Five Reasons why you should look at high frequency trading technologist roles

Written by Tanvi Kamdar

Technology has penetrated every industry. Industry professionals are realising the scope in which technology can further generate revenue and bring efficiency, simplicity and pace in their operations. From a technologist’s perspective, there are a plethora of technology stacks they can choose from and align themselves with the sector/industry they find the most appealing. The level of expertise and knowledge required in different industries vary vastly, though and so choosing the right industry that fits your skills is essential. In addition to that, some sectors need specific domain knowledge to implement the technology, e.g. finance, so whenever choosing how to apply your expertise as a technology professional, it is crucial to make sure you make the right career choice.  

When talking about technology, the prevailing notion is that product technology firms have more innovation, complexities, as well as learning opportunity in terms of coding and development. In this article, we will be looking at why that is not always the case and give you five reasons why high-frequency trading (HFT) technology is an exciting career move for those who seek cutting edge tech sectors that offer an exciting learning curve, job satisfaction and growth. 

‘Ground-up’ development opportunity

HFT usually has a boutique set up with efficient technology teams. This gives the professionals working in tech a chance to be an integral part of development initiatives starting from scratch. The volume of coding is generally considerably more than a large product technology firm where programmers work on the part of the solution. This can also be attributed to the start-up like team structure of HFT firms. Coders need to be conceptually sound and need to spend time in designing the code before actually writing it down.  The efficiency of the code is given utmost importance pushing developers to find innovative bug free solutions that adhere to the highest programming standard. 

Close interaction with the business

HFT technologists are closer to the front office in a proprietary trading firm. Due to the proximity and easy access to the traders, any development change and bug fixing are addressed in a short time span making the processing time efficient. Unlike large corporations that have a defined development, testing and bug fixing process with defined escalation lines, HFT firms’ limited team size facilitates a quick turnaround.  

Witness immediate real-life implementation

When a developer is working as a part of a large product or application team where they oversee a specific module, it may take time to see the eventual finished output in action. In contrast, the HFT environment gives the developers the opportunity to work closely with the business and see their technology get implemented almost instantly. This also entails a certain degree of freedom in carrying out development activities in a manner that is convenient to the technology team. The overall experience there is much more fulfilling. 

Contribute to the earnings of the firm 

Once implemented, the applications and trade strategies developed in an HFT firm instantly generate revenue for the business. This quick turnaround is an instant validation of the efforts from the technology team as all that matters in an HFT firm is the P&L statement that reflects the money earned for the tech implemented. 

Financial rewards 

HFT application developers are known to be the most well remunerated. The technical proficiency and knowledge required in this sector is highly demanding and mostly require the coders to have a computer science background from a top-tier university. As a result, these professionals are proportionately compensated. With profit sharing options as part of the total compensation for certain positions, this sector offers few of the most high-paying profiles. 

HFT firms offer an overall package to the technologists in terms of innovation, speed of delivery, the experience of real-life implementation and immediate visible monetary gains, making it a very satisfying job prospect. The best part about the experience gained here is it is completely transferrable and always gives these technologists an opportunity to move to any other demanding tech sector as they can be easily assimilated in any team.  

Tanvi Kamdar, Senior Consultant with Aquis Search has over six years of recruitment experience and works with industry-leading HFT firms across APAC, US and UK on mid to senior level positions. Get in touch with her to find out about live job openings and insights of the HFT job market.