News, views and produce of our tech team

Engineering at Oliver Wyman

At Oliver Wyman Labs we have a proven track record of developing business solutions driven by agile technical innovation. Our experience and expertise in computer science and engineering practices supports a technical culture committed to delivering sustained technical excellence.

Our culture is based on two key concepts

Recruit the right people

At the heart of our engineering practice is a belief that, while there is always a place for specialists, engineering should be holistic, concerning itself with the totality of a problem, looking for the most elegant path through the problem, rather than delivering a catalogue of products and ad hoc fixes. Consequently, at the heart of our engineering approach is a belief that our engineers should be generalists, capable of considering every aspect of a problem and solving it as elegantly as possible. All the while, we are aware that the solution, while technical, is the solution to a business problem. Harnessing the best engineering talent to solve business problems is the telos of everything we do.

Empower them

Our engineers are at the core of the technical solution. When working on our clients’ behalf, our team is not buried under a layer of management that detracts them from the job in hand. In every project our technical team is immersed in the business dimension of the problem. Addressing this business issue is the alpha and omega of the technical work we do. Similarly, our developers are experienced and trained in project delivery, so that they remain entirely focused on agile, effective delivery of solutions.

"To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be."


Test Automation

Dynamically generating mocha tests

Antonio Bebiano wrote “ My first project at OW Labs was the development of World Energy Council’s trilemma index tool. This tool’s main purpose is to enable users to see how worldwide countries rank against three variables: energy security, energy equity and environmental sustainability. If you would like to know more about these variables go ahead and check the… ”

Sturmfront auf Doppler-Radar-Schirm, public domain, von

Adventures in TCP latency measurement

Ceri Storey wrote “ Re­cently, Google have pub­lished an art­icle on BRR, an al­gorithm that ex­pli­citly meas­ures the round-trip latency and band­width ca­pa­city of the link between two ma­chines (be it in a data­center, or a mo­bile phone) to avoid sending more traffic than is use­ful, causing queues to build up in the net­work that need­lessly in­crease latency. So… ”

Electric railway journal (1914) By Internet Archive Book Images [No restrictions], via Wikimedia Commons

Testing with Traces?

Matthew Sackman wrote “ Most APIs and type signatures are hopelessly inadequate for capturing and describing a model. For example, consider a map and the signatures for put and get. Even if you have pure functional type signatures, the signatures on their own convey no information about what they do with a key and value during put. For this…”


Cross-grading for fun and profit

Tom Parker wrote “ First thing you’re probably wondering: What’s cross-grading? Well, it’s a bit like upgrading, except more sidewise than definitely upwards. It involves the changing of the architecture of a system, most typically from 32-bit to 64-bit, and most typically from x86 to x86-64 (although similar options are apparently doable for other architecture families, including ARM, MIPS and… ”