To people that aren't overly familar with what I do, here it is: My professional life is devoted to locating and delivering world-class engineers and software developers to my 1st-tier global investment banking clients. In simplest terms, these are the people that develop the infrastructure behind the systems that trader's execute trades on. If these systems are slower than their competitors, even if only by a fraction of a second, an optimal stock price can be snatched up by a rival firm and fortunes can be lost. Well, that may be a bit dramatic, but there is little doubt that the Wall Street trading floor is evolving from the yelling and screaming of traders to one of the quiet hum of computer-based trading models.
For this reason most financial firms rely heavily on the speed, performance, and reliability of their systems. Such dependence on technology has made the Wall Street trading floor one of the most exciting, cutting-edge, and lucrative areas for developers to be in. If you don't believe me, have a read through Phil Albinus' article in Waters this past month (below):
"The trading floor still rules. Even after all the talk and all the steps taken to reach regulatory compliance and increase back-office effeciency, the trading floor still commands the attention of each and every CIO. Let's face it: That's where the action is.
Like anything in the global capital markets, it all comes down to making money. Cleaning up your back office is important and any new amount of trading efficiency will save money down the road, but these projects don't increase the heart rate. There are gleams in the eyes of tech staffers when they talk about the trading floor. That's where the important things happen, where trades are made and deals are brokered. On the other hand, if you've seen the back office, you've seen them all. Sure, one firm might have more space thanks to sleek blade servers or entire functions outsourced to Ireland or India, but the trading floor commands attention.
The irony of the trading-floor-as-king concept is that the reign is slowly but surely dissolving. The same wave of automation we have seen in the back office - where, once, actual people kept things humming - is now happening on the trading floor. Traders can't process micro-second market data ticks and execute at the right instant. A computer can."