Q&A with Jo Hannaford, Head of EMEA Engineering

Jo Hannaford is Head of Engineering in EMEA and Global Head of Regulatory and Business Services. Jo serves on the firm’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee in EMEA, the UK Government Digital Service Advisory Board, and chairs the Bank of England CIO Forum. She is extremely committed to achieving greater diversity and inclusion not only across the firm, but also in the broader engineering and STEM industries.


Joined GS

Staffordshire University – BSc Computer Science
University College London – PHD Computer Science

Walking my dogs, West Ham Football Club, and inspiring women into STEM careers


Why did the firm choose Birmingham for its new office location?
Many people have asked ‘Why Birmingham’, and quite simply we go where the talent takes us.

When opening a new office, we look for locations that are fast paced, vibrant, innovative, full of culture, and of course, deliver quality talent; Birmingham perfectly fits that bill and is home to many excellent universities. We are very excited to be expanding our footprint in the UK.

What do engineers at Goldman Sachs do?
People are often surprised to hear that engineers make up a quarter of our global employees, to put that into context that’s over 10,000 engineers across 63 cities.

Ultimately our engineers solve problems, and build solutions. Our engineering teams underpin all of our business functions, from building Marcus UK, our consumer banking platform, to supporting our asset management business, and global market traders. We have a strong apprenticeship culture and our engineers come from many different backgrounds, if you don’t have financial experience you will quickly learn on the job.

What technologies do we use?
To keep ahead of the curve in a progressive industry it is important for us to constantly seek the best technologies for the problem at hand.

As a language-agnostic firm, our tech stack is broad, we tend to opt for C++ for our latency critical trading systems, and Java for building scalable feature rich platforms. We use a combination of (but not limited to): Java, JavaScript, Python, Scala, C++, Spring, Hibernate, Kafka etc., in addition to Cloud services such as AWS and Azure. 

What advice would you give to those considering a career at Goldman Sachs?
Push Yourself. Goldman Sachs is a place of opportunity – throughout my 23 years at the firm, I’ve held a number of technology roles, both in New York and London – it’s definitely the place for you if you are looking for opportunity and a challenge.

Be Yourself. To build the best teams, we truly believe in diversity of thought. Our ability to be ourselves each day is something I cherish, and commercially it gives us the competitive edge.

And, See Yourself Here. Join us for An Evening with Goldman Sachs Engineering to meet our engineers and learn more about the types of projects our engineers in Birmingham will be working on.

What are you most excited about over the next 6-12 months?
Establishing our presence in Birmingham. By the end of the year we will have built out a significant presence in a temporary location, then we’ll turn our attention to designing our future Birmingham office, taking key elements from our existing spaces and creating a workspace designed with engineers in mind, celebrating our need for collaboration.

I also look forward to connecting with the local communities in Birmingham. We know from experience that Goldman Sachs engineers thrive in an inclusive workspace that contributes positively to the world, we are always looking to use our technical expertise to drive tangible progress in our communities.


Related Content:

Press Release: Goldman Sachs to Open Office in Birmingham, UK

Invitation: An Evening with Goldman Sachs Engineering