Qualifications for a Black Box/HFT Programmer?

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by Mike10, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Mike10


    Do you have to have a BS, MS, or PHD in a Computer or Quant related field? What if you have an unrelated degree and learn code writing (C, C++, Java, etc.) on your own? Can you get a job as a black-box programmer if you learn these skills? What type of compensation would there be for someone like this without a related degree? How in demand is code writing, software engineering in the financial arena and outside that area?

    I hope these aren't too many questions. I appreciate any info any of you can provide.
  2. Mike,
    There will always be a place for black boxes and HFTs in the market but currently it is overdone. It' s a fad. Someone told me I should be getting into it in 2001. Wish I had listened.
    It's too late. The arms race is in it's final phase and the game is virtually over.
    My advice is to put your skills to a better use.
  3. Mike10


    Thanks Fawkes. What about those same programming skills outside the trading markets? Like coding software for businesses to use in their day-to-day operations, etc. What is the demand like now and in the future? I've heard different things - that it's always pretty good and some say that it varies with the economy.
  4. Mike, I only know about IT as it pertains to the trading industry.
    As far as the wider world goes, I can be of little use to you.
    Surely you can find some other sector with a real demand that is not in a bubble and which can provide a more secure future.
    Best of luck in whatever you choose to do.
  5. rosy2


    as long as your degree is in math or science you should be fine if you're strong at the relevant type of programing required. demand is high in chicago
  6. rosy2


  7. rwk


    For anyone considering a career in information technology, I recommend reading this article: http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/28/silicon-valley’s-dark-secret-it’s-all-about-age/
  8. Mike10


    Thanks Rosy. My degree is accounting. 10 years, man that's long. Maybe programming's not for me.
  9. This is so very true. Past the age of 35 you need to either be an expert in a niche area or making your way up the management ladder. If you are still a Senior Developer or Tech Architect when you hit 40 then you are in the shit really. Coding within the corporate world is a game for the young uns.

  10. Look at the graphs not the words. This is inaccurate: "Why would any company hire a computer programmer with the wrong skills for a salary of $150,000, when it can hire a fresh graduate—with no skills—for around $60,000?" The graphs contradict these numbers. Additionally there was recently a story about Flash developers making $150,000. Hot technologies (Flash, iPhone, Android, cloud/grid) will always command higher salaries.
    #10     Oct 12, 2010