Leon Atkins

Computer Science

"Something I really enjoy about Alfa is that, despite my technical background, I’ve been able to spend time in both functional and technical roles."

I joined Alfa in 2013 after completing a PhD in Computer Science at the University of Bristol. Although I came from a technical background, Alfa recruits from a variety of disciplines and we were taught everything we needed to know in our initial training. 

At Alfa I’ve had a variety of interesting roles. My first, immediately after my initial training, was in New Zealand. This meant being based on-site five days a week at the client’s offices in Auckland, which was a great way to gain exposure to how an asset finance company works. While I was there I had the opportunity to work in a number of different roles, including helping with developments to ensure that the client’s software was compliant with new legislation, and liaising with finance users to assist with a new reporting suite. Since returning to the UK, I’ve continued to work in various roles, and have been able to take on responsibility very quickly - at the moment I run a small client project. The role has presented plenty of challenges along the way, but I have the valued support of a great team of colleagues. 

Something I really enjoy about Alfa is that, despite my technical background, I’ve been able to spend time in both functional and technical roles. This has allowed me to develop a broad range of skills aside from software development, such as project  management and financial accounting. The core graduate training programme over the first two years gave me a great understanding of all the core functional and technical skills I needed for my job. Following on from this, I’ve been encouraged to  continue attending training courses. Last year I went to a technical conference, and this year I’ve been on a project management course.

There is a great culture at Alfa. Every three months we have a company meeting, which is a great chance to catch up with colleagues and find out what’s been going on elsewhere in the company, as well as taking part in some fun activities such as bowling or go-karting. One of our recent company meetings was held at the Velodrome in Stratford, where we all had an opportunity to race the Olympic cycling track. Outside of work, aside from the regular Friday evenings in the pub, there are a number of different sports and activities to get involved with. I’ve been a regular member of the weekly 5-a-side football team, and we also have occasional 11-a-side games, including the annual Alfa North vs South London match, which last year was held at a Premier League football ground. Sadly the prestigious venue did not manage to improve the quality of the football played! 

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