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.Net C#


Mathematics Student
I like to hear from the floor about other programming language usefulness in the financial markets, likewise C# and SAS?

Remember I am a software specialist, not a quant developer or pure finance person.

I am an experienced developer (ex-Microsoft), and I have been in finance in NYC for just over 2 years. When I was interviewing (in late 2004 and early 2006), there was more demand for Java than C# in the managed code space. I think mostly this is used for rapid development on the front end because of perceived performance problems with managed code on the back end, where C++ is still more prevalent, whether the platform is Unix/Solaris/Linux or Windows. On the back end I see more *nix than Windows but there is a good market for hard-core development skills on either. Simpler IT work is increasingly being shipped off to cheaper labour markets in the US or overseas.

For analytic and pricing tool development a surprising (to me) amount is still done in Excel and VBA. However, those tools do work, and it's always hard to get people to part with working code. One big plus point to moving away from Excel as the production tool for pricing is that management of all those desktops is a headache. If you can implement your pricers and analytics in a back-end infrastructure with a relatively thin front end, deployment and system admin becomes a lot easier. But the numbers have to be right! This is real money we are talking about.

afaik SAS is a niche language, I have not seen so much demand for this. Good developers can usually pick up a new language very quickly, but it is possible to get pigeonholed if you specialize too much in one niche. No doubt C# is on the rise though. It's so much easier to quickly produce working code that it is in C++. The same is true in Java I believe.

I do look regularly at relevant job postings on various websites to track what's required to stay current, and what those skills are worth in the open market.