07 OCT 2016

Ask the Engineer: Isabella

Isabella, a senior engineer and Technology Fellow at Goldman Sachs, talks about her interests and what led her to a career in technology as well as her current focus on platform integration across the firm.

Q: What is your engineering background?
I studied Information Technology and Marketing at the NYU Stern School of Business. I was interested in computer science at the time, given that technology was a field that was really taking off, and found I liked the intersection of technology and business. As a next step, I completed summer internships in software development at various firms and then joined Goldman Sachs full-time as an analyst after graduation.

Q: What led you to a career at Goldman Sachs?
I was interested in business and finance, and really found that my background and interests were fostered at Goldman Sachs. During my beginning years at the firm, I experienced first-hand how powerful technology is in the finance world. While at pure “tech” companies, your role might be to work on an add-on or improvement to an existing system (and not really understand or comprehend how useful your contribution is); at Goldman Sachs one can have a tangible impact from the start through technologies and systems that reach a large number of users. It is very rewarding to see the direct effect your work has. 

Q: How would you describe your career so far, and what are you currently working on?
I started as a developer in the Prime Services Technology Group. Prime Services is a technology-intensive business with an objective of providing hedge funds with all the tools and services to run their business. In that team, I was responsible for delivering critical projects and had the opportunity to collaborate with multiple other teams throughout the firm. I then moved to the core reporting team, handling reports across various categories. The daily volume of reports generated could be very high and it was an interesting challenge. Then, I was on to my next challenge – leading the Enterprise Test Engineering team and then also the Development Practices Group, which is a group responsible for the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) platform in the firm.

Right now, I am focused on platform integration; specifically, how it can enable software product owners to be more effective, and to roll out the platform so that it is utilized across the firm. I manage a global team across many locations: New York, Salt Lake City, London, Tokyo and Bengaluru.

Q: You are recognized as a Technology Fellow. Can you tell us about this distinction?
The Technology Fellow designation is awarded to senior engineers for their leadership, vision and contributions to the firm. We are seen as an elite group, and it’s great to have this internal recognition as it demonstrates that the firm values its engineers and their contributions.

Part of being a Technology Fellow involves growing the technical talent in the firm and I’m happy to be involved in mentoring junior talent as a career mentor for new analysts.  

Q: What advice do you have for engineers thinking about pursuing a career in financial services?
What’s great about financial services engineering is that there are interesting and complex problems that are waiting to be solved. As engineers, we get to see the impact we have every day, and produce tangible results that can be felt in real time. Additionally, there are tremendous professional growth/career opportunities – for example, I have been fortunate enough to go from being a developer to heading platform teams. I would encourage anyone who is passionate about creating technical solutions to investigate a career path in financial services engineering.