Join the fastest moving, most tech savvy 110 year old (investment firm) you’ll ever meet.
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Application Development at Baillie Gifford is all about working with technology to create new and cutting-edge business solutions. Working primarily with applications that run on both Oracle and SQL server databases, our Application Development team focuses on creating software solutions that make our business work better, now and in the future. We use advanced technologies like ASP.NET Core, C# and eID, as well as HTML 5 platforms, Angular, iOS Mobile Development and Android. We also work with major suppliers and field trial their new technologies. That means you could be looking at how new software products work and helping to develop their functionality before anyone else.
Join us and you’ll have the opportunity to work with leading-edge systems across the full project lifecycle. You’ll receive training and support to be involved in every stage of the process from gathering requirements and full stack development through to testing and deployment. You’ll also be joining our journey towards an entire DevOps culture and practice. Many companies are just starting to explore DevOps, but we’re ahead of the curve. Our size has allowed us to be agile and take more risks than many larger financial services organisations. Our development teams are provided with best-in-class tools, such as Visual Studio and Microsoft Visual Studio Team Services (VSTS), allowing us to adapt to the rise of new approaches such as Git.
Although this role is at the forefront of technology innovation, it’s not tech for tech’s sake. You’ll collaborate with colleagues across the organisation and gain a full understanding of what they need from their technology. Then it’s over to your team to create imaginative solutions that deliver results for the business.
“Our graduates get involved in real work as early as possible. We want them talking to people across the business, finding out what they need from their technology and creating imaginative solutions that really deliver.”
Our two-year graduate programme is all about learning and discovering just where your long-term career could take you within Baillie Gifford. The first three months are your induction and it’s at this time you’ll receive the technical training you need to become a full stack developer. To ensure your development is well-rounded, we’ll also provide you with professional training such as presenting, networking and effective meeting techniques. There’s even the opportunity to gain professional qualifications like the Investment Operations Certificate, and we’ll offer our full support including tutoring and study leave.
After this comprehensive induction, you’ll begin a graduate trainee project. Working in teams on real business requirements, you’ll get involved in the complete project lifecycle. But you won’t be flung in the deep end; a mentor will be on-hand to help you at every stage of the process.
Once your initial training is complete, you’ll do two placements in different business streams to help you gain a breadth of knowledge and skills. This will help you consider your career options, which could see you progress to become a technical specialist or into a management role.
But you don’t stop learning once the graduate programme is complete. When you move into a permanent role, you’ll continue to grow your knowledge and develop throughout your time here at Baillie Gifford. It’s this culture that sees our graduates go on to become the very best they can be, because it’s your success that fuels our own.
The most important attribute you need to thrive in Application Development is a passion for technology.
In terms of your degree, it doesn’t have to be in computer science, in fact it could be in any subject with a minimum 2:1 grade. We’re more interested in whether you’ve built a website, written a blog or contributed to technical forums. However, knowledge of a programming language will give you a head start when you join the team.
When we meet, we’d like to hear about your interest in emerging technology and problem-solving approach to technical challenges. Share your thoughts with us on how technology can transform businesses and make them work better. Tell us about your strengths and experiences, perhaps from an evening job or student society role, and help us see how you’ll fit into our team.
Yes you’ll need technical bias, but we’re looking for more than that. We want you to have the curiosity to ask questions and explore new ideas. You must be keen to contribute to our team environment, and collaborate with anyone around our business.
Complete our short application form, which includes questions about why you’d like to join us and what you think makes us tick. Then attach your CV and a covering letter.
We’ll invite you to our Edinburgh office for an interview with one of our HR team as well as one of our IT professionals. We’ll run through your CV with you, talk about the academic and professional choices that you’ve made so far, together with some competency-based questions.
This is a final and more in-depth stage of interviewing. You will attend an assessment centre with other applicants which will include a second interview and group exercise. You will also have the chance to speak informally to current graduates, managers and HR representatives about Baillie Gifford.
I was impressed by the wide array of advanced technologies that Baillie Gifford were applying to the applications used within the firm. Some of the languages are used widely within web development today and weren’t introduced to me as part of my degree course, so that really piqued my interest. Reading up around the company, I also discovered that Baillie Gifford are researching the different applications of AI. This is an area that really interests me, so I decided to apply to their graduate scheme.
I’m currently working in the Emerging Technologies Team on a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) project. The team are trialing a number of different processes which they believe could benefit the firm if automated. In some cases, repetitive manual tasks are involved and over 32 spreadsheets must be populated, and so bot technology is used to collect data, then format and upload it. This project has been of particular benefit to the Marketing Intelligence team as the data being collected directly affects many operations in the firm.
The most interesting part of RPA has been developing and deploying solutions alongside an offshore team, as well as learning a new development tool - Blue Prism. It’s also been really useful to see how all the different departments in Baillie Gifford link together and feed into each other. The RPA software allows you to create processes, underpinned by business logic, rules and programming fundamentals, and it’s being used across various teams, including Compliance and the European Funds Operations Department.
There’s a really great support network at Baillie Gifford and you’re always being encouraged to get involved in industry events. If you want to attend a particular event or training course, then you just need to ask. I’m really interested in blockchain technology and recently attended a conference in London on the topic.
I came to the UK from Colombia in 2016 and lived in Canterbury whilst I completed my Masters. I then relocated to Edinburgh when I secured a place on Baillie Gifford’s Application Development Programme. From the start, it’s been great experience. The first three months were spent learning about the technology used by the firm, which was really interesting. I then studied for the Investment Operations Certificate, which introduced me to all the financial terminology in the investment management industry. Preparing for this involved a mixture of book-based learning, training via online platforms and webinar summaries. We also had external trainers that came on site to summarise the course and answer any questions.
After our induction, the trainees are given a graduate project which is designed to give you an overview of how the different teams in the department fit together. This year our project involved creating a consistent, unified approach to User Acceptance Testing (UAT) across the firm, and we created a web app. We started from scratch, gathering requirements and developing everything ourselves in a team of three graduates, plus an experienced tech lead. It was really useful to work on the whole project lifecycle.
Once you’ve gained confidence on a project, graduates then start their rotational placements in a ‘real’ role. My current role is to improve the way the firm catalogues all the investors’ research, so it can be easily shared and accessed across the company. I’m part of a small team working on this project, so it’s been challenging, but I’ve been able to offer a fresh perspective, which has been very well received. I feel that my ideas about new technologies have really been taken onboard.
For a city, Edinburgh has a lot of green space and it’s easy to access the surrounding countryside. It’s not too big or hectic and the people are friendly. I didn’t know anyone when I moved to Edinburgh, so the events organised by Baillie Gifford, like the office outing, annual dinner dance and Christmas dinner, have really helped me to meet other people in the firm. There’s a great community of graduates here, both new and old.
When I joined Baillie Gifford 25 years ago I was just one of four application developers in an IT department of twelve. Today we have over 150 people working in Application Development and 300 across our Information Systems department. That growth is down to the talent and dedication of our IS team – and also the vision and support of the partners who understand that technology can not only serve, but also drive a business forward.
During my time here I have rotated through many different projects and worked with a number of different teams – so I’ve developed a full understanding of how Baillie Gifford works and built up lots of contacts around the department and firm. I’m keen that our graduate trainees get to do the same. Through that, they will gain the solid foundation for their careers that I enjoyed.
I’ve stayed with Baillie Gifford because of the culture of the firm. Everyone here treats people with respect. It’s a supportive environment at every level, from graduate trainees through to senior management. There’s also a real commitment to technology helping the firm. If we believe that there’s a sound business reason to invest in new technology or to take on a new project, then the backing is always there.
I have enjoyed the autonomy and space to do my job from very early on in my career - and that’s why we look for graduates who can take the initiative: individuals who can see where improvements can be made, but also take on the challenge to do something about it.
It’s incredible how much you learn in the first few months. The training is well structured – it really feels like they’re investing in your future in the firm. In fact, there’s a lot of opportunity to learn new things. Learnfest week is an annual event held in May. The Learning & Development team organise three or four training workshops every day during the week and you can attend as many as you want. Options include study techniques, presentation skills, mindfulness, leadership skills and sleep management.
I’m really proud of my graduate project. It was a web application where users could post suggestions and ideas for the firm. As the firm grows, it’s difficult to keep track of people’s suggestions for improvements or initiatives. The website enables everyone to post and view ideas in one place. I was worried that it wouldn’t be used much, but it’s been well received with many ideas already posted and approved. It’s shown me that I can make a positive impact on the company, even while I’m still learning.
There’s a really supportive culture at Baillie Gifford. If something doesn’t go to plan, problems are dealt with positively, and we look at what we can learn from the experience. There’s a focus on the bigger picture and how it’s better to produce quality work than something that’s rushed. It’s this ethos that motivates me to push myself and aim higher with each project.
At the moment, I’m part of the Accounting and Investment Operations delivery stream, working closely with the Client Administration department to replace some legacy systems. We’re re-writing them from the bottom up using modern technologies such as Angular, ASP.NET Core Web API and Docker. Angular and Docker are both new to me, but I’m part of a really supportive team who appreciate that I’m learning but still trust me to pick up more involved pieces of work. I’m also looking to finish the third and final module of my Investment Operations Certification.
I found the position advertised on the university careers service website. It stood out to me as I’d always enjoyed web development and saw I’d be working with C#. I was also really excited about the technology that Baillie Gifford use. And even though I didn’t have experience of all of it, the training was well explained, so I was reassured that they would teach me any additional technical skills required.
After three months of initial training we started our graduate project. This was an opportunity to see a project through from start to finish, everything from gathering requirements and full stack development through to testing and deployment. Our project was to build an application for a code release form, replacing an old system. It’s fantastic to have already created something that people are using on a daily basis throughout the department.
Teamwork and communication skills are key here. We work in an Agile project environment and have daily stand up meetings to discuss our progress. Another vital skill is problem solving. A requirement comes in and you have to think ‘why is that being asked? Is there a better solution?'. It’s important to question whether they need something new, or whether they can use an existing application to achieve their aim. I consider myself a developer rather than a programmer.
There’s a real learning culture at the firm. We all get the chance to study for the IOC qualification, (Investment Operations Certificate), which Baillie Gifford fully supports. There’s a joke here that nobody leaves and you can see why – they treat you so well! Social activities include the Dinner Dance, the Office Outing (where you can choose from 20 different activities from chocolate making to mountain biking) and Christmas parties, as well as lots of graduate trainee get togethers.
I became interested in the Baillie Gifford graduate scheme when I discovered you don’t need a computer science degree to apply. During the first three months, there was a wealth of technical training from C# to SQL. We also learned about investment management to ensure we had an understanding of what the systems underpin. I really enjoyed learning so much, so quickly. Not coming from a computing background, the first week on the graduate project was challenging. However, with the team’s support and help from our Technical Lead, it clicked and I felt I could contribute as much as anybody else.
My skillset has grown dramatically since joining Baillie Gifford. You don’t just sit behind a computer in isolation, you work with testers and business users, so communication skills are important. Creative problem solving is also vital, as you have to imagine how to make old systems better. However, the biggest transformation has been in my technical abilities, as I’m mastering PL/SQL, C#, ASP.NET and Typescript.
The level of support has also been invaluable. We meet regularly with the graduate programme manager, where you can ask anything and chat about your progress. It feels like everyone wants me to succeed just as much as I do.
I recently joined the Accounting and Efficiency stream and started working on a web project. The team has been working on the project for a year, but instead of this being a disadvantage, they said it was good to get a fresh pair of eyes on the work. This made me realise what a meaningful contribution I could make here, even early on in my career.