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Why banks need C++ developers more than ever

As banks everywhere look to build up their systematic trading teams as a matter of strategic urgency in the face of competition from electronic market makers like Jane Street and Citadel Securities, a new wave of demand for C++ developers has been unleashed. 

Justifiably known as one of the most difficult coding languages to master, banks need engineers proficient in C++ to work on the low latency trading systems that are key to winning business from quantitative hedge funds. 

Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs' CEO Stephen Scherr said the bank had boosted its entire equities franchise by building a "tech stack" that was "aimed at the systematic clients in prime." Now, Goldman is hiring C++ coders to work on systematic market making systems across the firm. The bank currently has around 25 technology jobs in systematic market making globally, many of them specifying C++ as a prerequisite. It's also looking for a C++ software engineer to work in the franchise data strategies group that feeds real time data to the Marquee risk and pricing platform - even though most Marquee jobs are in Python.

As other banks also focus on the imperative to improve trading infrastructure and upgrade data capabilities, they too are looking for C++ expertise. JPMorgan has been looking for a London-based global head of electronic market technology who's conversant in C++ since January. Morgan Stanley wants multiple "strong software developers" coding in C++ to join its algorithmic trading team in Montreal, Canada. 

C++ developers aren't just needed to develop high speed market making systems in the front office. Banks are building supporting risk and compliance systems in the language too. JPMorgan, for example, wants a C++ developer to join its 'Jisu team' working on low latency market access and risk management systems. Credit Suisse wants a C++ developer to work on a new 'mission critical pre-trade controls and compliance' engine. 

Even where systems have been built in Python, a core of code is often built in C++. This is the case, for example, for JPMorgan's Athena pricing engine, and explains why the bank is currently looking for a C++ engineer for its core Athena platform.

However, the complexity of C++ means that truly capable developers in the language can be difficult to find. This is one of the arguments in favour of low latency Java as an alternative. Credit Suisse appears to have gone down this route: it's currently developing an ultra low latency eMacro trading platform, but wants Java rather than C++ programmers. - It doesn't want just any developer though. - They need to have an, "excellent understanding of Garbage Collection and writing low garbage code."

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Photo by Jean Gerber on Unsplash



AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • Ми
    Мирзахмет Сыздыков
    27 August 2021

    Java is of weak support today, rather than the wealth past of C++, and Android is a commercial project from Google Inc. which mainly is based upon Dalvik cache and Java.
    Thus, we have to vote for Java and do more.
    That is the question: if you have baked C++, we have half-baked Java - is it good for mobile developers and more interested community?

  • Ми
    Мирзахмет Сыздыков
    26 March 2021

    The problem of C++ presently is that it doesn't support Unicode standard and UTF-8 encoding is also unsupported.
    What do we have to do with that matter?
    Besides that there appears Java to be more relevant on this issue as well as C#.
    Of course, there is the solution like ICU, however, is it really good in performance and stability as well as distribution pack.
    Based on that I personally vote for Java.
    Java has more interesting things and isn't a lack of C++ coding features, believe me.

  • th
    26 March 2021

    I’m excellent in C++ and C. When the pandemic first started, I wrote a program in C++ to do contact tracing. I’m very proud of it. Here is my program.

    Codes and sample:


    Unfortunately, it’s tough for students like me in a CUNY college to get noticed for the talent. All I got was an A+ But no network opportunity.

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