Sell-Side Technology Awards 2020: Best Use of the Agile Methodology—TransFICC

Sell-Side Technology Awards

Although the drive to adopt Agile practices has been a trend across the capital markets for a number of years now, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to increased interest from sell-side firms looking to adopt Agile principles. This year’s winner of the best use of the Agile methodology category, TransFICC, is a provider of low-latency connectivity and workflow services for fixed-income and derivatives trading. The firm uses Extreme Programming (XP), an Agile development framework that allows faster release cycles, more flexibility and better quality code. A key component of XP is programmers working in pairs. The firm’s three co-founders all previously worked at LMAX Exchange in London where they had previously experienced XP. “You work with two people together at the same time, sort of like you are writing an article with your editor,” explains Judd Gaddie, co-founder of TransFICC. “The editor is sitting next to you looking over your shoulder, checking it is being written. That’s the kind of approach we try.”

When developing for a new customer, the firm can push out an early version of a feature overnight to let them try it out. If the client has any issues with the release, they can discuss it on a call the following day.

One of the lessons to come from the Covid-19 pandemic has been the importance of being nimble and efficient in terms of how firms manage product delivery to their clients. In the early days of the pandemic, having to work remotely was a non-event for TransFICC. “We have been very fortunate in our current situation where there has been no lack of customer demand,” says Tom McKee, co-founder of TransFICC. “We are still reaching out to a lot of new customers, and we’ve also expanded our offering to our existing customers. The development team has been able to continue operations pretty much as normal,” he says.

The programmers continue to work in pairs using remote desktops, sharing a screen for video chats and working on code together. Dave Farley, consultant developer at TransFICC, has also advised on the use of Agile. He is co-author of the award-winning Continuous Delivery and one of the authors of The Reactive Manifesto.

In April this year, the firm closed a Series A investment round, raising £5.75 million ($7.07 million). Led by AlbionVC, it included new investments from ING Ventures and HSBC.


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