Shamara Thompson

Shamara Thompson

Software Engineer Belfast


My role allows me to put my problem-solving skills to good use. I am responsible for gathering internal technical requirements for our Entitlements Management product and I also have the opportunity to work on different projects within the Engineering team. One day I could be updating the next version of our Entitlements application and coding new API endpoints in Java, and the next I could be polishing the UX in JavaScript or writing scripts in the variety of technologies and platforms that we get to use. The varied and problem-solving nature of my role is a great learning experience, and my contributions help keep our tests and documentation up to scratch. So far my role has been focussed on products within our market data business, but I look forward to working on some of our other products in the future.

Daily life

Whilst I don’t interact directly with clients in my current role, I worked on the Client Services team when I originally joined Vela. So with each product I work on, I always keep the client in mind and consider how we can create a great customer experience for them. My role requires me to solve a variety of issues every day, alongside making constant improvements and updates to the software. I love a challenge and really enjoy this aspect of my role as I feel that my efforts will have a truly positive impact on both our internal and external stakeholders.

My main responsibility is to work on our browser-based Entitlements Management application. I work in shifts, which allows me to alternate between being in sync with my colleagues in both Belfast and New York at different points during the week and allows me greater flexibility with my family life. I usually like to start my day by checking in with the rest of the team and getting an update on the status of their projects. I will then check whether there are any changes to the codebase that need to be approved or reviewed to ensure things can keep moving smoothly. My focus is then on solving any outstanding items from the previous day, which is usually the most productive part of my day! If I am involved in any other projects, I will also then check on the status of those and ensure I am completing my tasks in a timely manner.

Working environment

There is a great community spirit at Vela, and this contributes (in no small part) to the enjoyment I take from my role. Everyone is friendly and supportive and there’s a real collaborative atmosphere that encourages teamwork. It feels like we are all working towards the same goal and each of us is doing our part to keep our products and services running smoothly.

As a result, Vela is a very sociable place to work (when we are allowed to be in the office!) and in the Belfast office there were regular outings for drinks and dinners as well as a bustling, cross-department breakroom centred around a pool table. The location is also fantastic, as there are lots of great places to grab lunch nearby or go for a walk when the weather is nice. I’m really looking forward to getting back into the office and seeing everyone in person again!

I am lucky enough to work with a group of very talented people and have wonderfully supportive managers, which are two of my favourite things about Vela. I feel very fortunate for having the opportunity to dedicate time to self-improvement and learning new skills. Many of my colleagues are very health-conscious and have taken on challenges for charity, such as marathon relays and team spin-a-thon contests, which has inspired and encouraged me to do the same.

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