job satisfaction^salary #CSDoctor

I feel CSDoctor has reasonable job satisfaction. If I were in his role my job satisfaction would be lower.

His sub-domain in finance is niche. Equity volatility data analysis, not a big infrastructure that needs a team to support. I guess it could be considered a glorified spreadsheet. I think the users are front office traders looking at his data to make strategic business decisions.

His technical domain is very niche. The team (4 people) made a conscious decision to use c# early on, and has not really changed to java. C# is shunned by West Coast and all internet companies including mobile, cloud and big-data companies. Even Wall St is increasing investment in javascript based GUI, instead of c# GUI.

I see very high career risk in such a role. What if I get kicked out? (Over 7 years the team did kick out at least 2 guys.. Last-in-first-out.) What if I don’t get promoted beyond VP and want to move out?

I won’t enjoy such a niche system. It limits career mobility. 路越走越窄.

This is one of the major job dis-satisfactions in my view. Other dis-satisfactions:

  • long hours — I think he is not forced to work long hours. He decides to put in extra hours, perhaps to get promotion.
  • stress — (due to ownership) CSDoctor is motivated by the stress. I would not feel such high motivation, if put in his shoes.
  • commute — I believe he has 1H+ commute. I feel he has very few choices in terms of jobs closer to home, because his domain is extremely niche.

His major advantage is salary, not really brank.

[18] 2nd in-depth job]c++ : critical-mass ] GTD


  • After Citi-muni, even though I had enough experience to pass similar job interviews, I didn’t feel confident in GTD, so I took a 2nd real time trading system job in Baml, and reached critical mass
    • I did learn more in the ensuing 3 months than I would have over another 3 months in Citi
  • RTS is similar. I could already pass real time c++ interviews, but I didn’t feel confident in GTD.

Q: How about c#? I actually feel confident about GTD in a future c# team, so I didn’t ‘need a 2nd c# job?

[19] attitude@jxee^coreJava

jxee (esp. web java) is fashionable … high growth, big job pool

  • –in terms of churn resistance and shelf life .. jxee << core java

Q: Is there some jxee component with stable demand and accu? Spring? Servlet is very relevant from 1999 to 2019 but not quizzed in IV!

  • –in terms of project LOE … core java =< jxee

Some developers are afraid of the unique challenges [1] in core java, but I’m more afraid of complexities in jxee packages esp. when combined in non-standard combinations. See my blogpost on python routine tasks and my blogpost on spring.

[1] threading, latency, collections .. but I don’t want to elaborate here.

  • –in terms of IV body building and entry barrier, jxee < core java < cpp. I struggled with cpp IV for years but was able to crack c# IV within 2 years.

Without enough evidence, I feel jxee skills are less elite, easy to self-study, and shallow until you hit project issues.

  • –In terms of salary, jxee = core java = cpp .. I was proven wrong! Even though c++ and core java IVs are arguably harder and more elitist, they don’t pay higher than jxee jobs.
  • –in terms of market depth+size, cpp < core java < jxee

core java is mostly limited to ibanks + buy-side. jxee presumably offers better market depth and breadth. Without enough evidence, I feel job pool is growing for jxee not for core java or cpp. Similarly, job pool is growing for javascript, mobile, big data, cloud..

No need to experiment at home or read books like I did on JMS, EJB, Spring. It takes too much time but doesn’t really give me …

##real reasons I didn’t take 2011 c++job]U.S.

Reason – the salary gap between my c++ offers and java offers. I think the highest c++ offer was PIMCO, around $100/hr paid to agency (Huxley?). Most of the time, the java offers paid me (significantly) more than c++.

Reason — I also felt I could fairly easily crack the typical c++ interviews from then on. Now (2017) I doubt it.

Reason — some of the c++ jobs were not so “glamorous” less trading, less mainstream. Now (2017) I don’t care so much

voluntary pay cut – often unnecessary

A few times in my career I considered to (or did) take a pay cut, mostly to break into some domain or learn something hard to acquire, things like

* quant
* C++ HFT
* dotnet
* oracle DBA
* technical pre-sales
* threading, MOM for trading engine

Each time, it’s crucial to question and be critical about the promised benefits. Most of the time, we would regret the sacrifice. has some c++ learning aids that could possibly reduce the need for those pay-cuts

personal advantages for trying west coast

See also

  1. Advantage: no kids with me. Easier to adjust
  2. Advantage: no house yet. Easier to move
  3. strength: algo interviews
  4. strength: I could be good at optimizing, research, scalability — natural not artificial complexities
  5. strength: attention to details — more valued in product companies than on Wall St
  6. Advantage: web technology is probably easier than c++
  7. strength: I’m a calculated risk taker

ask`lower base2reduce mgr expectation@@ No

This plan didn’t work out at Macq. Expectation was still too high.

The logic is, if my coworkers get total comp 200k and I ask only 160k, then I’m more likely to get some bonus. Even if I underperform them, I would still hit somewhere below 200k.

Now I think if I qualify to stay, then there will be some bonus even if my base is, say 190k. Hiring managers would not agree to a 200k base and run the risk paying doughnut bonus to a qualified employee.

y i like eq and drv

I like equities systems because

* volume – upstream
* latency – upstream
* algo – upstream
* connectivity – upstream
* messaging – upstream
* technology-wise, upstream to FX, rates, treasuries…

I like derivatives (esp. options) because

* math, pricing. More mature and entrenched than other derivative instruments – upstream
* m-risk. Non-derivative positions go flat soon. – upstream
* life cycle management

These are mature products and mature technical implementations. Ahead of the curve.

In contrast,

– IRS is extremely popular (even in Asia) and growing, but volume and math is “downstream”.
– CDS is low volume. Mathematically, I still feel option pricing is upstream.
– Mortgage is big business, but not in Asia.

y spend precious spare time learning swing

* Unlike c++, python, socket …, this is real project, real value to me, real requirement from myself. I tend to finish much faster and with tangible outcome
* Even though I did a few swing projects in AutoReo, this is relatively new territory, so ascent is fastest.
* Together, swing and wpf are in a class of their own. Specialized skill and experience.
* I live nearby and with no family. This is one of the best ways to utilize the advantage.

* SQL and Unix are more “civil-engineering” but very hard to make visible, lasting progress.
* Unlike WPF, i can leverage on my strong java foundation including threading.
* Also, my previous professional experience needs “something” to reach critical mass and hit the next level. That something is probably hands-dirty experiments. I recall my java design experiments in ErrorMemos.

y i don’t focus on 1 vendor’s product

By age 30, many peers have decided to focus on Cisco, on Oracle, on Microsoft dotnet, on IBM, on SAP, on Powerbuilder. Other choose to focus on a domain like online gaming, financials …

(By “focus”, i mean 50%-100% of their tech experience is related to the chosen field.)

I always feel what if one day you discover you don’t like your role in that particular ecosystem, or the vendor starts making questionable moves, or you don’t like the vendor’s tech support, or u notice their discrimination policy .. you would feel locked in, cos you have invested too much into it, putting all your eggs in a single basket.

In my case, i have several years experience in each of
– solaris, linux, hpux, freebsd
– Oracle, mysql
– java, C, perl, php
– weblogic, tomcat, sunone