##[15]types@Work2slow brain aging #ChrisMa!

This is an important topic for the researchers. As laymen, I will just reflect on my personal experience — looki.

What kind of activity is considered “work”? I feel it’s the responsibility or commitment, obligation, consequences on users -> fear …

Most but not all the “work” is tiring. I suppose creative work can help keep the brain young.

  • IT — Learning a new tech in body-building mode doesn’t feel tiring to me, but how about to XR?
  • IT — A big chunk of everyday IT work (including troubleshooting) is partly creative and investigative. Can be brain-boosting.
  • Kids doing homework – can be tiring but at their age it won’t speed brain aging. How about adults?

— programming:

Chris Ma felt any programming job is intense, never lethargic. However, I tend to classify some maintenance type of work as coding.

Chris felt a relatively easy programming job might be good for my brain. EPA? Now I feel this view echoes Jiang Ling’s view.

— Avoid stressful, demanding jobs that require burning my candle on both ends.

Need to listen to the inside signals when working the long hours. When I work day and night on coding assignments, I was like my Dad and perhaps CSDoctor. I was driven by joy and burning pleasure, not pressure like in Stirt and GS. I feel my body knows if the pressure is positive or negative, pleasure or pain, so better listen to the signals and avoid aggravating the aging process.

Sudhir told me about encouraging environment vs fear… See blogpost on 5 external inputs

##xp: enough localSys⇒GTD but respect≠guaranteed

I made localSys effort in each job below, but did it save me? See my rather surgical tabulation analysis of past PIP + survivals

Respect depends on your “performance” relative to team calibre.

  1. 🙂 RTS — yes but limited localSys
  2. 😦 GS — No, not a lot of respect, but I was able to hold my end of the log. With insufficient localSys I would get even less respect.
  3. 😦 Quest — No. The PIP was due to many factors. I feel my Quest GTD was adequate. With insufficient localSys, I would get even less respect.
  4. 😦 mvea — no
  5. 95G + volFitter — limited localSys .. nice green field projects for me.
  6. 😦 Macq — No. However, With insufficient localSys, I might have been kicked out within Y1

Macq? I now feel my localSys at Macq was deeper than at Quest or RTS

  • I put in lots of effort and was able to diagnose most build errors on MSVS and Linux.
  • I needed lots of localSys knowledge to modernize codebase for MSVS-2015 and c++14.
  • I needed localSys + innovative on-the-fly code gen + other skills to add the logging decorator into pymodels. This hack alone is worth a bonus. This hack is more effective more valuable than all my hacks in OC.

However, I feel the expectation was too high so in the end I got PIP and felt like damaged good.

I need to challenge that negative impression of the entire episode.

##%% predictionS @prob(PIP)=unreliable

  • [o] RTS — I estimated 20->30-40% risk but actually zero
  • [o] OC — I felt I was doing nothing for months (20% risk) but they offered me a transfer
  • [o] citi — I wasn’t productive (30% risk) but they extended my contract for 6M
  • [u] Macq — I felt I was decent (2% risk), but expectation was way too high
  • [u] Stirt – I felt I was moving up (2% risk), but headcount pressure came as surprise
  • [u] barclays — I did superb job (0% risk) but head count pressure came as surprise
  • [u] 95G — I did superb job (0% risk) but head count pressure came as surprise
  • [o=overestimate of prob(PIP or layoff)]
  • [u=underestimate]

##fully engaged+!ROTI still beats boredom

Every learning direction has naysayers, and virtually all learning efforts generates low ROTI. ROTI and strategic investment are holy grails, mirages or white elephants.

We can’t dismiss $ROTI but I think we really need to look beyond $ROTI — too elusive. As Mithun put it, java multithreading alone can fetch you highest salary.

Fully engaged for a few short months but without ROTI is actually not bad. It’s like satisfactory sex without simultaneous climax. I enjoyed the journey, without worrying about the destination.

I’m able to fully engaged for a few months, while my peers can’t!

I have blogposts on spare time usage. Tech learning (even the non-strategic topics) are among the most productive. There’s really nothing more worth learning.

  • — most of these are failed technology bets, but 10x better than not engaged (i.e. boredom)
  • 2012-2013 c# study
  • HFT-specific QQ topics
  • MSFM
  • 2011-2012 self-learning volatility
  • self-learning swing
  • MOM study
  • gemfire study
  • — less disappointing ROTI in terms of self-confidence, thick=>thin/zbs, mobility, broad-base
  • bond math, socket, FIX, data structure, algo, threading,
  • coding drill, including c++ language experiments
  • specific SDI and pure algo challenges

salary has smallest impact@family well-being

Nowadays I often feel 20k lower salary doesn’t affect my self-esteem or family well-being. In contrast, stigma/respect/coworkerBenchmark, job market depth, workload, commute,,, have bigger impact on family well-being.

Holding too tight on a trophy salary or trophy “brank” can breed real strain in family well-being. Holding-tight seems to boost self-esteem but is actually self-glorification in disguise, which put heavy strain on my self-esteem in GS, Stirt, Macq.

–salary bench-marking

Self-esteem is affected by salary bench-marking to some extent, but stigma has heaviest impact on self-esteem.

Those websites showing salary bench-marking are poisonous. Admittedly, we do need to collect some benchmark data to ensure we are paid fairly, but most people care too much about the benchmark.

##any domain fac`same IV quizzes 20Y on #socket !! c++11

(tagline: the most churn-resistant specializations.)

Socket IV questions have remained unchanged for 20Y — Unmatched stability and churn-resistance, but not necessarily accumulating

  • Preservation of t-investment
  • Preservation of accumulation
  • Preservation of deep learning? Socket programming has modest depth.

Q: Beside the specialization of socket programming, are there other specializations that are dominated by the same old QQ questions 20 years on?

  • [S] classic data structures
  • [S] classic sort/search algorithms on int-array, char-array, list ..
  • [S] classic traversal algorithms on trees, general graphs
  • [s] classic recursive, DP, greedy algorithms beyond graphs
  • [S] pre-c++0x core-C++ (a specialization!) questions are largely unchanged. C++11 questions are rooted in the old knowledge base.. BUT most of the c++11 QQ topics will likely fall out of interview fashion
  • [s] cross-language concurrency primitives.
  • unix file/process/string/signal manipulation
  • unix shell scripting — low market value
  • [S] SQL — including join, index design … but seldom quizzed in depth nowadays
  • [S] regex — seldom quizzed, but often needed in coding
  • [S=classic, well-defined specialization]
  • [s=slightly less well-defined specialization]

Now the disqualified skills

  1. JGC + jvm tuning — high churn over 20Y
  2. TMP — new features introduced in c++11

##gains{Stirt job loss

immediately after I joined Macq, I realized I have traded up for a better job, better in every way.

  • gain: self-confidence that I can comfortably handle the ensuing financial impact on family
  • gain: self-confidence that I have survived again, albeit with a scar
  • gain: a protective scar — as of 2019 I’m still traumatized but slowly I’m healing from inside
  • gain: lesson learned the hard way — avoid FTE
  • $gain: compensation package more than covered my bench time but still I prefer the … something else instead of the compensation

low realized roti..cos I moved on quickly#MOM,c#

See the meaning of move-on

Analogy — (Trevor Tang) picking a major in medicine is a wrong bet if you are into technology, though medicine is a great major.

  • MOM roti? low but could go higher if I pursue an architect career in non-eq trading. The underlying tech is very flexible and mature and a winning bet
  • SQL tuning + complex query — roti can go higher if I go into big data or data analysis domains. The underlying tech is powerful, mature, adaptable and not dead. I think it will see a renaissance.
  • swing roti? very low but could be higher if I purpose a GUI career in dotnet. There is a lot of highly inheritable, portable skill even if swing goes out
  • drv pricing roti? can go higher if I stick to quant-dev career and move only within similar roles. However, if you move from volatility to yield curve to exotics, the accu became very thin

theoretical complexity≠guarantee4 relative-adv #STIRT

  • case: Stirt curve building, fixed income risk..
  • case: Qz technical complexities? But not theoretical, so I can’t read a book and then reason about it.
    • given more time, I will develop some in-depth understanding of Qz
  • case: code generator for python and excel add-on

I’m not so fast penetrating the cognitive barriers (built-up of local brain power), but theoretical complexity is still my relative advantage.

Somehow, all of these cases happened in Singapore, in perm roles! I guess as contractor I’m given relatively isolated, carved out, well-defined projects.

GS tech challenge !! beyond me

My GS technical challenge was tough but i conquered it convincingly! There were some technical challenges beyond me (such as the initial rule-engine rewrite project), but most technical challenges were within my grasp.

Somehow, over the years a negative self-image has overshadowed the positive evidence.

  • Everyone said I was technically good enough.
  • My mortgage solution code review were well-received. Mark then organized a “seminar” where I presented my mortgage solution to more than 10 guys.
  • Yang was tough but he liked my designs in errorMemos.
  • I grasped errorMemos code-base quickly, cleaned it up and were able to add new features quickly
  • I convinced many that I was a local technical expert in my team. Perhaps Chad was even stronger but that doesn’t change the above fact — consider Roger Federa.

tech screening passed(but still rejected): pat on your own back

Always remember that before you invested months of serious effort, you couldn’t pass the tech screening.

One of my fundamental principles — focus on tech screening and don’t worry about offer. Once I pass technical screening, it becomes a beauty contest or personality match. If interviewers don’t like a competent candidate for age, face, language, lackOfHumor, communication style (often related to culture, nationality and up-brining) …, then I will grin and say never mind. Sooner or later someone will like my personality.

They may say candidate is cocky, opinionated … There’s no right or wrong here. Another interviewer may not feel that way.

The average programmer doesn’t have an off-putting personality, definitely not in an interview, so for every 3 interviewers who don’t like him, there will be some interviewer out there who likes him.

 

+! trySomethingNew] sg, what could I have(possibly)got

See also past vindicative specializations

  • I would still do my MSFM
  • I would still fail to get into algo trading or quant dev — too few jobs and extremely high bar
  • I would likely fail to get into leadership roles. I was considered for leadership roles at 1 to 3 companies

However,

  • I could possibly have focused on a specialization such as risk system + some analytics
  • would probably have joined citi, barc, baml, UBS, SC or .. in sg
  • probably java or swing or connectivity
  • would Not have achieved the c#/py/c++ ZBS growth
  • would Not have the skills to get this ICE raw mkt data job or the other c++ job offers.
  • no guarantee to become a manager or app owner. There could be many old timers in the team.
  • possibly less stress and pain. Lower chance of performance stress (#1 biggest stressor), because my GTD/KPI would be higher due to my java/SQL zbs.

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.

no IV muscle growth]sg..really@@

Common reason: no IV to give feedback on any “muscle growth”

Common reason: Most if not ALL of the growth areas have since become non-strategic, due to the limited job market

  • c# —  Actually my c# had tremendous and fast growth, no slower than my 2010-2012 peak period, but there was no IV to verify it
  • py — was growing fast in Mac, but no full time python jobs
  • quant — I went through a hell of growth in quant-dev, but gave up
  • c++ tool knowledge — was growing in Mac but not a QQ topic at all.
  • c++ optimization for HFT — I read quite a bit but can’t pass the interviews 😦 so I gave up