My God you are still reading even after a title like that, well let me explain further.
After you have been a tech for 5 to 10 years, you start to realise that is is not quite enough, yes you have experience, yes you have seen it all and know the root of many technologies so the new stuff that comes out is mearly variations that don’t take long to learn, but you are starting to look a bit long in the tooth to the upstarts graduates, there are lots of ways of dealing with this, from the odious PM to Manager route (Spits!), to the serious tech head (time to grow a beard that you can keep squirrels in), I chose the architect route, now that means I have to be bloody good at a certain line of business as well as the tech that supports it.
I chose Insurance, it’s not the most glamours or the highest paying ( good Insurance business knowledge adds £100 - £150 to your daily rate vs the £200 - £300 for investment banking) but it is far less stressful and I have found the people to be very friendly (something that matters to me)
But even insurance has its levels, from the simple hi-lo (high volume - low value) types such a car and personal liability which fit on one sheet on paper to the very serious “International Property” and “International Marine” (Blue water) which take days or even weeks to do one policy with the help of serious computing power, at the top end of these complicated polices is the joy of Reinsurance which is basically a way of split a large risk amongst lots of companies.
From an IT point of view its hard to get a business grip on this and see it as the brokers and underwriters do even if you deal with the tech side of it every day, and lets face it, its not something you just chat about in the average pub, but there is a book on it to help, well there are quite a few books on it but many of them are out of date. this one however is considered one of the best AND has just been updated
Its Called Reinsurance: the Nuts & Bolts written by Keith Riley and I have to say it’s bloody brilliant, I don’t just mean on its coverage of a complex subject or on the fact the author has produced a technical book on insurance that does not have you slitting your wrists ever 5 mins, I mean that every couple of pages I had a “oh so that’s why the data looks like that”, it gives real insight in a friendly manner and helps you distinguish yourself for other Techs when it comes to dealing with the business. Format wise it feels very much like a “for dummies” book back when such books addressed tricky subjects. Very definitely well worth the investment