What do you get when you cross an accountant with a portfolio manager, then throw in a healthy dose of tech know-how? You get our globe-trotting server-side engineer, Sam Rogers!

In the latest of our team Q&As, we to get to know more about Sam, his journey into a tech career, and what makes him tick…

How long have you been with Seccl, and how did you get here?

I joined Seccl in November 2019, so I had a few months in the office before working from home became the norm.

My path to Seccl was a bit, well, meandering. I went to university but decided it wasn’t for me, and found my way into a role as an accountant.

My job was made redundant, so I moved to Thailand and became a portfolio manager and financial adviser.

Then I did tech support for a company in Bristol, which got me interested in technology and led to me teaching at a bootcamp here in Bath. And that, in turn, brought me to Seccl.

Before Bath, Sam worked as a portfolio manager and financial adviser in Thailand (and had a sweet gaff!)

Before Bath, Sam worked as a portfolio manager and financial adviser in Thailand (and had a sweet gaff!)

What was it about Seccl, in particular, that appealed to you?

Rhymes. He was a graduate of the engineering bootcamp that I taught at, and I met him when he came back to give guest lectures. I knew if Rhymes was there, it was going to be a great place.

Imagine I’m the least tech-minded person you’ve ever met. Tell me what you do?

That’s a difficult one. I don’t meet many non-techy people. I’d try to use examples of companies people are likely to have heard of – so we build software that helps to create the new wave of financial companies, for example Monzo, but for pensions, savings and investments. By doing this, we can help the many people that don’t currently have access to financial advice.

What motivates you in your job?

Personally, I love learning. To me, engineering is the epitome of continuous learning – you never ‘complete’ it. I also love helping people, whether that’s on a one-to-one basis or just generally within the wider organisation.

When it comes to Seccl, I want to see this business make an impact on people who aren’t getting the financial advice they need – whether that’s by providing a quasi-automated process, or helping existing financial advisers to be able to provide quality services at a lower cost. I’d love for Seccl to play a significant role in closing the advice gap.

You mentioned you love to learn. What sort of things have you been learning?

Who needs Alexa when you have Brian Blessed, eh?

Who needs Alexa when you have Brian Blessed, eh?

I’ve been milking the Seccl Udemy subscription, that’s for sure.

I’ve used the Raspberry Pi courses to get over the hump of being scared of a different-looking computer – and have been using what I’ve learned by building a voice command device with the voice of Brian Blessed using Raspberry Pi in my spare time. Yes, the inimitable Brian Blessed.

And I’ve also dabbled in courses on ethical hacking, network security and penetration testing.

What have been your stand-out moments since joining Seccl?

It may sound strange, but I really enjoyed my probation review. It’s done really thoroughly here, with 360° feedback from colleagues at all levels, and that’s really helpful and affirming. It went well, so left me with a pretty good feeling, really.

There’s also the infamous karaoke night after the first all-hands company meeting. I had a sore throat and a sore head the next morning, but that’s the price you pay for a good time. I remember performing a truly horrible rendition of Livin’ On A Prayer. Bon Jovi, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry.

How would you convince someone that a job at Seccl is right for them?

We have a rebellious streak, and want to make the industry better. If a straight-down-the-line, play-by-the-numbers sort of person was on the fence, I’d push them off in the other direction – for their own good! But if someone has a bit of something about them, I’d encourage them to apply in a heartbeat.

It may be easing right now, but has lockdown provided any opportunities for you?

I started exercising a lot more as soon as the government told me I could only do so once a day. There’s something about having your options reduced that makes you really value what you have.

We happened to move house on just the day the country was told not to. We were unpacking the car as the instruction came out.

However, now that we are in a house with double glazing I’ve started playing the Irish whistle again. I don’t think it’d go down well in the office…

Quick-fire time. Which Seccler is the funniest?

Rhymes. It’s just endless caustic wit and dry, punchy humour with him.

The most useful in a survival situation?

Peter Kanev, aka PK. He just strikes me as someone with a lot of survival knowledge. I reckon he could start a fire and wrestle a bear. At the same time.

And finally, the party starter?

Ronak ‘Big Ron’ Shah. Mostly because he has reasonable taste in music.

Are you someone that Sam wouldn’t push off the fence? Then we want to hear from you. Check out our careers page to see our open roles. And don’t worry if none of them look totally right. Just get in touch with Rebecca at people@seccl.tech – and start the conversation!

Stuart Sheppard

Stuart’s responsible for Seccl’s brand and tone of voice. He enjoys crafting words that are (hopefully) clear, engaging and interesting – and using content to build a seamless, satisfying user experience. Got feedback or an idea? He’d love to hear from you.

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