How to earn a $300k salary as a Goldman Sachs tech VP
There are a great many engineering roles in Goldman Sachs and they're not all equal. On one hand, the bank has a lot of legacy code written in Slang. On the other, it has elite technologists writing ultra-high legacy code for systematic trading applications.
It's those low latency developers at Goldman that can attract the highest pay. Given that this is Goldman Sachs, they aren't called developers or even quantitative developers, but strats - the term that originated for hybrid data, developer and quant roles.
Goldman is advertising two unique strat roles in New York at the moment. Each has an upper salary limit of $300k. This is far higher than the $250k maximum seen on systems engineer and quantitative engineer roles also currently available in NYC. The listings both ask for niche but highly demanded types of developers: one asks for a low latency Java developer, the other asks for an FPGA engineer.
Goldman wants a ULL (ultra low latency) Java quant trading strat in its FX market making team. Java is a common language used across many of Goldman's technology divisions, but low latency Java is something altogether different. Low latency Java developers are ten times rarer than elite C++ engineers (C++ is the industry leading language for low latency code). Using sequencer framework,a single threaded UDP multicast middleware messaging bus, can allow Java developers to match speeds commonly seen in elite C++. They're popular in crypto, where salaries can be even higher at $320k+.
The FPGA and C++ engineering vacancy at Goldman is also for a strats team, but this time it's working with equities futures. FPGAs (field programmable gate arrays) are hardware, not software. Also found in the automotive and aerospace industries, FPGAs are designed to process lots of information incredibly fast. Video game developers, who are highly valued in the high frequency trading space, work directly with CPUs in a similar capacity to process their graphics and physics engines. C++ alone will not give you control of these beasts. VHDL is one language that's commonly used to program them, but Goldman Sachs asks for experience with Verilog.
At $300k, Goldman's salary for the FPGA engineer seems far above the market average; the highest paid FPGA engineer on the H1B visa salary database this year is earning just $200k at Citadel Securities in Palm Beach, Florida.
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