which can run on Linux servers, including C#’s main competitor Java. Microsoft’s newfound love for opensource and the arrival of .NET Core has changed all of this. It now offers a cross-platform technology stack and development platform that runs across Windows, Linux or MacOS, meaning .NET and the C# language is in greater demand than ever before.

What’s it like to be a .NET developer at Neueda?

Neueda is a great place to be a developer, whatever your framework or language. There’s a vast variety of work with exciting projects, new technology and the ability to learn which is fantastic for personal development.

We’re ahead of the curve when it comes to new technology and have an excellent developer community within the company with a broad range of skills, personalities and experience. If there’s not an immediate solution to a problem, we can always find it in our wider team.

We’re always looking for experienced .NET Developers to join the team and have a wide range of interesting projects, like the communications app for traders, for them to work on.

Stay tuned to the Neueda blog to get more insights into life at Neueda, what we’re working on, and the talent we’re seeking in 2019.


A word with Paddy O’Hagan – Digital DNA Business Personality of the Year 2019

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How do you feel about being named Business Personality of the Year at Digital DNA Awards 2019?

Winning this award makes me feel extremely proud – both on a personal and professional level. The local tech sector is brimming over with talented people so this is really humbling.

Most importantly, it’s great news for the company. Gaining industry recognition creates a real buzz throughout the whole Neueda team.

What is the best thing about your role in Neueda?

Honestly, my role really doesn’t feel like a job! It is fun, challenging and I’m part of a great growth journey here at Neueda.

In my position as COO, I make daily decisions that make a difference to our company and our future and that’s a huge motivator – as are the great, talented people I get to work alongside.

What or whom inspires you in business?
Anyone who challenges the norm, dreams big and achieves their goals.

Where do you see the future of the tech sector in NI?
I think we will see continued growth through foreign direct investment, but it is most rewarding to see the growing start-up and innovation culture feeding off the industry right now.

The Northern Ireland tech sector can truly compete on the global stage and we need to keep enriching and encouraging the talent pool to support that.

What would you say to someone considering a career in IT?
Go for it. It’s a great career that is always changing and reinventing.

Every business these days, even the most traditional, is in some way a technology company. There are many varied career opportunities available in tech so do your research and keep an open mind.

What is happening at Neueda at the moment?
We are seeing continued growth and have a number of big developments in the pipeline.

We are currently building a new Belfast HQ for Neueda, with really modern themes, to create an environment where IT professionals can thrive. Our Spanish base in Malaga is growing and we have kicked off ambitious expansion plans in ROI and the US.

All told, this is a really exciting time for Neueda.