Hedge Funds and Programming

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by runningman, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. It seems like the best way to get into a hedge fund these days is to be able to program. If you already have an extensive trading background, what language is best to learn? C++? Also, how long does it usually take to become proficient in C++?
  2. sccz97


    If you're looking at programming pricing models or simulatinos then c++ is the way to go. Smaller hedge funds will most likley still have developers assigned to diff desks rather than specific departments and they are usually flexible. The last fund I worked for decided to lump for c# for the bulk of their applications with a few key c++ programmerse for the models and the odd java dev to maintain orc. The one thing that ppl seem to ignore is the importance of sql for developers when working in a financial institution.
  3. Your question... is just as ridiculous as asking:

    How long does it take to become "proficient" as a neuro-surgeon?
    How long does it take to become "proficient" as a trial lawyer?

    What on earth gave you the idea that software engineering... is a hobby?
    And that hedge funds hire "hobbyists"?
  4. He didn't really say anything about programming as a hobby. I imagine that hedge funds would hire based on a broad range of skillsets...if he already has years of trading under his belt maybe the programming experience would help him get a leg up on the competition.

    And software engineering is entirely different from regular programming.

  5. As a software engineer for 20+ years now, this is an irritating syndrome I have observed all along. Somebody reads the "programming" is a skill that gets decent pay, or is required for something they want, and then schemes some way to quickly be accepted as a "programmer" because they have "learned" the basics of the particular hot language/buzzword of the month over some weekend long cramming session, or because they took one course at a community college somewhere and hacked up a video game. Then they think they are on par with someone else with a B.S. or M.S. and 10 years of corporate experience in the field.

    True valuable software engineering experience requires learning in a disciplined manner ( ie college or real-life corporate experience ), where you are taught the systematic ways of going about things ( ie design methodology ), being personally involved in several COMPLETE design cycles from requirements through implementation, into production, maintenance, and finally product retirement. Other important qualities are attention to detail, discipline to do things in the "correct manner" rather than hacking something up for expediency, extensive commenting and communication skills, trouble-shooting ability of both hardware and software issues, ability to work as a team, and a healthy degree of perfectionism ( enough to ensure production quality, but not an obsession ).

    Another equally insane practice is the "buzzword bingo" pursued by certain headhunters where they want to create a "matrix" of experience by saying you know X language for Z years, and have certain random experience along the way, but never qualifying what the exact experience was, or whether the individual is an engineer, or just a "tech" who picked up some buzzwords and can program Visual Basic or Excel and thinks they are a "programmer" because of it.

    It is funny to me that the same people that think nothing of making these sorts of silly comments about "programming", would ridicule a person who came in here talking about how they read one book and trading and think they are ready to go prop next week with $5,000. They are equally stupid.
  6. Really good software engineers are a rare bird.

    But I disagree about the BS/MS comment. The best programmers are the guys who have a passion for it and have many many many years of experience. I agree with your over all point 100% though.

    My MS degree in comp sci is a joke, its worthless, it was simply part of the game I had to play to get my foot in the door. Its a cheap poker chip. Where I really learned everything was not in a college class room, thats for sure.

    Some of the best soft eng I know dont even have degrees.
  7. andread


  8. First, I never said anything about a "hobby" second, you could answer either of the other 2 questions, it probably takes a good 10-15 years to become proficient as a surgeon, and probably a few hours to learn to lie good enough to be a lawyer. So if the correct answer is 10 years, then so be it, but its not a dumb question. Remember there are no stupid questions (just alot of inquisitive idiots) :D :D :D
  9. Nattdog


    "My MS degree in comp sci is a joke, its worthless, it was simply part of the game I had to play to get my foot in the door. Its a cheap poker chip. Where I really learned everything was not in a college class room, thats for sure."

    I was curious why you felt this way, i would be curious to hear specific reasons your cop sci degree is worthless other than as a cheap poker chip.
    #10     Feb 16, 2007