Are financial programmers under paid?

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by nitro, Jun 26, 2009.

Are financial programmers underpaid?

  1. Yes, they sell themselves out too easily

    73 vote(s)
  2. No, they are scum that are mostly lazy

    39 vote(s)
  3. I am not sure

    31 vote(s)
  4. I don't care

    37 vote(s)
  1. nitro


    I put this poll in automated trading because I thought it would get the most balanced discussion.

    My contention is that financial programmers are underpaid, given the level of knowledge and skill maintenance, and revenue they generate, in relation to their trading peers in the same company, that use their software, to generate profits.

    I have been on both sides of this, and I understand both points of view. IMHO, programmers are underpaid in financial firms given their contribution.
  2. erbronni


    In my experience, the workers in the back office always make less money than those activley pulling in the revenue for the company. The theory behind the bias is: revenue trumps contribution. A back office worker isn't responsible for bringing in X number of dollars. Not having this responsiblity justifies the lower relative compansation.

    I don't endorse this logic; I'm just making an observation.
  3. rosy2


    I refer to myself as a programmer because thats what i do all day. but a programmer in the trading industry (or any industry) is just a title.

    IMO, if you are in the trading world and you do not get a cut of the PnL then quit. There's no incentive to work otherwise. This is even more true in automated trading where there is no trader other than a clerk who watches systems run.

    The main thing is that programmers or tech people don't understand the business in the begining of their career and really think other people are doing something. That causes them to work for less than what they are worth.
  4. Nexen


    Many times. if there is an edge in the system, they get it for free.

    Side bonus?
  5. nitro


    Ok, just to make sure that we are all on the same wavelength, this is not meant for people that develop trading strategies, and then implement them. Anyone that does that on a salary just got off the boat.

    I mean the guy that writes the FIX engine, or the middleware/communications foundation, or the order manager, or etc etc etc.
  6. rosy2


    where i am, minimum for this would be 150k/yr plus bonus. if you make less go somewhere else.
  7. I thought the free market sets the clearing price for talent.

    Why is a discussion about whether a profession is underpaid or overpaid even meaningful?
  8. nitro


    That's clearly false.

    In Chicago, the same guy gets paid x for a job that pays 2*x in NYC or Connecticut. Further, the same job may well pay x if you are a buy side programmer, as opposed to a sell side programmer that gets paid 5*x.

    Finally, part of the question was, do programmers sell themselves too cheaply. Perhaps it is because of this that we ourselves set the "market price" and gawd knows markets are efficient.
  9. bidask


    the answer to this question has nothing to do with contribution or difficulty of the work relative to other who do get paid more.

    the answer lies in the structure of firms. programmers are "viewed" as interchangeable and expendable back office people. the people doing the viewing are the people in charge. perception is reality.

    it also doesn't help that the work product has no brand value. if it works, it works. nobody cares who built it. that's why the firm only cares about getting it built cheaply.

    this is how it works in every company in every profession. the people on top are there because they sell the firm's products, not because they know how to make it.

    steve jobs is a salesman. where's that wozniak guy?
  10. The H1 visa crowd doesn't help the situation. Stop bringing in H1 peeps from India and see how the rates adjust :D
    #10     Jun 26, 2009