Wall Street’s Biggest Programming Languages

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Investment banks are technology firms. So says Lloyd Blankfein at Goldman Sachs and Marianne Lake at J.P. Morgan. Both banks have thousands of technologists and have prioritized IT hiring over most other divisions. Throughout the financial industry, IT specialists with deep knowledge of programming languages are in demand.

“The main demand has always been server-side Java programmers, but we’re seeing a real push for Python, as this is being used more in quantitative programming, and certain banks like Bank of America and J.P. Morgan, probably the biggest firms making the most hires on the street, are building new trading and risk platforms using in-house proprietary languages based on Python, such as Athena and Quartz,” said Nick Vermeire, management consultant and the head of the development team, Americas, at the Palm Mason Group, a recruitment firm.

eFinancialCareers recently conducted an informal survey with banking technology recruiters to see which programming languages their clients are asking for most. Java, the runaway winner, has been Wall Street’s most sought-after programming language for years.

“Java developers are needed for anything from low latency execution and order management systems to in-house risk and valuation platforms,” said Jared Butler, head of financial technology recruitment for North America at Selby Jennings.

Java is also really well-suited for data simulations and modeling, added John Reed, senior executive director for Robert Half Technology.

With the importance of being able to have user-friendly, fast-loading and secure websites, languages such as Java and Javascript, which can be used in front-end web design, will be critical moving forward, said Gina Schiller, vice president at Jay Gaines & Company.

The reason for the all the fervor around Java is twofold. There’s a high demand for the skillset along with a dearth of qualified candidates. Late last year, eFc’s resume database contained only seven candidates for every job that required the skill, the lowest ratio among all major programming languages.

Reed said that Java developers can demand up to a 10 percent premium on salary compared to others in the market.

“Java is used extensively on the server, less for UI [user interface],” said Christian Glover Wilson, vice president of technology and strategy at Tigerspike, a digital agency.

For a breakdown of the other programming languages in use by Wall Street—including C++/C# and Python—check out the full article on eFc.

This article was originally written by Beecher Tuttle and Dan Butcher.

Image Credit: Robert Crum/Shutterstock.com

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