Published 31st January 2020

Last November we attended the FINOS Open Source Strategy Forum event in New York and were impressed with every aspect of it. The fact that InnerSource was mentioned in almost every single talk I attended was very encouraging. FINOS is the FinTech Open Source Foundation and is doing great work around finance and OSS. So we were thrilled when they announced the inaugural London Open Source Fintech Meetup with Scott Logic, which was held last night in Techspace Shoreditch.

Larry Breen, NearForm’s new Chief Commercial Officer, and I had a wonderful evening listening to great talks and chatting with really interesting attendees. It’s always an eye-opener to meet people of widely different levels of knowledge of Open Source itself and the mechanisms of how Open Source projects operate.

Highlights from London Open Source Fintech Meetup with FINOS

James McLeod, FINOS’s Director of Community, clearly understands his audience and put together a set of talks which were approachable for anyone. The next event is in April and hopefully my summary below will give you a good sense of what to expect if you are interested in attending. We’d love to chat if you do.

So here’s my 4 takeaways:

  1. There’s lots of room for growth in open source collaboration
    James himself was the first speaker and did a whistle-stop tour of Docusaurus, a ReactJS platform used by FINOS and the ODP project for building collaborative wikis. Some of the questions afterwards were a good reminder that things like GitHub, PRs, forks etc, are still quite alien concepts to many people working in traditional banking software environments.
  2. Open Banking has laid bare that US banks are falling even further behind European in FinTech
    James was followed by Stephen Diehl from Adjoint talking about Open Source Software and Open Banking APIs. It was my turn to be the newbie as he explained quite a few banking terms and angles around Open Banking that I had never considered. The horror/danger of screen-scraping as a way of creating reliable APIs came up several times.
  3. Inspirational People are critical to growth of the Open Source community
    Adam Mcmurchie, the Head of DevOps in Barclays, took a very different direction from the talk he was originally going to give. It was an absolute triumph where he covered his 4 year journey from working in a chicken factory and being a bricklayer to his current role in Barclays and his position as one of the top 100 contributors to GitHub by commits. A complete inspiration to everyone in the room.
  4. One to watch: Financial Desktop Applications to be built as PWAs in the future
    Finally we had Petyo Ivanov talking about Glue42‘s soon-to-be-released new product. They are taking the huge step of Open Sourcing the core technologies of this product which enables financial desktop applications to be built as PWAs (Progressive Web Apps) with all of the functionality of FDC3 and other related standards. We’re big proponents of PWAs in NearForm and will watch the launch closely.

We finished the night with some great conversations around OSS, Node.js and FinTech. If I left with two words bouncing around inside my head last night, they were “risk” and “timing”.

Conor is Joint Head of NearForm Research & Chief Product Officer at NearForm.  He is responsible for connecting the activities of the Research teams to NearForm’s overall innovation strategy.  If you’d like to know more about what NearForm Research do, reach out to Conor at research@nearform.com

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Conor O'Neill

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