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A Day in the Life of the Former Rates Operate Team Developer

This is a dairy given to Quant Network by a member here. In this article, he described his former life as a Rates Developer at a Major Investment Bank (MIB), FO and MO spreadsheets support. He is now employed at another MIB.

4:50 AM - I do not want to wake up, can someone please break this evil clock alarm!!!

5:15 AM - I’m on the train and going to job

6:30 AM - Finally I’m here and first thing I check if all publishing systems are up. Looks like couple of indicator on my alarm monitor that I wrote in C# are red so I’m going in and investigate, looks like couple of Reuters’ spreadsheets which publishing data closed overnight and did not reopen, so I help them and we are good here. Time to drinkk some coffee (1st cup)

7:00 AM - First call from the trader that his model in excel showing N/As, investigating, looks like some dlls are missing; map them to the s/s and recalculate; looks good. I get back to the desk, my two coworkers already here and working on other issues.

7:30 AM - Answer for couple of calls from MO and a call from a trader who could not start his pricing application.

8:00 AM – MO can not figure out what the problem is and I’m going to them, after some time tracing the formulas in at least ten different s/s looks like that some MD (market data) that comes to the model for building the curve is not correct and analytical library failing to do the right calculations. Fixing the problem and come back to my desk.

8:45 AM – Trying to explain over the phone that we do not support Asia only US and Canada and there should be another number in the directory.

11:00 AM – Answered about 5 different issue calls, fixed couple of s/s problems time to drink a coffee (2-nd cup)

12:00 PM – Lunch, Good, I’m still alive and hungry. (3rd cup of coffee)

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM In the periods between support calls working on C++ application which interprets Perl commands and link them to the C++ MD API. (4th cup of coffee)

4:00 PM – Data for the one of the currency was published wrong and I have to republish it; telnet to UNIX server for that. Have to dig up to couple more calls from MO who started closing.

5:30 PM – Going to train
5:45 PM – In the train; no seat; good I will not fall asleep.
7:00 PM – Home; making espresso; it will be my fifth cup of coffee for the day
7:15 PM – 12:00 PM - Just a usual home activity
12:00 AM – Getting to sleep happy, tomorrow second shift from 12:00 pm until last MO closed, if I’m lucky 10:00 pm, but at least I will got a good sleep tonight. Last thought before fall asleep: "Time to look for the new job"
Thanks for posting this Andy, I was in similar situation myself and know what it is and how it feels -:) Regarding goes to sleep at 12, I can speak only for myself but usual home activity could be very different for everybody, spend time with the family could be very time consuming :) I guess all family people will understand me :)
Thanks for the post, that was an interesting insight.

I worked as an I.T contractor in London for a major bank and can say those hours do not sound surprising. I was up at 5:45 every morning to catch my various bus/train/tube connections (from Brighton) and would often get back to my apartment around 8:15 in the evening.
Working later meant getting home later.

Work on weekends from home wasn't the norm but wasn't unexpected either, and I spent the odd Saturday on-site as well.

However as unappealing as that sounds, there were certainly up sides to the job and the work was enjoyable as well, which really is half the battle.