How do you get a job in algorithmic trading?

TL;DR: Looking for employment resources in Finance Programming / Trading algorithms? I’m in a rock and hard place…

I have the ability to write stock trading algorithms, portfolio trading algorithms. Also Cryptocurrencies, Options, and if need be futures and FX.

I blame the great depression for my ability to code, infact I call myself a “self taught depression coder”. Meaning that during the great recession I couldn’t find a job, so I took off my MBA in Finance on my resume and started teaching myself PHP and MySql. I also know Javascript, python, node, etc, to name a few.  So I don’t have the Computer Science Degree or Statistics PhD , but I’m right in the middle with an MBA and proven coding skills.

Currently, I’m a fully employed programmer. Why you might ask? Well because I can’t seem to walk down the street without someone trying to hire me for a programming job for the last few years. The pay is great, the risk is low and generally the stress is low. I have made lot of money programming other peoples ideas. Oddly enough, a lot of them failed, not because of me, but mostly because the ideas where not that great in the first place.  For example, a new paypal system for marijuana or a website to list trailers? Hmm… last time I checked it was free to list trailers on craigslist. Oh well, even though the money is great, there is a limit to how much you can get paid versus boredom and intellectual challenge.

So know I have slowed down any side work and only work on my algorithms at night. My day programming job is not intellectually challenging, so I have to spend my nights writing algorithms to remain intellectually stimulated. I’m also an SEC register online adviser (RIA), but I don’t have any clients as marketing is not necessarily my strong suit.

Basically, I’m looking for people or websites that might help me find a job in the area of quantitative finance / algorithm trading. Not interest at working at one of the banks, or investment firms cause I’m sure they got it all covered. But maybe a smaller shop. The only other stipulation is that I have made my home in Denver, with no desire to move to Co-Location alley (NJ,NY).

I was wondering if any can point me to a website/recruiters/firms/portfolio manager  that specialize in algorithmic trading or if there are an Adviser or RIA that would like to discuss some opportunities.

A click and show resume can be found here.   Some of my trades can be found here.

The Best or Worst way to decline a technical interview.

Hiring practices in the tech field seem to be topic of discussion on HN. I’m truly, amazed at some of the hiring practices  in the tech field.  Passion and desire are overlooked for technical knowledge. It truly is like no other field… With demand for developers, it kind of shocks me there are not better methods. CTO / Sr. developers should not be the sole gate keeper of hiring developers. (I’m sure that will get me in trouble…  notice that I used the word “sole”, yes they should have some input in the hiring decision.)

Recently (last week, to be exact), I applied for a position Senior Software Development position. I was intrigued by the salary, working remote and some of the leadership opportunities. However, I knew at some point it was going to lead a stereotypical technical interview. (This might come as a shock, but the first question on the tech interview was “Describe Object Oriented Programming?”) Being a self taught programmer, I unfortunately take great pride in knowing that I will fail miserably. I also seem to have lot of desire not to speak the lingo of the tech interview either, as I would rather spend more time learning new code. With that I really never should have taken the interview, as I honestly believe I’m qualified, but don’t really care to have a pop quiz over the phone about what I consider academic programming questions. My work, my side projects, code examples, desire to learn should illustrate that on a resume (7 years of paid programming experience), that was never discussed in the technical interview.

So I went thru the culture fit with a non technical / culture interview with no problems. Then came the technical interview…. as you can see from below it was an epic fail. As laid out below it’s clearly my fault. In fact it might have been comical to some degree. But regardless weather I wanted the job or not, rejection is frustration and annoying.  So I shouldn’t have agreed to the interview in the first place as I knew the outcome. While at the same time I feel extremely comfortable there wasn’t anything in their code that I couldn’t have done. At the end of the day it was my fault for being frustrated and I don’t want to be angry at myself. I would rather save my anger for injustice in the world.

After the interview, I sent the following email to hopefully relieve myself of some my anger. After clicking send, I do feel better… So there is in a opening in Denver, maybe I will get a referral fee…

 

Greetings,

I’m going to respectfully withdraw my application for employment for HxxxxXxxxx. I don’t feel that meet the technical requirements as laid out in the technical interview.

This might not come as a surprise as the technical interview was a interesting adventure in clearly explaining I don’t know the answers to academic programming questions. Since I’m not a typical programmer and self taught programmer, I believe that might have surprised the interviewer with my willingness to clearly state that I had no experience with a particular type of procedure and politely explain that I didn’t have answer. (I could almost feel the pause on the phone as I answered honestly, that I didn’t know the answer. I also mentioned that I wasn’t going to try to google question while on the phone either, which seems to be a new trend.) Honesty, can be a terrible curse. It’s 4 years since I retired from the Marine Corps it’s concept of honestly and responsibility are still haunting me.

Regardless, please be assured that I have absolute no animosity towards the HxxxxXxxxx or the people that interviewed me. I’m not lashing out or frustrated. The animosity lies completely with myself. Yes, that’s right. The responsibility lies completely with myself that has placed me in a frustrated mood. Unlike our current political / societal environment, it’s all me. I should have never taken this interview as I generally winds up with a stereo-typical technical interview and I know that I’m not going to pass. Which ultimately meaning that, I shouldn’t have applied for the position. Yeap, I should have never taken the interview. I’m writing this email for three reasons 1. Unburden some of my personal frustration. 2. This will also serve as a “Memento” to myself, not to fall into this self inflicted trap I successfully get myself into every few months as I seem to have mild form of amenisa regarding this issue. 3. Sometimes I like to step away from the code and practice some of communication skills and self awareness. For this self inflicted wound, I apologize for expending your time and mine.

Sincerely,

Chad Humphrey

Part of the reason I like to post things like this, is I get the see other people reactions on HN. Which can be good and bad, but I’m willing to see things from another perspective.