Peter's Q3 2018 Market Report

2018 Q3 Summary



It’s fall and that means one thing – hold the hiring!  Kind of.  Full-time hires are generally on hold at the investment banks but hiring continues on a contract basis, and teams are eager to interview now for 2019 hires.  So, the demand remains, but the bean counters are having their way short-term.  Everything is moving more slowly right now, but, 2019 is right around the corner. Now is the time to get your resume updated and get prepared for your search if you’re thinking about making a change next year.

H1 Transfers get Harder and S..l..o..w..e..r

A good percentage of the people we work with are in this country on an H-1B visa.  While visa status has always been a big factor in job mobility, never has it been as significant as now.  Transfers used to be all-but automatic, and expedited processing was the routine choice of hiring companies.  However, premium processing is currently suspended.  RFE’s and denials have increased dramatically and now transfers can be denied w/o RFE. Whereas individuals used to change firms when they received notification that their application was received, now it has become necessary to wait for the actual transfer to occur.  The State Department has done a good job throwing sand into the immigration gears…  However, even with the added difficulties, companies are still quite comfortable hiring H-1B candidates. Nobody has told us that they won’t continue to hire H-1B candidates.  One client told us the process used to be 3-5 weeks, but now they count on 6-8 weeks.

Algo Trading

Good news for those who want to work in Algo Trading, which I know form conversation after conversation that many of you do!  Algo trading is steadily on the rise.  Fixed income electronic markets are steadily increasing their share of the market, and all of the big players are adding developers and quants to build systems that make markets on these venues.  And of course, the hedge funds and prop firms continue to invest in algo strategies and systems.  We have seen many such positions all year and continue to have demand for talented people with experience in this area.

Strong Market?

Anecdotal evidence from a couple of people we know – way more job solicitations this year than other years.  We’ve experienced a good market this year, but I’m curious about “way more… this year” Are others experiencing the same thing?  Does it reflect real demand or the introduction of more and more automated tools and “AI” that are making it easier for recruiters to spam the world?

Dynamic Programming Questions

Recently we’ve had a lot of candidates comment that they are being asked dynamic programming questions.  There’s no substitute for interview preparation. Here’s a good set of questions to review: Top 20 Dynamic Programming Interview Questions.

Amazon AWS Devs on Support

I always imagined that Amazon must have the most sophisticated DevOps setup in the history of man.  I was surprised to learn that developers are on a support rotation and regularly deal with production issues.  Working at a bank, I was very used to developers complaining about the amount of production support they did.  I was surprised to hear the same thing at Amazon of all places.


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Current Priorities

Buy Side

  • Junior Python Developer – research platform - new hedge fund within leading asset management firm

  • Java or C# Developer – Leading asset management firm - Contract

  • Lead Data Engineer to build data platform – Algo hedge fund – Senior, reports to CTO

  • Java/Python FIX Developer – fixed income connectivity – Contract

  • Java Developer – Leading hedge fund

  • Python Data Engineer – Hedge fund – NYC or Dallas

  • C#/.Net Developer – Leading alternative investments firm

  • Lead C++ Developer – HFT/low-latency - prop trading

  • C++ Analytics Developer – quant team - Leading asset management firm

Sell Side

  • Credit Risk/Counterparty Exposure Business Analyst – Contract

  • SPG Desk Quant – Commercial focus – VP/ED

  • Lead Data Engineer = Fixed Income StratsLeading investment bank

  • Java Developer – Strategic re-architecture of firmwide risk reporting – Contract

  • C++ Developer – equity algo trading – Contract

  • KDB Developer – SPG Strats – Contract

  • Java Developer – Risk IT – Contract

  • Java Developer – Finance IT – Contract

  • Java Developer – Credit Risk IT – Contract

  • Data Modeler – Finance IT - Contract