Image of David Knott

David Knott

Chief Architect, HSBC Technology

UK

I began my career in the 1980s. Technology already played a crucial role in banks, from cheque-sorting machines to customer databases. But it was mostly behind the scenes and operated by employees.

Thirty years later, technology is the main way many customers choose to interact with us. The average customer – whether retail or business – is far more likely to use a mobile app than go into a branch or ring a call centre. And the vast majority of software we design inside the bank finds its way into their hands.

That means software engineers are some of the most important people in the organisation. They are key to delivering great customer experiences and managing our business better.

In my view, HSBC is one of the best possible places to build a career in technology. You get to learn techniques that will be useful for the next 25 years or more – whether that’s cloud, biometrics or artificial intelligence. It provides a perfect grounding.

I also like the bank’s approach to development. HSBC gives you access to the latest tools and invests in training. Not just classroom learning, but also opportunities to learn in a very practical way. This includes coding at your own pace and solving problems for the business.

For me, there is also real satisfaction in working for an international bank. Banking is an important industry that has value to offer individuals, industry and communities. Our society would not work without banks. HSBC, in particular, is committed to connecting communities and economies around the world. This is important at a time of increasing fragmentation.

The bank also has a unique culture. In the words of our Chief Operating Officer Andy Maguire, HSBC is the nicest big company in the world. In my three years here I have never met anyone who is not trying to do the right thing. And given its global and cultural spread, HSBC has the potential to set the bar for what diversity means in a technology team. I think that’s a fantastic opportunity.

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