Working in technology, particularly in investment banking, is an exercise in learning new skills. While the object-oriented programming languages like Java, C# and C++ have endured as must-have skills for developers, investment banks are demanding new attributes from their IT professionals as the business demands it.
According to a number of investment banking IT recruiters we spoke to, these are the new skills that are have been increasingly emerging in job specs over the past six months.
What?: An open-source software library that allows data analysis of developed using the Python programming language. In the current age of needing greater quantitative analysis of financial data, knowledge of the Pandas is increasingly useful.
How essential to job search?: Still a nice-to-have rather than essential requirement.
What?: A programming language first used by JPMorgan in the investment banking sector, which based its Gauss counterparty credit-risk calculator for its OTC derivatives operation around it, but now it’s starting to become mainstream. Recruiters suggest that it’s not just the big banks asking for Python now, but smaller trading houses and boutique operations who increasingly view it as the “language of choice”, according to one recruiter.
How essential to job search?: Very – if you’re a developer in the banking sector who hasn’t skilled up in Python, start doing so now.
What?: Software platform designed to capitalise on the surge in demand from financial institutions to harness the power of big data. it focuses on machine-generated data and can be used for analytics as well as IT security and customer intelligence.
How essential to job search?: More of a secondary requirement – an understanding of monitoring technology like Splunk, or Nagios or New Relic, is asked for along with more key technology skills.
4. Scrum and agile
What?: Banks are changing the way they run projects around the Agile methodology – an ‘iterative’ approach, where testing and acceptance are carried out continually through the project, rather than bolted on at the end. JPMorgan is hiring people for its ‘feature’ teams, and generally these have to be multi-faceted technologists, while BNP Paribas and Bank of America Merrill Lynch have also embraced Agile. Scrum-masters, namely people who can lead projects on the sort of large-scale expected in investment banking, are very much in demand.
How essential to job search?: Very. This is an evolution of the way banks work, and you need to speak the lingo and understand the methodology.