back to article Newsworthy Brit bank TSB is looking for a head of infrastructure

An exciting job advert has mysteriously appeared that is seeking a techie to head up infrastructure at TSB, just days after the bank's monumental and ongoing IT cockup began. The Register has asked TSB what the recruitment means for current infrastructure head Damon Yates, who is still listed as holding the role on LinkedIn – …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Perhaps they should have got one before attempting to move system

    Little Johnny from down the road may have said it wasn't a problem but clearly in hind sight you must agree it actually was

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Barge pole meet job, no touching though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Oh I dunno, if one's CV looks convincing I suspect that one could name one's price. There comes a point where the money is too good to ignore, no matter how poisoned the chalice appears to be. Just so long as they don't expect one to personally bank with them...

    2. kain preacher Silver badge

      Hey great starter job for some fresh out off uni.

    3. Tom Paine Silver badge
      Go

      I'd take it

      ...like a shot. Think about it -- it's a dream job!

      Everyone knows you're inheriting a catastrophic mess, so you can't be blamed if it takes a long time to get back up and running. Long term fixes will be long term so will take several years before any real perspective or assessment can be made of them. Because of the poison chalice aspect, the successful candidate will be paid what accountants and Kurtan off This Country would call an absolute fuckton of wedge. The taker will have a clean slate to start from scratch to build a replacement org and systems architecture however she or he likes. Three years at £500k+ plus bonuses... cash out before anything YOU'VE done gets the chance to melt down or blow up... kerCHING! And off to the beach, golf course or pub for your retirement. Or monetise your rep as the steely-eyed professional who tamed a carnival of fail by getting on the non-exec circuit, maybe on the Board of some industry bodies, make the occasional intervention in public affairs, guests spot on HIGNFY,.. OK I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here but YKWIM.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Barge pole meet job, no touching though.

      Why not? The last guy and everybody on the implementation team gets the blame for everything (along with Pester), IBM Global Buggerups have already been commissioned to sort it out and will also blame the previous team when they fail, and the clowns at Sabadelli will have to keep throwing whatever it costs in to fix it, because otherwise they'll have their banking licence suspended.

      Admittedly you'll have to tell your relatives that you're playing the piano in a brothel, but otherwise this looks like a dream job - things so bad they should soon start to at least bottom out, a limitless budget, and consultants with a track record of failure on simple jobs who can be blamed for the next round of bungling failure.

  3. LDS Silver badge
    Devil

    Maybe it's just like ancient civilization...

    ... when the stars brought a bad omen, the king stepped down, a new one was put on the throne usually a slave or some unlucky one, just to be slaughtered when the bad omen time passed, and the old king was back...

    1. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: Maybe it's just like ancient civilization...

      Well, IBM are involved now, so some sort of feverdream of bad 70s films about the Aztecs is probably not far from the truth...

  4. Craig (well, I was until The Reg changed it to Craig 16)

    Awkward conversation in the office canteen queue

    "So, Damon, where are you off to?"

    "Nowhere, why?"

    "Ah, right, probably best that you don't look on LinkedIn at TSB jobs then..."

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If their application process is anything to go by ...

    I'm suddenly much less surprised they went TITSUP over this project.

    May I just ask here, what the fuck is the point of "LinkedIn" if "apply with LinkedIn" is merely a link to the companies own (usually pisspoor) careers portal ?

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: If their application process is anything to go by ...

      So that Microsoft can get their slice of the pie.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: If their application process is anything to go by ...

      Why does the phrase career portal make me think of Even Horizon?

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: If their application process is anything to go by ...

        Or even a frankly odd horizon, possibly even a lost one or maybe they were in Shangri-La as far as their thinking & planning went on.....

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Jack of Shadows Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: If their application process is anything to go by ...

        Why does portal make me think of defenestration?

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: If their application process is anything to go by ...

          Why does portal make me think of defenestration?

          Well - portal usually has connotations of "door". As in, "don't let the door hit you on the butt on your way out. A box that we've thrown your stuff into will be dropped off[1] later".

          [1] From the 30th floor. Directly above the "Out" door..

    3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      Re: If their application process is anything to go by ...

      Many people have asked what the point of LinkedIn is. I've yet to hear a satisfactory reply.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: If their application process is anything to go by ...

        The point of Linkedin? Simples ... Any applicant who references them, in any way, is not hired. I've actually had paper resumes/c.v.s cross my desk that included the phrase "See my Linkedin profile" with link. This is a relatively new addition to my filters for special filing in the shredder.

        Other filters include bad spelling and grammar, incorrect CAPS and punctuation, h4x0r 5p34K, .txt shorthand, use of colo(u)red ink, ransom-note fonts, including pictures, logos & monograms, .DOC files attached to email, poor layout, and pretty much anything else that distracts from the facts.

        Free hint: If you value your resume/c.v., have it proofread by several people who aren't brown nosers before you actually use it. I may be critical, but even I know that I can't proof my own work!

  6. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    From BBC's Business Live feed:

    Before TSB entered its week of computer chaos, it could have done with some advice from a man once described as an “integration guru” in a national newspaper.

    That man led the integration of Bradford & Bingley with Abbey and Alliance & Leicester a few years ago, including migrating thousands of customers to a single computer system.

    Indeed the "guru" presumably learned some lessons from what was a pretty challenging experience, prompting years of customer complaints.

    Who was he? Step forward Paul Pester, current chief executive at TSB who has been criticised for fumbling the ball over this week's IT disaster.

    1. silks

      Re: From BBC's Business Live feed:

      What could possibly go wrong there...

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: From BBC's Business Live feed:

      So, basically, we're saying Pester is Sabadell's Amber Rudd?

    3. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

      Re: From BBC's Business Live feed:

      Thousands of customers? Good lord, we really are in the realms of big data here.

    4. Tom Paine Silver badge

      Re: From BBC's Business Live feed:

      I wonder how many supposed gurus who happened to be senior exec on deck when a series of successful projects went through were actually just very lucky, and had little actual influence on the way the projects operated?

  7. Bill M

    Sounds like the perfect job

    Would be hard to do worse than the previous person plus a genuine scapegoat to blame if one actually does manage to do worse..

  8. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Baaah, that be one job I won't even look at.

    Poisoned chalice indeed.

  9. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    Where is Damon now?

    Big companies like that employ the Dilbert principle for management - the more you screw up, the higher up the management tree you get promoted. So Damon Yates is probably IT director by now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Where is Damon now?

      Well... there are SOME institutions that wouldn't actually fire someone over a screw-up of such immense proportion. I mean say you lost over £4m of research data, for example... 6 months paid vacation, psychiatric and spiritual counselling...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where is Damon now?

        '..I mean say you lost over £4m of research data, for example... 6 months paid vacation'

        Hmm, maybe the same place I once worked?, where one IT person on a short term contract who was responsible for wiping out several years worth of research (backups? we don't need no steenkin' backup......oh, wait...) eventually got a full-time job there paying more money out of it by playing the 'poor poor me, diversity, diversity, diversity' card. Admittedly, they were deployed in an area where they couldn't cause too much further damage of any great consequence, but still, that one still leaves more than a bit of a bitter taste after over a decade.

        Fun, fun times...

        As I'm at a bit of a loose end these days and as I've sworn off doing any IT jobs, maybe I should apply for this TSB wheeze, after all, I too can wear a suit and bullshit like the best of them (but do find it so, so hard to keep a straight face after the first 10 minutes or so)

  10. jake Silver badge

    Why are they looking for an IT bod?

    It's clearly their corporate culture that's b0rken ... Until that is fixed, no amount of technology, no matter how well applied, will make any difference.

    And no, I don't want the job. They are only a bank, they don't have enough money to pay me to fix the clusterfuck.

  11. TRT Silver badge

    What I read...

    Apparently the department provides "direction, thought leadership, guidance and subject matter expertise on our IT estate to make sure we get the maximum value from our investment in our IT. We do this by defining our IT strategy and aligning it fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp, fapp. "

  12. theExecutive

    Bank Holiday Weekend

    Coming up for any IT changes!

  13. PipV
    Stop

    Question - Benefits and remuneration

    Is the lucky candidate with their own box of coloured crayons or do they have to bring their own.

    If I remember correctly, according to a Dilbert - Mauve is the colour with the most RAM.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Saba daba doo!

    What happened to that woman from Equifucks? The one with a degree in music composition. Perhaps she's looking for a job at the moment.

  15. Mr Youmustbe Fuckingjoking

    Dear TSB

    I'm free,

    Sincerely

    Coco the Clown

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: Dear TSB

      So does this Coco have a clown computer that looks small, but is actually capable of holding 1.3 billion customer records?

      1. jonfr

        Re: Dear TSB

        That's like 2GB of data (database format). At most no more than 20GB of data.

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Dear TSB

          Hi res document scans?

  16. James O'Shea Silver badge

    I'll take it

    But they're gonna have to give me at least £50,000 monthly, after taxes, expenses, fees, and everything else accounting can think up to not pay me, six months in advance, non-refundable, in cash, so that I can deposit it somewhere that they can't get to it. Whassat? They don't wanna pay up? Cool. I'll just kick back at the beach here in Deepest South Florida.

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: I'll take it

      They'll deposit in a TSB account. They can't get to it, you can't get to it, but other people can.

      1. IceC0ld Bronze badge

        Re: I'll take it

        They'll deposit in a TSB account. They can't get to it, you can't get to it, but other people can.

        =============

        They'll deposit in a TSB account. They can't get to it, but once you sort it, you will be able to get to it, call it 'incentive' LOL

    2. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ
      Facepalm

      Re: I'll take it

      @James O'shea

      "50,000 monthly, after taxes, expenses, fees, and everything else accounting can think up to not pay me, six months in advance, non-refundable, in cash, so that I can deposit it somewhere that they can't get to it.,"

      so your gonna do it cheap then.....

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Job Security

    You wonder how long any job in TSB will last?

    The Information Commissioner is going to fine you zillions for Information insecurity

    The PRA & FCA is going to fine you for being not able to run a Tea Shop never mind a bank

    The customer base is going to run away as soon as its able to transfer money

    IBM is on the case

    The government is on the case

    You have to convince the BoE, PRA and FCA that your fit and proper to hold a banking licence

    Good luck with that TSB but don't forget the image of Northern Rock customers queued round the block when the bank run started.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Job Security

      but don't forget the image of Northern Rock customers queued round the block when the bank run started.

      not forgetting that run on northern rock was started on false information. It was the run that caused them to fail, they were not failing before hand...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Job Security

        They were.

        NR lent long and borrowed short, so were going bust.

        Read your history.

      2. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

        Re: Job Security

        lending 125% of inflated valuations? not failing at all...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Job Security

      The ICO are the very least of their worries.[1] I've had a bit of tangential experience of what happens when the gaze of the FCA's lidless eye drifts over a firm -- must be what the ants feel like when the roof of their nest turns out to be brick someone just turned over. As a bank they'll also have the PRA looking at them. This will cost them a lot more money than just what they spend fixing the current fail.

      [1] (Actually I'm not clear whether people seeing the data from other people's accounts saw the account holders names and addresses -- if it was just account balances or lists of standing orders, etc., arguably it may not be identifiable. Anyone know?

      If I cut the name and address and some of the routing info off my paper bank statements* and posted a pic online you'd be hard-pressed to identify me. (OK I suppose you could ask the staff at my local who comes in at 10pm every night with a thousand-yard stare and a monitor tan, then necks two or three pints of Butcombe, but that'd be cheating.)

      Any

      * yeah people have been giving me funny looks for having a few boxfiles full of bank statements for years. Heh!

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Job Security

      "You wonder how long any job in TSB will last?"

      As long as you get paid enough, does it matter?

  18. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Happy

    Well I can only think of the phrase "human sacrifice" here for the poor sucker who takes the job.

    Because it will be his/her job to explain to the powers that be exactly what went wrong.

    However because of the timing of the ad , he/she will be able to supply the answer that will satisify the regulators/government.......... "I have since fired the people responsible for it"

  19. DuchessofDukeStreet

    The Only Way is Up

    Let's face it, you'd have to be astoundingly inept to get even close to the levels of disaster the previous incumbent has produced, and whatever you do cock up could be immediately blamed on "legacy issues" without the slightest doubt. So you're guaranteed to be an improvement. Almost sounds like the ideal job...you'd just maybe insist on keeping your current account somewhere else.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the thing when there's a major fuckup..

    someone gets made to walk the plank and then nobody else in house wants to step up, so they go looking elsewhere.

    you have to think at what sort of person is going to take up this fuckup. Nobody in the right mind is going to take it on, not unless it comes with a massive pay packet and contractual sureties that your job is going to be safe in the long term (5 to 8 years guaranteed). You will also want to be able to sack everyone you feel the need to get rid of in your department... If you demand a pay packet that's way above the industry standard at that level, you might get it in the short term,,, but once everything is fixed up you are gonna need to look for another job. That said, if you have "2018 to 2023, fixed TSB fuck up. Took it from a dying duck to the best banking computer system" is going to be a big gold star and other banks needing a robust system are gonna come calling...

    do, Ideal job for someone with not much track record trying to fast track up the ladder.

    time to dust off my CV, I got out of IT a while back.... maybe worth a return

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The back of the queue is over there.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Royal We

    So the job posting refers to the position over and over in the first person plural.

    Is there a paycheck for each of my personalities? Are they targeting the Borg collective?

    Or perhaps their HR department is adhering to the same high standards demonstrated by their IT department?

  22. Steve 114
    IT Angle

    Better speak Spanish, fluently. No, really.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mary Poppins we need you now !!!

      Steve114,

      Got it in One !!!

      You know this means that Sabadell will 'parachute' in someone who has climbed the greasy pole in Spain.

      They will be paid very well to 'fix' this, with IBM doing all the work* and the new 'Head of Infrastructure' getting the improved CV as a consequence. :)

      A win on all sides as far as Sabadell are concerned !!!

      *Assumption made, of course, that IBM will fix it but at the Huge rates they are going to charge they could buy in skills and still make a BIG Profit.

  23. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Cannon fodder wanted?

    Have resume, will travel. This doesn't sound like either a fun or secure gig. Maybe if they pay well enough, someone will take it for the money. I just hope they're close to retirement.

    1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: Cannon fodder wanted?

      Or, rather, already in retirement and considering a challenge. The image that comes to mind here is a certain gent inclined at tilting at windmills. Swaybacked steed, rusted armor, warped lance, you get the idea.

      This job is the kind of insane thing I used to jump into willingly.

  24. JWLong

    Dear TSB

    I have figured out what the problem is.

    You're trying to row a canoe made in India, with a sieve from Spain, on a body of water nicknamed "Shit River".

    Hey Pester, what's it like being the Captain of the Bismarck. Around and around you go, kinda like a turd in a toilet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear TSB

      That's unfair to The Bismarck.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Dear TSB

      "You're trying to row a canoe"

      At least they would, if they hadn't lost the paddle some time back.

  25. cuddlyjumper

    Surely...

    ...they have a head of infrastructure? And surely it's on a stick right now?

  26. Velv Silver badge
    Joke

    Management Advice

    I wonder if the incoming manager will be handed three envelopes...

    The story of three envelopes is a business classic for dysfunctional organizations. It starts with an incoming manager replacing a recently fired outgoing manager. On his way out, the outgoing manager hands the new manager three envelopes and remarks, "when things get tough, open these one at a time."

    About three months goes by and things start to get rough. The manager opens his drawer where he keeps the three envelopes and opens #1. It reads: "Blame your predecessor." So he does and it works like a charm.

    Another three months passes and things are growing difficult again so the manger figures to try #2. It reads, "reorganize." Again, his predecessor's advice works like magic.

    Finally, about nine months into the new job, things are getting really sticky. The manager figures it worked before, why not try again. So he opens the envelope drawer one last time and opens #3. It reads..."prepare three envelopes."

  27. Hans 1 Silver badge

    No balls, no glory

    I step forward, I am sure I could do much, much, much better than what has been done so far. When it comes to systems, I am a paranoid pessimist, I live by Murphy's law, am both dedicated and lazy as fuck. Automator is my other handle and I have read up on PRINCE2, know devops, agile and waterfall methodologies and, as any sane person would do, take the best of all these (iow what I have personally experienced as "just works best") PLUS have people management AND product management experience!

  28. Duffaboy
    FAIL

    LinkedIn

    There's plenty of Techies on there with Bogus Cv's (whoops did i type Bogus) to pick from.

  29. Duffaboy
    Joke

    I'm sure..

    Meg Whitman is available

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm sure..

      ¿Puede hablar español?

      1. Ken 16 Silver badge

        Hablando en Cristiano?

        Naturalmente, mi esposa esta espanola.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TSB

    This is why we test !

  31. Tom Paine Silver badge

    A TSB QA engineer tweets...

    https://twitter.com/levelbeam/status/990253817898913793

    @levelbeam:

    =================

    "I work on the testing teams. They had only 'Passed' and 'Passed with exception' statuses. No 'fail'. The digital senior managers were entirely deluded."

    =================

    1. Thoguht Silver badge

      Re: A TSB QA engineer tweets...

      I don't normally look at Twitter, but when I followed that link I got:

      Loading seems to be taking a while.

      Twitter may be over capacity or experiencing a momentary hiccup. Try again or visit Twitter Status for more information.

      I didn't realise it was also run by the TSB IT team.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    About that Sabadell group IT alignment

    Considering the monumental balls-up this project appears to have been using services and a software platform that have been reportedly provided by that outfit will anyone really want the job of being a puppet under the control of an organisation that seemingly neither knows nor cares about the reality of running such an operation in the UK?

    That hastily removed press release seemed they know nothing at all nor do they care that much.

    Fortunately for me my main account isn't with them so I haven't been in the situation some people have with no access to funds and it does appear they have been processing standing orders and DDs but I have to say I am considering moving the account I have as who knows what might happen during the next upgrade/scheduled works.

    I've no doubt the UK techs have been working their socks off and are mortified as to what has happeend but it's the ones in Spain who are seemingly in the driving seat these days I have less confidence in.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: About that Sabadell group IT alignment

      "the ones in Spain who are seemingly in the driving seat these days"

      Are you sure that applies for the last week or two? There's tennis on in Barcelona. Not just any old tennis either, it's Banc Sabadell's Barcelona Open:

      https://www.barcelonaopenbancsabadell.com/en/information

      I know nothing. Not even where TSB's IT people come from.

  33. Charles Smith

    I could solve their infrastructure problems..

    .. get rid of their Agile software development. Those bozo's rarely consider the production transaction level impact of their design/implementation on the infrastructure resources.

  34. adam payne Silver badge

    The Register has asked TSB what the recruitment means for current infrastructure head Damon Yates, who is still listed as holding the role on LinkedIn – a job he began back in November 2016.

    With our heartfelt thanks we present you with this can, bye and thanks for coming.

  35. lardymcfartpants

    Under Qualified

    Let's be fair, looking at his linked in profile he's woefully under qualified with zero leadership experience.

    This is what you get when you put a project manager in charge.

  36. HamsterNet

    Might apply

    I've got no project management experience, a degree is something totally unrelated to IT. No idea about banking systems, but I've got some seriously sharp suits

    Should be a perfect fit.

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