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Banking Industry

I keep seeing ads in for C++/Java/Sybase developers in London with *banking* experience.

What's that? How hard is it to get? Why are there so few professionals in that area?

Thursday, May 6, 2004

I'm not sure about London exactly, but in Tokyo "banking" experience really just meant you had some experience in a bank or financial company, mainly so you had some understanding of the industry. Plently of people get into the banking industry without any previous experience. I suggest you read up on some basic finance books and apply for the jobs anyway.

Matthew Lock
Thursday, May 6, 2004

Ribeiro :

Because most developer stops to read at page 5 the book How to Read Financials pages  ;-)

Thursday, May 6, 2004

Working for a financial company can be mind-numbingly boring. If you think you have a process in other industries, get in one where your software controls the flow of billions of dollars...

Thursday, May 6, 2004

The fools.  Haven't they heard that .net and SQL Server are the way to go?

Clear Type
Friday, May 7, 2004

Banking experience is... experience in the banking industry.

Friday, May 7, 2004

In London, "Banking" generally means work for an investment bank like Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Lehman Brothers, etc, rather than high street banks like HSBC, Lloyds TSB, etc.

In most cases they will want experience specific to a particular area of investment banking. For example, fixed income (bonds, gilts, etc) is very different to equities (stocks, shares), which is different to derivities, m&a, etc, etc.

Also, there is a distinction between front-office (i.e. trading and trading support systems) and back-office (i.e. settlement) systems.

So, it can be very specific and having just finished a job working on a fixed-income trading system will often not help when applying for a job on a settlements project.

Aside: You need to be aware that some (okay, 99%) UK-based agents are cowboys and post "jobs" on these sites (at trivial cost) as fishing trips to get leads for clients who may need staff.

Steve Jones (UK)
Friday, May 7, 2004

The work can be dull but the money is great. And once you are in the industry there is a lot of opportunity 

Matthew Lock
Friday, May 7, 2004

I have to disagree and agree with Matthew. Maybe it depends whether you sit and watch the evening news and when they say "Today the dollar lost two cents against sterling" you like to know "I helped do that!". Probably not as satisfying as helping save lives or something, but still kind of cool.

Friday, May 7, 2004

Writing financial software can be a lot of fun. There's definitely a kind of adrenaline induced nausea you get the first time the trader buys and sells several hundred million dollars of stock on the say-so of a program that you wrote.

If the job is related to the financial markets, I'd advise you to give it a thorough look. I got my foot in the door by taking a job at a big bank, and I love what I do. If the job is with a retail bank reconcilling accounts and printing monthly statements, I'd guess that's not quite as much fun.

Rob VH
Friday, May 7, 2004

When I was in college I remember thinking, there are two things I don't  want to do when I enter the "real world." 

1) work on military projects

2) work in finance

Well after 5 years of in the finance industry I can say I really like it, and I'll probably stick with this domain for a while. Sometimes the size of the investments that gets analyzed with our software blows my mind. 

Plus the shear amount of capital the money managers deal with is scary big, so they can afford all the cool toys.  The finance industry is one of the primary drivers in high performance computing.  As I like to say, there is a lot of money in money. 

Not only that I've become a much more savy investor myself.  Did anyone else go short the bond market after the FED's last meeting?  It might seem risky, but those are the decisions you can feel comfortable with after you work with financial numbers day in and day out for years. 

You can read my rules (which I admit I routinely break) to personal investing here.

christopher baus (
Friday, May 7, 2004

I work for a trading firm and the programming invovled in trading systems is impressive. The real time number crunching and the use of distributed architecture is probably more advanced than most places.

Tom Vu
Friday, May 7, 2004

Ok Guys!!
what's the best way to get into the industry?

Monday, May 10, 2004

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