“Leave Temenos? Never. This Software’s my baby. I love looking after it.”
There’s so much to good software—from correctly identifying what it must do in the first place to writing resilient, reliable code that works with the rest of the system. Ultimately, it comes down to solving a series of hard-to-pin-down problems— something Rick excels at.
“Solving problems motivates me. It goes back to my university days,” he says.
Rick fell in love with computing at the University of East London where he graduated with a degree in business studies. One of his courses was systems theory relating to computing and problem solving. “I realized that good problem solving is about thinking outside the box—the right answer isn’t always obvious,” he says. This revelation has served him well.
Over his 35-year career at Temenos, his solutions to particularly hard-to-crack problems have contributed to some of the most important developments at the company. These include helping to write, develop and integrate the original securities module, enabling Temenos to move into private banking; automating in-house testing to speed up development and improve resilience; and beefing up the caliber of Temenos consultants so banks not only get what they want but also what they need, faster.
“Today, there is a certification process for Temenos consultants that came out of the work I did. The consultants must be experts. They’re working on the implementation with perhaps 200-300 others from third-party partners. They’re outnumbered, so they’ve got to have authority,” he says.
For each new challenge, he’s stepped back and found an original approach. For example, when he led the team to automate in-house testing, he realized they needed detailed, real-life banking scenarios to create effective test cases. His answer was to hire bankers to write those scenarios as they knew every step—whether in securities, forex, accounts, transactions, money markets or loans. His team then trained these bankers to input and validate their test scenarios in the company’s T24 banking system (now Temenos Transact).
“It was a bit scary for them. They were bankers now working for a software house. They didn’t know anything about T24. I told them we would assist them at every stage and that when we’d finished they’d know the system inside out,” he explains. The result was top-notch test cases and every single one of the hires stayed with Temenos, becoming valuable business consultants.
Rick’s dedication to problem solving also helped close the gap between Temenos product developers and the service consultants—those who work with the bank to implement the software. “I introduced more contact between them at an earlier stage,” he says, with the result that the developers had earlier sight of the problems they were trying to solve, helping them to get it right first time more often.
“Temenos is one big team effort.”
A consummate team player, Rick says there have been too many wonderful colleagues to name any individuals, adding: “Temenos is one big team effort.”
At 67, some might be thinking about retirement. Not Rick. “Never,” he says. “This software’s my baby. I love looking after it.”