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Effective system management leads to a successful trading strategy

Software Engineer Ivan shares more about his career and the skills required to become a successful software engineer.

What was your path to DRW?

I studied Computing at Imperial College London and had a few internships during that time, where I became interested in the world of finance and spent my last years at Imperial learning more about exploring the field as a career. After attending a campus industry event and meeting DRW engineers, I decided to apply. Today, I am a Software Engineer on one of the trading desks.

Can you tell us about your current role?

As a Software Engineer embedded within one of our trading groups, I am responsible for front-office application development, working closely with researchers and traders to develop new signals and strategies, and ensuring that we stay compliant with industry regulations. My overall goal is to create and manage systems that support our trading strategy.

How have you grown in your career at DRW? What tools/people helped?

Since the scope of the systems we operate is quite large, my challenge has been to develop an understanding of the relationships between components and the flow of data within the system. Everyone on my team plays an instrumental role in helping me gain insight into financial logic and how that works with our systems. This support gives me the confidence and tools needed to be successful in my role.

Additionally, when I joined, building highly performant systems was a keen interest of mine. I’ve worked on performance-critical components and have gained even more exposure to the logic behind them, working closely with traders and researchers. This work allows me to grow as an engineer since performance tuning involves developing a much deeper understanding of the system.

What 3 skills are key for someone interested in a software developer role at DRW?

The most critical skill in my opinion is having a self-starter mindset. That involves not only being able to ask questions but doing comprehensive research and formulating the question in a way that provides as much information as possible. It also means being proactive if something is unclear or does not look right. On our team it is important that everyone always has a clear and complete understanding of the system.

Another critical skill is communication. Ideas flow around from different directions, whether that is traders, researchers or other engineers. The ability to clearly communicate with people from diverse backgrounds and mindsets and distill core ideas is key.

Finally, one needs to be prepared and comfortable to always learn. Everyone at DRW is highly skilled and a part of the engineers’ job is to bridge different departments and concepts together. Sometimes this involves understanding both sides in nuanced detail.

What's your favorite thing about the London office?

The view of the Thames and the City of London are incredible. I often find myself taking breaks from the screen just to enjoy all the far-away details.