y ibanks insist minimum X years finance job xp

… because they want someone 1) used to the pace and work culture, 2) knowledgeable in the domain. As an (unintended) consequence of this hiring criteria, South Asians (India…) candidates outnumber East Asians (Chinese, Korean…).

I notice adjustment problems in some (perhaps 1 out of 3) newcomers into financial IT. Some of them simply quit financial and joined telecom, google, Time.com, universities, hospitals…

It took me a few years — and counting — to get used to the culture.  Quick and dirty — occasionally even code cloning; eliminate purely theoretical scenarios and focus on realistic scenarios; tolerate minor bugs and ship faster; no documentation…. ultimately, focus on business value, that we are paid to deliver.

Financial Knowledge helps too. Last month I sent you a list of some 30 financial terms — take months to grasp.  But even if you know none of the jargon, ibanks still consider you if they think this candidate is battle tested on wall street.

As a concrete illustration of domain knowledge, remember the question you and I discussed repeatedly 2 years ago — how a brokerage house matches a buy order and a sell order and executes it profitably? I now understand it. Besides the jargon, this is example of another type of domain knowledge. Does it help a finance app developer? Valuable but not a must-have knowledge. However for an architect, a Business Analyst, or any manager (project manager, team lead, lead developer), such knowledge could be make-or-break.


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