I am always looking for low-churn, accumulating skillset that I can rely on after age 50, without strenuous effort. Such effort is possibly harmful for the brain.
My chosen domains are not white hot domains attracting the young bright kids. I always hope to pick up these skills and try to build them into my “portfolio” of skill assets. If 3 out of 5 decline, I still have the other assets to provide meaningful employment till 70. I have more listed in my spreadsheets “techBets” + “marketableDomains”
- 😦 #1 example Quant dev — turns out to be too competitive. Low churn but I need strenuous effort even now.. see quant≠sure good for aging dev (also ruthless march@technology)
- 🙂 mkt data — feels better
- 🙂 bond math — feels even better
- VaR math?
- algo trading — I didn’t choose it because too competitive
- — technical skills
- 🙂 python — worked out well
- 😦 c# — abandoned
- 😦 swing — abandoned
- 😦 MOM — fell out of fashion
Essential factors discussed elsewhere: Reasonable coworker benchmark (within my grasp); Reasonable boss, salary, commute…
Here are Some of the neglected factors:
- Ideally: enough spare time in office —- for blogging and tech exploration, AFTER I clear the initial hump.
- wordpress access —- may be a temptation for distraction
- ideally: Mainstream dnlg —- to keep me engaged for a few months. Hopefully some math some low-level complexities
- too much monotonous, mindless work, could get me disengaged intellectually. Rare. Any past examples? OC approval-seeking
- gym in office —- could really make a difference
- culture of knowledge sharing
- respect for attention to details, but MY type of details (vague)
Real deciding factor is coworker benchmark (not PIP/stigma). Are there managers tolerant of team members below the benchmark? Josh, Srini of Citi-muni..? Even in a less demanding company, pressure can be high.
- — Here are some jobs paying 150k with light GTD-load. Usually don’t attract young bright guys.
- employer: slower ibanks like Citi, UBS
- employer: some commercial banks like OC, BONY
- employer: large traditional buy-side like AIG, Vanguard
- employer: 3rd type financial firms like exchanges/ECNs, data vendors (Reuters?), financial product vendors,
- employer: non-finance like telcos
- employer: startups but they tend to use new technologies
- less glamorous — like mkt data, back office
- greenfield codebase with short history — like OC, StirtRisk
- smaller codebase — like RTS
- older workforce — like RTS
- older technologies — like SQL, C, socket
Update — the domain for accu is less important than a good boss, reasonable expectation … see my spreadsheet on jobSatisfactionPredictor.
Q: do I want to deepen and specialize in one single area, rather than diversify? skill: deepen^diversify^stack up provides a context
A: let’s assume answer is yes deepen.
Q: which area?
A: programmatic data analysis in finance … with two entry barriers in math and coding, with reasonable “moneyness” but market depth is poor.
A: financial enterprise app with multi-threading …?
A: high speed market data engine in TCP/multicast?
A: orderbook replication with retransmission?
A: bond math including IRS?
A: option math? Poor market depth
So which past job is most likely to offer me that professional accu prospect?
- 95G — java threading for trade execution
- Barcap, but market depth is poor for that skill
- RTS? but I get NO exposure to the raw sockets and I’m not allowed to ask!
To optimize for income, I would leverage on my 1) analytics 2) threading 3) SQL (+ possibly algo) expertise. Importance of income:
- health insurance — will need for kids for sure
- first few gigs might be low rate, given the dry season
- home purchase in 5Y — confirmed requirement. If I want short commute + Chinese community, then price will be high
- might go without income longer, like a few months
- initial set-up cost — 5k-10k, but at this level adjustment on wife’s part will be tough. Even a 20k relief fund is drop in a bucket. Need 100k.
- tail risk — I might come back to SGP sooner (like end of 2017) and take a low-pay job
- tail risk — if GC process goes astray, I may go back to SG without a GC, so the X years I spent here I need to earn enough.
May not have much of a choice, given the slow c2c market right now.
My 2017 priorities:
spring/hibernate and most of the new technologies I hear about the west coast
- muscle-building contexx? so avoid java/sql? Better to deepen my c++ as a 2nd front. Willing to take lower salary? LG2 can postpone this to 2018/2019. See post on re-enter c++
- my c++ learning is reaching a critical mass
- —- unsorted lower priorities —-
- income to keep me feeling secure and self-respecting. I got this from the offers!
- flexibility to work from Singapore. Can spend more time with wife, parents and kids.
- location for upcoming home-purchase
- unlock new markets — west coast, c++, data science ..
- chance to impress manager
- leisure time to exercise, improve c++, call home, learn driving etc
My ideal (yet realistic) 1st project:
- slightly below (like 80%) my capacity. Chance to impress manager due to my specialty knowledge. “These managers could make things happen”.
- has spare capacity to check out the potential homes
- salary? LG2 like $65/hr
- c++ or java
- possibly west coast but the high rate is usually for FTE.
Alternatively, a temp contract to try c++ again, but only after I clear some high-end java interviews to build my confidence in earning capacity.
- low salary like 120k
- hands-on c++ (not C) on a large codebase to build mileage
- NY or west coast or anywhere else