Kick-starting Your Coding Career

12 OCT 2020

In celebration of EU Code Week, we asked Goldman Sachs engineers from across our Europe offices to share their top tips on getting into coding. 

Beatrix Dietz

Vice President, Frankfurt 

“There’s no better time to explore coding than today. There’s a vast selection of languages to choose from, easy access to the toolkits you need and lots of supporting resources. You have the ability to choose the right language for the problem you want to solve, or innovative project you want to build, and the power to learn how to use it correctly. Everything else will follow.”


Christa Mpundu
Associate, London 

“Take the time to plan out your solution first, before jumping straight into the code – if you start by writing out your solution as pseudocode, it will help you to spot mistakes more quickly.”


Magda Krol

Vice President, Warsaw 

“Be persistent and confident. Coding is often about challenging your inner critic that is telling you to give up on the solution that you have just thought of. Usually, it turns out that this is exactly the bug fix you needed! Believe in your intuition and don’t give up!” 


Mikael Lang
Managing Director, Stockholm 

“Identify a real-world problem that you are interested in, ask yourself how you could go about solving it without looking up the answers, and see where you end up! When I was a junior programmer, I wanted to learn more about machine learning. I used to pick out puzzles and ask myself whether I could solve them through machine learning. I read up on the topic and learnt more about testing and coding best practices, and eventually I started to implement machine learning algorithms from scratch (some of which were more successful than others!). Find a problem and see where the journey takes you!”


Jessica Man

Vice President, London 

“Programming is a technique used to solve problems, so when you start coding, keep asking “why?” and referring back to the answer throughout. This will help you to keep the bigger picture in mind and not deviate from finding the right solution. Try to have fun and enjoy doing it – the moment you realise that you have created something that serves a purpose is incredibly satisfying!”


Piotr Paczocha
Vice President, Warsaw 

“Don’t be afraid to experiment and apply different methods or approaches to solve a problem – the more creative you are, the quicker you will find the right solution.” 


Jo Hannaford

Managing Director, London 

“Some of the systems and languages I learnt to code with can now be found in museums! Despite this, coding principles have largely remained constant over the years. Regardless of the language you learn to code in, make sure you understand and apply good coding practices from the start, as they will form the foundations of a successful career in programming.” 


Albane Dumoulin
Associate, Paris 

“I feel like I’ve never stopped learning since I wrote my first line of code! It’s like learning any new language – read and deep dive into other people’s code, ask functional questions and use each project as a fresh learning opportunity. At the end of every project, look back and recognise what you’ve learned and what you still need to work on. And enjoy it!” 


Chris Mathie

Managing Director, London 

“Just keep learning!  As coders, we go from developing our first “Hello, World!” programme, to deploying our first application, to learning new patterns and languages (and unlearning some old ones), until, one day, you realise that you’re writing software, in collaboration with hundreds of other engineers across the world, solving deep technical problems for your clients. And it’s awesome.”