I joined Hudson River Trading as an algorithm engineer in 2019, but I started my career as a software engineer at Google. After six years, it was time to try something different. From my experience working on many teams, I’d learned about what types of teams and what types of projects made me excited to come to work and be productive once I got there. I loved working with crazy amounts of data, and I loved collaborative teams. Most importantly, I wanted to work somewhere that I would be constantly learning. I didn’t know anything about finance, and that’s part of why I chose to try it: it was a chance to learn something completely new.
My first few months I asked a lot of questions. I worried that maybe I was an impostor when people would ask me to update a tool to calculate “book size” or “overnight hedged pnl” and I had no idea what that was, even though my coworkers were always happy to explain.
But I was surprised to find that pretty quickly, people were also asking me just as many questions. People started asking me for advice on testing their code, something that I hadn’t even realized I’d become the expert on. As I answered more questions, I started to understand ways the testing infrastructure could be improved, and that it was something I was fully capable of doing. And the more I improved the infrastructure, the more people came to me with questions.
I had been so focused on what I could learn from moving to finance that I forgot to consider that my coworkers would be learning just as much from me — that I also had unique skills and insights that I could bring to the team. Once I realized that, I started thinking about what skills I already had or that I could enjoy building up. Having worked as a front-end developer, I’d learned a lot about building intuitive interfaces that I could apply to building usable APIs. Having worked with extremely large codebases, I knew how to keep code maintainable and how to clean up existing code. As I continue looking for places to apply my skills, I found myself owning larger and more complex projects. And owning those projects led to me learning even more about trading and about software development in general.
I had been so focused on what I could learn from moving to finance that I forgot to consider that my coworkers would be learning just as much from me — that I also had unique skills and insights that I could bring to the team.
Moving to finance was challenging, but it’s been so rewarding. If you too love learning new things and you think trading seems like a cool topic to learn more about, I’d love to see you at Women With HRT, HRT’s first Women in Tech summit running May 21-22, 2021. Learn the basics of the automated trading world in Automated Trading 101, then apply your programming skills in one of our interactive workshops. And of course I’ll be speaking on Writing Effective Unit Tests. Visit https://www.hudsonrivertrading.com/women-with-hrt/ for more info, and register here!