Company Culture

Employee Spotlight: Chris Wood

As part of our new Employee Spotlight series, we’re excited to chat to Ozone API employees from various departments and countries around the globe. This series aims to give you a closer look at the diverse and talented individuals who make our company thrive.

From colleagues in our product team to our sales managers, in each article we’ll be posing eight questions to a different team member. Join us as we celebrate the people who drive our success and make Ozone API a great place to work.

This time we’re featuring Chris Wood, our Principal Architect at Ozone API.

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What does your role involve at Ozone API?

The idea is that I bridge the gap between the worlds of standards and product engineering. My background, which includes software engineering, product development, and standards, means that this role plays to my strengths. I can write decent text, design APIs, and code, so I can cover a lot of ground.

What inspired you to pursue a career at Ozone API?

I fancied a change from short-term contracts, and was looking around for something meaningful. I know most of the Ozone API gang from the early days of open banking at OBIE, and it’s great to get back together with a team of people I know and trust.

It also helps that I totally buy into what we are building at Ozone API, and how this can benefit the world of financial services from so many different perspectives. I also thought it was high time I got back to ribbing Rajeev on a daily basis…

You’ve been working as an Architect for over 10 years, what advice would you give to someone wanting to go down the same career path?

Be patient in your role, your approach, and how you work with your peers. Being an IT architect of any sort requires diligence, insight, compromise and the means to negotiate a solution. These are attributes that I’ve had to learn and constantly work on. Anyone who knows me will know that I don’t always get these things right, but I do my best because they are important to how I do my job. 

Can you tell us about the writing you’ve done around API’s? Do you have an all time favourite article you’ve written?

I’ve always enjoyed writing, and around 2014 I decided to give it a try professionally, first with the now defunct ProgrammableWeb. It took a while to get into a decent groove, and some of the early articles (or my experiences with editors!) weren’t that great.

However, I found my sweet spot in writing about new standards and how they are applied, with worked examples of using them. Writing meaningful content for IT readers has to take a concept and give it something practical, otherwise the reader struggles to apply it. You’ve also got to remember that your head is a private space that only you have access to. Only you know what you are thinking, so don’t assume that the reader just gets it. You need to take time to explain a concept in a way that your readers will understand, because that makes your writing more compelling.

My all time favourite article is on REST Anti Patterns, which I wrote for the Nordic APIs blog. Some good lessons, a bit of fun, and I managed to include a bloke called Dave in the story to make a point.

Aside from writing, do you enjoy any particular hobbies outside of work?

Most of my time is spent on being a decent husband, dad, and dog owner. My family means everything to me. When, however, they have had enough of me I’ll go for a mountain bike ride, a long dog walk, or enjoy some wine (sometimes combined with the dog walk, but never the bike ride!)

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

The power of flight. I’ve always fancied flying.

If you could switch jobs with anyone in the company for a day, who would it be and why?

I wouldn’t switch jobs with anyone. I enjoy my own job too much.

What do you think are the most important ways in which open finance can develop in the coming years?

There are so many threads in how open finance needs to grow and develop. One of the most important in my opinion is improving the experience for customers by leveraging what’s already out there. Bringing industry players like Apple and Google in to provide authentication, through Passkeys, for users would really boost the usability of open finance solutions. Taking advantage of new standards like FedCM would also help improve both the web experience and privacy for open banking users.

I’d also say that dealing with the language of open finance is important. As technologists we speak a certain type of language, that of APIs and security, that doesn’t translate to the regular person on the street. Coupling open finance initiatives with the right marketing would be of huge value to the ecosystem (I actually wrote about the need for such developments 6 years ago, so there’s still work to be done).

Check out our Meet the Team series on YouTube, and keep an eye out for our next Employee Spotlight feature on our blog! If you’re interested in joining the team, you can find our open vacancies here.

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