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Exclusive Interview with Harborx’s CTO, David Sung

This post has been superseded at finovate.com.

We have a great speaker lineup for FinDEVr London which will take place on June 12 & 13. As part of our FinDEVr Feature series, which highlights some of the speakers you will see on stage at the event, we recently interviewed the CTO of one of the presenting companies, Harborx. You can save 20% on your FinDEVr ticket when you register with Harborx’s promo code Harborx20LD17.

Here’s our interview with David Sung, Harborx’s CTO:


Where did you start your career and how did you gain the experience needed to run the tech side of your company?

Sung: I studied Information Technology at City University of Hong Kong. In 2009, I started in iOS development, building numerous mobile applications for various industries ranging from entertainment and healthcare to insurance, banking and finance.

I bonded with co-founders of Harborx, Cyrus Wen and Wissam Sabbah, over the vision of creating a better trading experience for a wider audience, based on mobile technology and social trading. Together, we started crafting a unique mobile trading system based on our previous experience in fintech and mobile app development.

From a technologist’s perspective, what’s unique and game-changing about your technology?

Sung: I believe that Harborx is made unique by the way we leverage functional and reactive programming.

We use functional programming extensively in backend and frontend development, providing traditionally complicated concurrency programming with elegant declarative style; breaking complex logical control flow by using functional composition.

Through adopting Reactive programming, i.e. ReactiveX, our frontend team can manipulate UI events and API responses, streaming data in a single consolidated framework. Our developers transform all signals from different parts of the system into UI elements presented in a mobile device.

Tell us about your favorite implementation of your solution/technology.

Sung: If I had to pick one, it would be building our own trading engine on top of Akka Cluster. This technology takes the actor programming model to its extreme as a distributed system, providing the resilience and scalability the trading engine needs.

With Akka, we’ve been able to break the whole complex backend system into functional units which can be updated without affecting the rest of the modules, effectively minimizing system downtime.

Our team takes “Infrastructure as Code” (IaC) seriously. We have built the whole stack in the cloud using Kubernetes as the container engine. We avoid manual configuration of environments and enforce consistency by representing the desired state of their environments through code.

We have built an environment where team members can work together with a unified set of practices and tools to deliver applications and their supporting infrastructure rapidly, reliably, and at scale. This is something many development teams struggle with, and we’re happy to have found the solution.


FinDEVr London 2017 is sponsored by TestDevLab.

FinDEVr London 2017 is partnered with Aite Group, Banking TechnologyBayPay Forum, BiometricUpdate.com, Brave New CoinBreaking Banks, Byte Academy, The Canadian Trade Commissioner ServiceCelent, Cointelegraph, Colloquy, Cooper Press, DistributedEconomic Journal, Empire Startups, Femtech Leaders, Finmaps, Fintech Finance, Global DataHarrington Starr, Holland FintechLevel39, London Tech Week, Mapa ResearchMercator Advisory Group, The Paypers, Plug and Play, SecuritySolutionsWatch.com, SME Finance Forum, StartupbootcampSwiss Finance + Technology Association, and Women Who Code.