Matt Meets: Mark Evans – Chief Technology Officer – Hodge Bank

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Matt Hyde, Director Recruit 121 (Finance & FinTech) Managing Director of FinTech Awards Wales & London & Finance Awards Wales Meets:

Mark Evans,

Chief Technology Officer

Hodge Bank

 

Please introduce yourself and your role in Hodge Bank

Hi, I’m Mark Evans, Chief Technology Officer at Hodge. Our base is smack bang in the middle of Cardiff and many of our brilliant team live and contribute to the ongoing success of the region.

Where are the opportunities for Fintech in Wales?

Where do I start! Continuing the theme of 5:

  1. Wales has a fantastic landscape of large established financial services organisations and a vibrant start-up and scale-up scene,
  2. All of these are fed from the rich substrate of bright and capable folks – oh, and
  3. the physical environment is fantastic too,
  4. Plus it is much more cost effective than London,
  5. and these great people tend to stick with you for a whole lot longer than in London too.

What does being involved in Fintech Awards Wales mean to Hodge Bank

It is genuinely great to just be able to help celebrate the brilliant talent we have in the region and to recognise the hard work that a number of people and wider organisations are putting in to help the region be a success. It also helps get the message out there around all of the fantastic things that are happening and the opportunities available in Wales

What advice would you give a young technical professional?

Step forward, get out there and learn. Introduce yourself and don’t be shy in asking questions. Get exposure to some of the great things that are going on, many of which are free and easily accessible through great organisations such as Fintech Wales, Tramshed and many others. I think you’ll be surprised by how many people are willing to share their experience and help you learn.

What books and podcasts would you recommend and why?

Podcasts are great because they allow you to multi-task.

  • 11Fs is always great to keep tabs on what is happening in the Fintech space and covers a good range of topics: https://fi.11fs.com/
  • Finextra is another great platform covering a really broad range of topics, although a bit old school with videos as opposed to Podcasts : https://www.finextra.com/latest-videos

Bookwise – a bit of a strange one, since I regard myself as a recovering technologist, so my reading list is a bit eclectic, but these would be on the top of my list:

  1. The Cathedral & the Bazaar by Eric S Raymond – a brilliant book which details the growth in Open Source technologies but more importantly about how the web as enabled the harnessing of collective intelligence
  2. The Mythical man Month – by Freddie Brooks. Was written years back, but much of what he sets out is still valuable and very relevant with today’s modern engineering practices
  3. Big Data: The Essential Guide to Work, Life and Learning in the Age of Insight by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier. A brilliant read and really insightful into the potential, but also the risks around digitisation and ‘datafication’.