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Aim for role as Quant Developer?

Hi,

The job I am considering, as of now, is Quant Developer.

Here, I would like to discuss my background, ask whether you agree that Quant Developer is a good choice, and ask what I can continue to do to prepare for this field.

I have a BS degree in Computer Science and Engineering and an MS degree in bioinformatics. Although I completed the CSE undergrad program many years ago, the classes emphasized C++. I would say there was not enough coverage of STL, but it was fairly thorough. The bioinformatics classes did a good job of teaching Perl and R. My thesis for bioinformatics involved writing a very long multithreaded Java simulation, including dozens of handwritten classes and usage of some of Java's abstract data types.

I also spent about 5 years, working as a developer for a health insurance corporation, where I wrote and maintained a large number of MS PowerShell scripts for managing data in an Oracle database. MS PowerShell is a loosely-typed scripting language that provides access to the .NET framework. The .NET framework has very reliable libraries for connecting to an Oracle database, issuing queries and DDL/DML, extracting or loading data to/from text files, etc. I also wrote some very large PL/SQL functions and stored procedures within the Oracle database. I did a small amount of similar work with MicroSoft SQL Server and T-SQL, and wrote some very simple business intelligence reports using SQL Server Reporting Services. Finally, I also did some web development at this job using ASP.NET/C#. Web development was not my strength, and I didn't get many assignments in this area.

As of now, I just finished the Quantitative Fundamentals of Computational Finance Certificate through the University of Washington's online program. Now, I am a student in UW's Computational Finance Certificate program. The certificate program allows me take a few of the first-year MS courses and apply the credits, later, to UW's MFE program. Here, I am learning R.

Anyways, does this seem like an appropriate background for a Quant Developer?

My understanding is that a quant developer works outside of a typical quant role, and basically implements algorithms and models that have already been developed and specified. A reddit post said that quant development positions generally have fairly stable working hours compared to other quant positions--similar compensation for fewer hours. Is this true?

If quant developer seems like a good role, what skills should I emphasize out of what I listed above (C++, Perl, Java, Oracle SQL and PL/SQL, MS SQL Server, SSRS, and ASP.NET/C#)? What else should I try to pick up?

I'm guessing that I want to keep the C++, general SQL knowledge, and C#, and forget about web development. I'm not sure whether Perl is a useful skill or not.

Any help or comments would be much appreciated.
 
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Out of curiosity, why do you ask this question? I struggle to see any helpful follow-ups from this. Seems like a dead-end.

Yes, I agree that it's a vague question.

Here are two more specific questions:

What are the pros and cons of working as a Quant Developer as compared to other types jobs that an MFE might pursue?

What other job titles would be a good match for someone with a strong development background, if any?

Some do, some don't but it's a nice paycheck.

Thanks for the feedback.
 
Yes, it's a vague question.

Here is a more specific question:

What are the pros and cons of working as a Quant Developer as compared to other types jobs that an MFE might pursue?
everybody has different pros and cons in their man. What is a "pro" to me might be a "con" to you. What specifics do you have in mind?
 
everybody has different pros and cons in their man. What is a "pro" to me might be a "con" to you. What specifics do you have in mind?

Do the work hours for a quant developer differ from other quant jobs?

I had read one quant developer's post, saying that the weekly time commitment was much shorter for a quant developer, compared to other quant jobs. At the same time, this individual was still making a great salary. However, this was just one person's experience.
 
Everyone is different so I don't see much point in asking about 'pros' and 'cons' because there are rarely any universal 'pros' and 'cons' which everyone agrees upon.

Workplace environment and the particular business you work for I would imagine would probably determine whether or not you're going to enjoy the job.

Case and point, I find it rare that people like their work but hate their environments and stay.
On the other-hand, it is more likely that people don't really enjoy their work but like their environments stay longer leading to the conclusion that environment > work.
 
I'm not here to answer you question but I am interested to hear your opinion on UW's certificate programs. I'm sure the content of the programs are solid but I'm curious what kind of opportunities are available after completing them. I'm really interested in the idea of taking graduate courses part time. I also wonder how it stacks up against Wilmott's CQF.
 
Everyone is different so I don't see much point in asking about 'pros' and 'cons' because there are rarely any universal 'pros' and 'cons' which everyone agrees upon.

Workplace environment and the particular business you work for I would imagine would probably determine whether or not you're going to enjoy the job.

Case and point, I find it rare that people like their work but hate their environments and stay.
On the other-hand, it is more likely that people don't really enjoy their work but like their environments stay longer leading to the conclusion that environment > work.

That's a good point. Is there any way to know what a a work environment is going to be like before starting with a particular company?

I'm not here to answer you question but I am interested to hear your opinion on UW's certificate programs. I'm sure the content of the programs are solid but I'm curious what kind of opportunities are available after completing them. I'm really interested in the idea of taking graduate courses part time. I also wonder how it stacks up against Wilmott's CQF.

The QFCF certificate is mostly about the mathematics involved in quantitative finance -- calculus, linear algebra, probability/statistics, and return calculations. The certificate also teaches some basic R programming. As far as what you learn in the field of quantitative finance, you learn to calculate the Greeks of the Black-Scholes equation and you learn to perform mean-variance optimization, and that's about it. I don't think the QFCF certificate would be enough to get a quant job, but it's a step in the right direction. I didn't realize how much I had forgotten about calculus, linear algebra, and probability/statistics before I took this certificate program. It was very challenging.

The CFIN certificate is a selection of courses from the first year of the UW MS program. I just started it, so I can't say much about it. Looking at a description of the courses, the CFIN certificate gets into the nuts and bolts of quantitative finance, and seems more likely to be beneficial in getting a job. Also, the credits from the CFIN certificate can be applied toward's UW's MS program, later on, which is a major plus.

If you have no intention of doing an MS program, the Wilmott program may be a better choice, just because of the quality of the instructors. If you want to do an MS program after doing your certificate program, the UW CFIN program allows you to enroll in the MS program with 12 credits out of 42 already completed (i.e. you're already almost 1/3 of the way toward graduating).
 
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