Neueda Knowledge: Front office testing is a tough racket

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Investment firms typically have multiple OMS platforms, each supporting numerous venues. Managing the plethora of exchange driven changes in this backdrop of highly complex internal platforms with the added pressure of zero tolerance to trading disruption is a nightmare for front office engineers. These demanding requirements are hampered further by the fact that exchange test environments are usually only open during trading hours – hardly conducive to producing high quality software.

Developers often solve this challenge by creating automation frameworks during downtime that testers struggle to maintain, or testers find themselves trying to fit development in around manual testing. We’ve witnessed cases where teams within larger organisations have developed competing automation frameworks to automate the same processes.

At Neueda, we’ve developed our fair share of order entry applications giving us the impetus to develop an Exchange Simulator product supporting numerous European, US and APAC equity exchanges. This has afforded us the opportunity to repeatedly refine our approach to testing these applications, applying the things we’ve learnt especially from testing all protocols for our exchange simulator.

Scrutiny is the culmination of this experience – a test automation service comprising our technology – Etiqet and our Exchange Simulator – our processes and our team of front office automation experts. We work with key stakeholders on all sides to understand existing pain points and propose areas for improvement. Through applying our technology and/or through development of bespoke applications we help deliver efficiencies and improve the time to market for trading applications.

Figure 1: An example Etiqet feature file that displays some of the functionality available to developers

Neueda Etiqet is an open source test automation framework that has been designed to provide users with all the functionality required to write advanced test cases for FIX applications in an easy to understand, self-documenting format. The architecture is highly extensible, allowing users to add support for their own messaging protocols.

Etiqet is freely accessible at https://github.com/blu-corner/etiqet We encourage you to use it in your next test-run and let us know what you think!

Neueda Exchange Simulator provides engineers with a dedicated, closed test environment to create highly complex, repeatable trading scenarios for many of the world’s largest equity exchanges. With numerous extension points, customers can customise message flows on the fly to setup highly unusual scenarios e.g. message delay, message reordering or modification.

Get in touch

To discuss how Scrutiny, Etiqet and/or Neueda Exchange Simulator can benefit your business, get in touch today – scrutiny@neueda.com

Neueda Knowledge: Hugo Espresati, Senior Software Engineer, talks Java

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Over the years, we have seen Java earn its place as one of the leading programming languages for enterprise applications. We spoke to Neueda Senior Software Engineer Hugo Espresati about the role of Java today, as well as his experiences working at Neueda.

Hugo, can you tell us a bit about your role here at Neueda?

I currently work as a Java tech lead on-site with one of Neueda’s clients, managing a team of six. When Neueda offered me the role, I knew it was time to leave Spain, broaden my horizons and head to a new country. I’ve been living in Belfast since July 2017 and love it so much that I’ve decided to stay here long-term.

Has the application of Java changed in the time that you’ve been a developer?

Java is still applied in different areas for a variety of reasons in both large or small scale applications. Dependence has indeed decreased due to other powerful languages, like C# or Python emerging but Java is still a leading language for large applications for enterprise organisations.

Is there are a shortage of Java developers?

There certainly is, which I find surprising. In Belfast, as well as the rest of the UK, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find Java professionals at any level. Typically, most UK developers are educated in mathematics or physics and so don’t possess a deep knowledge of computer science. This barrier makes it even more challenging to find senior software engineers.

How do you think this shortage can be solved?

I think developers need to be more flexible and open to trying other languages. When I’ve conducted interviews for developers, the candidates have software development expertise in one or two languages. However, if you have a good all-round understanding of programming (Object Oriented programming in this case), it would only take a matter of weeks to get your head around Java. It’s worth making the time investment, as Java professionals are in high demand right now.

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

There’s so much variety at Neueda. You have the opportunity to work on different projects and technologies should you want to, which can help developers to stay fresh. The wider team is also always on-hand to collaborate with you and offer any support you might need.

The people are what really set Neueda apart from the rest. I’ve found them to be dynamic, willing to share knowledge and happy to answer any questions, even if you think they might be silly! We always work as a team, and there are a number of initiatives including mentoring for less experienced staff and bespoke training programmes.

What can you say about the Neueda culture?

I love that I get to socialise with my colleagues. I’m a social person and everyone has been so welcoming, helping me to feel at home. In fact, I moved to Belfast on a Thursday, and I was out getting to know the team on Friday! Because I spend a lot of time working in our clients’ offices, it’s important that I still have the opportunity to meet all of the new starts and remain a key part of the team. Anyone who joins Neueda is warmly welcomed and treated like family. I love it.

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

 

Neueda Knowledge: Belfast – New York – London

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Every month on the Neueda blog, members of our team will share key learnings and experiences from our latest exciting projects. This time we hear from Software Engineer Michael Malanaphy and a project that took him from Belfast to New York to London (and back again).

Background
I joined Neueda in July 2015, as the company’s 39th employee. It was a big moment for me because my dad was Neueda’s very first employee many years ago. It’s been something of a family affair as my younger brother also joined the Neueda two years ago.

Onboarding and role
Neueda puts a lot of trust into its employees; when I joined as a Software Engineer, I was assigned my first client and project on day one, so I was able to turn on my laptop and get started right away.

Initially, I was responsible for legacy systems and exploring ways they could be improved. It was an initial 30-day project in the public sector division, but it ended up turning into a year with all public-facing websites changing and improving. As this project was coming to an end, I was asked to move into our capital markets division with my skills utilised on challenging projects in a new industry with global clients.

Big Apple

I was given the opportunity to travel to NYC to work on a project for one of the world’s biggest banks. Python Developers were required to support an internal trading application aimed to help their traders track and research company information. It was an exciting challenge given that Python was a relatively new language for me, which was great for my professional development  in preparation for the three-month project.

The aim was for our team of six to learn the system while we were out there so that we could work on it remotely from Belfast. We rotated working in the bank’s New York and New Jersey offices while living on Manhattan’s Wall Street. Being based in the client’s office gave us the opportunity to experience the reality of their day-to-day working life. We had to communicate effectively with the wider team without taking them away from business-critical tasks.

London
Following this successful trip to New York, I was then asked to work with the client’s London team, so divided my time between London and Neueda’s Belfast head office; one month on and one off for 12 months. This was a highlight for me as I have a lot of friends in London and the team I worked with there were also really welcoming and friendly.

I feel so lucky to have experienced living and working in two of the most exciting cities in the world and, with another potential project coming up, there are more adventures with Neueda on the horizon.

Neueda in three words

Challenging, fast, fun. While the work can be challenging at times, everyone supports one another, and you get out exactly what you put in. Plus we have a lot of craic [definition: fun]!

Stay tuned to our Neueda Knowledge blog series to gain exclusive insights into Neueda projects and the experiences of our team. You can also find out more about becoming part of the Neueda team and working on groundbreaking projects for some of the most exciting organisations in the world. Click here and be part of something special.