[Chicago] Job opening: Trading Technologies - Senior Software Quality Engineer

Lance Hassan lance at roytalman.com
Wed Apr 13 23:36:36 CEST 2011

There are in fact some very successful traders that can do this. But as the saying goes "don't try this at home" I was having a similar conversation with a friend recently, a Sr. Quant Analyst. The person we were discussing could in fact take a look at a screen and make a call and was right at a significantly high percentage so that he was pretty much legendary (certainly not Cramer). There are probably some good reasons for this, experience, or just different brain hardwiring. (I was looking at John Hunter's co-authored  paper on "Projective Clustering Using Neural Networks...") But the conclusion essentially was that trades are developed based on theoretical foundations, insight and time. Dartboards are just too slow. From what we have seen the traders believing in leprechauns hiding in monitors have pretty much evolved themselves out of the gene pool. 

As for working for a Trading Firm, as has already been pointed out, there are many differences and many different cultures. I know people who thrive in work environments I wouldn't be able to stand for a minute. Some places make it clear by creating an environment in the interview process which makes it clear to any candidate just what it can/will/could be like. Some places use Wunderlich tests and some use Psych profiling and some only care about Brain Bench scores...What matters in the end is what you want to be doing. Some of the most insane coding available takes place in Trading shops, but...to work in that environment can demand some cultural adaptation.  

-----Original Message-----
From: chicago-bounces+lance=roytalman.com at python.org [mailto:chicago-bounces+lance=roytalman.com at python.org] On Behalf Of Massimo Di Pierro
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2011 2:05 PM
To: The Chicago Python Users Group
Subject: Re: [Chicago] Job opening: Trading Technologies - Senior Software Quality Engineer

I have some consulting job for some trading company in the past. The owners wanted to automate a trading strategy which - according to them -  was very clear in their minds and their historical positions according to the strategy was documented. Turned out their documentation was one blurry screenshot taken the week before. They had no quantitative measure to base their decisions on. The owners could agree among themselves whether to buy or sell given the same information. Yet they expected the computer to be able to be "smart enough" to be take those decisions. No need to say the strategy was empirical, mostly based on luck, and had not theoretical foundation.

I have seen this pattern in more than one place but not only in the financial industry. There are a lot of people in the world who think there is a tiny  leprechaun in the computer who magically knows how to solve their problems. It is just that we do expect to find these people in places that have a reputation for making lots of money. The fact is, there is a lot of these people, everywhere.


On Apr 13, 2011, at 1:44 PM, <skip at pobox.com> <skip at pobox.com> wrote:

>    sheila> I have a poor impression of trading companies, and was surprised
>    sheila> to see that Brian worked for one. My intuition would be that
>    sheila> he'd only work at a pleasant place, and I never thought a
>    sheila> trading company would be a pleasant place. I ignore job postings
>    sheila> for them.
> I work for a trading firm as well and haven't seen the need to change 
> jobs in the past seven years.  At TradeLink we have a lot of people 
> programming in Python.
> Don't lump all trading firms into the same pot.  I'm sure they all 
> have their own idiosyncracies (both good and bad).
> Skip
> _______________________________________________
> Chicago mailing list
> Chicago at python.org
> http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/chicago

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