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brownie74
8th September 2007, 01:02
I get these sort of emails every week. Do these roles really exist? Who's known anyone who has made the move into trading out of straight dev work?
Or is it agency bait?


This Algorithmic trading team are looking for talented Java developers with strong mathematical skills and a desire to move into trading. You will be developing high frequency algorithmic trading systems using core java as well as working closely on desks with the traders designing and coding automated trading models. The desk deals primarily with thje Equities business although the platform is being expanded to cover more products. Any background will be considered but you must have experience with Core Java and an excellent knowledge of multithreading, Design patterns on high performance real time systems. Strong maths is also essential and for the right candidates the role will offer a move into the trading team. Business experience is secondary so this role will suit front office developers looking to move into a desk based role and learn more about the business but strong Java developers from any group within a bank or even outside finance will be considered. Algo trading, Java.

threaded
8th September 2007, 06:41
It's one of the things I do. They always want good math quals. Never understood why, I've taught harder stuff, Control Theory, to kids doing an ONC. IMHO once you understand a PID controller then all this trading contracts stuff is a piece of p1ss.

There are a set of three books, lets see who else can name them. Once you've read them you'll be well up to speed on this stuff.

Front office work can be a little stressed at times, depends on the players. When things go wrong some like to shout and scream, other places they'll just hover.

Always go for an hourly rate, as the hours can be long, and if they really push for a professional working day rate it at 12 hours, 'cause that's what they're after.

bored
8th September 2007, 08:13
Not sure what you mean by "moving into trading out of straight dev work" - this seems like a straight dev role but in a trading environment.

Buffoon
8th September 2007, 08:40
It's one of the things I do.Do you use your time travelling expertise? If so then that’s cheating. Any fool can make money by having the server providing the market data in the future connected to a trade execution provider in the present.

brownie74
8th September 2007, 12:57
Not sure what you mean by "moving into trading out of straight dev work" - this seems like a straight dev role but in a trading environment.

I read it differently. To me they are saying you could end up trading, not developing trading systems.

brownie74
8th September 2007, 12:58
It's one of the things I do. They always want good math quals. Never understood why, I've taught harder stuff, Control Theory, to kids doing an ONC. IMHO once you understand a PID controller then all this trading contracts stuff is a piece of p1ss.

There are a set of three books, lets see who else can name them. Once you've read them you'll be well up to speed on this stuff.

Front office work can be a little stressed at times, depends on the players. When things go wrong some like to shout and scream, other places they'll just hover.

Always go for an hourly rate, as the hours can be long, and if they really push for a professional working day rate it at 12 hours, 'cause that's what they're after.

1) Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives
2) ?
3) ?

bored
8th September 2007, 14:53
You will be developing high frequency algorithmic trading systems using core java as well as working closely on desks with the traders designing and coding automated trading models. The desk deals primarily with thje Equities business although the platform is being expanded to cover more products. Any background will be considered but you must have experience with Core Java and an excellent knowledge of multithreading, Design patterns on high performance real time systems.

It's a pure development role - traders do not care at all about design patterns or multithreading :D

thunderlizard
8th September 2007, 15:39
yes, by "move into trading" in this advert, they mean "move into development for traders" (or "move physically onto the trading desk but still doing dev, not trading").

I do know people who started out in IT (not contracting) and are now traders. Quite simply, they got to know how their market worked, then applied within the same company for an entry-level trading desk job like order-filling.

wendigo100
8th September 2007, 15:47
It's a pure development role - traders do not care at all about design patterns or multithreading :DWhat about traders of tank tops?:D

HarryPearce
8th September 2007, 17:04
I suspect there's some element of truth in the idea of moving into trading.

I used to work in AI within the City and some of the work I saw was well into the realms of rocket science requiring supercomputing of the Cray or near Cray standard. My MSc examined a good deal of the financial trading systems that were about around ten years ago, and considering the advances in AI and computing power I'd be very surprised if the quants desks were not heavily involved in certain areas of the crossover between computational learning, stats, maths and high powered computing platforms.

I still remember my first day contracting in the City in '94. I was shown round the desks said hello etc etc and then came across one desk with no-one sat at it, but the books said enough a guide to Standard ML and another text on Lattice Theory (If you need to ask waht they are you don't need to know!).

As to the requirement for Java and multithreading I can only hestitate that they're working on heavily distributed systems for which Java excels. The Mac kernel that underpins Mac OS X for example automatically multitasks Java threads over multiple CPUs on multi core Macs which max out at 8 cores of 3 Ghz each IIRC. To get max performance out of such would require PhD level knowledge. Never mind the need for similar maths knowledge to hande the quants side of things.

That you'd be moving into trading implies the trading would be fully or near fully automated and you would be expected to develop the trading models.

Nick

bored
8th September 2007, 17:23
The Mac kernel that underpins Mac OS X for example automatically multitasks Java threads over multiple CPUs on multi core Macs which max out at 8 cores of 3 Ghz each IIRC.

Just FYI, any modern OS will multitask any program over multiple CPUs/cores unless you specify otherwise. This is in no way Java or Mac specific (and is not the reason why Java is the language of choice).

HarryPearce
8th September 2007, 18:09
True, but OS X is based on BSD and maps Java threads to pthreads which are managed by the OS rather than the JRE. Neat if you ask me since Java's libraries seem easier to understand and use than native code libraries (Unix or Windows). Its not the best multi tasking system I've seen; that compliment belongs to Termite http://p-cos.net/lisp-ecoop05/pdf/19654.pdf which is similar to Erlang but written in Scheme. Sadly, Gambit which underpins Termite doesn't provide support for multi-cored CPUs even though it can run millions of concurrent threads.

Nick

Buffoon
8th September 2007, 22:58
OK, hands up time. Yes, I moved from development to trading and then on to my own business. It does happen. Algorithmic trading is one of the things that happen here.

Almost all stuff is written in C++ and C# (with a tiny bit of VB). There isn’t a MAC in the place, yes there are Linux boxes here and there are some java applications but they are few and far between.

I’ve interviewed candidates who spout the java/unix extrament for automated trading; they are pompous arses who have never held a position in their lives and no nothing about trading. I wouldn’t give them the time of day anymore. As soon as they say the word ‘latency’ have them thrown out.

wendigo100
8th September 2007, 23:08
Yeah, me too.

brownie74
9th September 2007, 00:37
I still remember my first day contracting in the City in '94. I was shown round the desks said hello etc etc and then came across one desk with no-one sat at it, but the books said enough a guide to Standard ML and another text on Lattice Theory (If you need to ask waht they are you don't need to know!).
Nick

I worked with ML/Scheme compilers in 97-98 for a big fin services company in the square mile. They were doing calc's over huge list of numbers (historic share prices). Writing list processing code is quite nice in these syntaxes. I remember trying to overload an operator in ML and the compiler barfed out an error message of "you have got to be kidding pal".

GreenerGrass
9th September 2007, 19:07
OK, hands up time. Yes, I moved from development to trading and then on to my own business. It does happen.

If you don't mind me asking, how did you make the jump? To go from experienced IT contractor to novice/trainee trader would you take a big initial drop in income (to hopefully be ramped up again later plus bonuses etc.)?
I guess another factor is whether you want to be tied to London even more (which I'm guessing you would be as a trader...)

brownie74
9th September 2007, 22:40
also, you'd be entering the trading world at the age most of the traders are leaving it. early 30's, no? do they care what age you are? or does it mainly attract younger people because of the long hours / fastlane lifestyle?

BlasterBates
10th September 2007, 07:11
With algorithmic trading the understanding of how it works is really important, so I think there would be opportunities. If you're new to trading then you need to learn finance first.

Troll
10th September 2007, 07:20
That you'd be moving into trading implies the trading would be fully or near fully automated and you would be expected to develop the trading models.

NickNick... just reading that gave me a headache! do you actually enjoy & get personal satisfaction working at this level? if so what are the highs & lows?

BlasterBates
10th September 2007, 07:48
I suspect there's some element of truth in the idea of moving into trading.

I used to work in AI within the City and some of the work I saw was well into the realms of rocket science requiring supercomputing of the Cray or near Cray standard. My MSc examined a good deal of the financial trading systems that were about around ten years ago, and considering the advances in AI and computing power I'd be very surprised if the quants desks were not heavily involved in certain areas of the crossover between computational learning, stats, maths and high powered computing platforms.

I still remember my first day contracting in the City in '94. I was shown round the desks said hello etc etc and then came across one desk with no-one sat at it, but the books said enough a guide to Standard ML and another text on Lattice Theory (If you need to ask waht they are you don't need to know!).

As to the requirement for Java and multithreading I can only hestitate that they're working on heavily distributed systems for which Java excels. The Mac kernel that underpins Mac OS X for example automatically multitasks Java threads over multiple CPUs on multi core Macs which max out at 8 cores of 3 Ghz each IIRC. To get max performance out of such would require PhD level knowledge. Never mind the need for similar maths knowledge to hande the quants side of things.

That you'd be moving into trading implies the trading would be fully or near fully automated and you would be expected to develop the trading models.

Nick


Was this the era of neural networks?

That's all gone, algorithmic trading is by comparison quite simple.

Lockhouse
10th September 2007, 07:52
I work on a quant desk - I'm not a mathematician, all I do is shovel data into systems that already exist. There are some very bright people that sit alongside me, but I'm not one of them...

I'm good at looking busy and nodding though.

Troll
10th September 2007, 08:02
I work on a quant desk - I'm not a mathematician, all I do is shovel data into systems that already exist. There are some very bright people that sit alongside me, but I'm not one of them...

I'm good at looking busy and nodding though.Top man... your honesty is refreshing!

HarryPearce
10th September 2007, 08:24
Was this the era of neural networks?

That's all gone, algorithmic trading is by comparison quite simple.

Neural nets were [maybe still are] part of it, but not the entire picture. AI applied to finance covers a huge gamut from statistical NLP [how to read the newqs automatically to ascertain likely changes in market sentiment], data mining to extract patterns in marketing activity, agent based trading models [try googling financial trading agent model], heuristic driven evolutionary optimisation [esp. for portfolio analsysis in the presence of non linear constraints] etc. But AI's nowt really the physicists are getting involved, anyone for quantum theory based trading http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/print/22098

Have a nice day ya awl!

Nick

HarryPearce
10th September 2007, 08:31
Nick... just reading that gave me a headache! do you actually enjoy & get personal satisfaction working at this level? if so what are the highs & lows?

Mmmm! I'll take that as a compliment.

Well first I'm not in the financial markets anymore, moved out to live a country life in deepest [Hampshire Wiltshire Somerset]. So the highs / lows are not financial profit sadly. I suppose I just like stuffing my head full of nonsense, as my mother would have said.

The only problem with the approach, that is its low, is that of Herodotus "This is the bitterest pain among men, to have much knowledge but no power."

The high is that of Socrates "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."

TTFN
Nick

Troll
10th September 2007, 08:36
Mmmm! I'll take that as a compliment.

Well first I'm not in the financial markets anymore, moved out to live a country life in deepest [Hampshire Wiltshire Somerset]. So the highs / lows are not financial profit sadly. I suppose I just like stuffing my head full of nonsense, as my mother would have said.

The only problem with the approach, that is its low, is that of Herodotus "This is the bitterest pain among men, to have much knowledge but no power."

The high is that of Socrates "The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance."

TTFN
NickThanks... & it was meant as a compliment btw

HarryPearce
10th September 2007, 08:41
Thanks... & it was meant as a compliment btw

My dear chap, how kind. Contractors must be coming up in the world. Next you'll want to be my friend on Bebo :-)

Nick

Troll
10th September 2007, 08:44
My dear chap, how kind. Contractors must be coming up in the world. Next you'll want to be my friend on Bebo :-)

Nick
Steady on! ... normal service will be resumed shortly

RightLaugh
10th September 2007, 08:45
I haven't a clue what you lot are talking about. I'm a 9-5 Access Monkey and proud of it.

wendigo100
10th September 2007, 08:51
Well first I'm not in the financial markets anymore, moved out to live a country life in deepest [Hampshire Wiltshire Somerset]. That's a big place you have there.

Are you a Duke?

HarryPearce
10th September 2007, 08:56
I need a large place to hide.

There are no Dukes in [Hampshire Wiltshire Somerset] but if you'd care to call the office at Longleat Lord Bath is always on the look out for new wifelets

Nick