Connamara Quarterly

Thoughts from our CEO

Recently we have added User Experience (UX) Designers to our software engineering teams at Connamara. This step was made partially to improve the aesthetics of the user interfaces we build for our clients, but also, for certain projects, to provide a means for visually representing the user story of the feature under consideration.

Connamara also prides itself on our agile approach to delivering software. We recognize the fact that not all requirements for any software project can be known upfront. We also acknowledge that requirements will change during the course of a project. Thus, our development process is designed for these two absolutes.

However, I’ve learned recently that UX design doesn’t always fit neatly into agile development. Unlike agile approaches, UX design processes attempt to capture every requirement upfront and “lock down” the design with pixel perfect precision. Having learned this, I am now starting the process of self-education and research to design an approach for Connamara that includes the UX designer as an integrated member of a cross-functional agile team. I want to take the best of what UX design has to offer and integrate it into our agile process.

I plan on writing more on this topic in coming months as I work through this challenge. In the meantime, if anyone reading this would like to share their ideas or experiences in integrating UX design into an agile development process, please feel free to reach out. I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts.

— Jim Downs

Industry Insights

Getting To Market Fast Is The Difference Between Success Or Failure

By: John Lothian News

JLN News – Developing new markets, especially when there is strong competition, is all about speed: not microseconds, but days, weeks or months. It’s been proven time and again with failed exchanges that it simply took too long to get to the starting gate. Eurex US, the Eurex effort to…
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In The News

Articles to reflect upon

5 Questions To Ask a Prospective Exchange Technology Partner

BY: Markets Media

Markets Media – It’s no secret that exchanges have undergone a drastic transition in recent decades, moving from physical trading pits to electronic versions. While it is true that trading in most major asset classes — equities, fixed income, futures, foreign exchange — is now electronic, the number of products,…
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American Financial Exchange (AFX) Announces Record Transaction Volume

BY: Mondo Visione

American Financial Exchange (AFX), an electronic exchange for direct lending and borrowing for American financial institutions, announced a record day of trading, with $1.043 billion outstanding across all products. The week of July 23 was also a record week with $4.66 billion traded. AFX facilitates the…
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Connamara Systems Selected by MaterialsXchange as its Matching Engine Technology Provider

BY: Business Wire

CHICAGO, IL, September 16, 2019 — Connamara Systems, a leading provider of exchange matching engine technology, today announced that it has been retained by MaterialsXchange, a startup aiming to create a digital marketplace for raw materials industries.…
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Social Spotlight

#ICYMI: The third edition of the #ConnamaraQuarterly went out this week. This quarter we shared some #EP3 client news, #FIAExpo highlights, advisory board additions & more.

Read the Q4 newsletter here:

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#Hiring: We're looking for an Agile Business Lead & Agile Trading System Engineer to join our outstanding team of #softwareengineers, business analysts, operations staff, business development team, & administrative & support staff. Learn more: #ChicagoJobs

On #GivingTuesday, we’re reflecting on the impact @RecoveryOnWater makes through its rowing team. This organization gives #breastcancer patients & survivors the opportunity to become active in their recovery. Learn how you can give at


#ICYMI: Our CEO, @jcdowns, was featured in the #FIAExpo 2019 Industry Leader Series by @JohnLothian. Check out his full interview where he shares how Connamara is minimizing the impact #technology has on an entrepreneur’s ability to start new exchanges.

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I’m the Chief Client Officer at Connamara Systems. My responsibilities include managing a cross-functional team providing post-delivery services to clients, maintenance of open source projects, servicing support contracts and information security policies and procedures. All of this is to align the fulfillment of the Connamara mission and strive to create and maintain a consistent, repeatable, and scalable customer experience.


I’m always excited to work with entrepreneurs to help them succeed. It’s what makes working at Connamara so rewarding. We get to see an idea go from pen and paper to actual implementation.