Unspecified: Senior Derivatives Developer

MIS Consultants is helping an unspecified company search for a Senior Derivatives Developer:

A Strong Java developer is required for  a Senior Derivatives Developer role. The successful candidate will join a fixed income securities / credit derivatives team already in place in Toronto Ontario. You will be responsible for leading the development and design of complex derviative systems.

The Good
It’s a moderately senior position with interesting technology in a complex financial field, which I’m sure is filled with its own set of challenges.  The technology seems to include distributed computing with JMS messaging.   If they’re truly agile and expect you to exercise architectural skills, those could both be positive signs.  And although knowledge of derivatives is nice-to-have, it’s not a requirement, which is relatively rare for these kinds of positions.

The Bad
The language sends mixed messages, talking about desiring the candidates to have architectural experience and to have worked with agile methods, but also using language like “assigned tasks” and “meet business specification.”  These aren’t necessarily bad things, but they’re also not couched in the language of most agile shops, so I’d want to understand their process and culture in a little more detail.  There’s also almost no mention of auomated testing, which is surprising if they’re truly agile.

What’s Missing
Tons, as usual.  What’s the company?  What do they do in terms of derivatives, and do they do other things?  What’s the project you’d be working on?  How has the downturn affected this company, and what are their prospects, revenue, burn rate?  How are they building distributed systems with JMS — what’s the architecture of their applications look like?  Who uses them?  What’s the compensation like?  What’s the size and nature of the team you’d be working on?  What’s their development process like?  Where are they located?

YMMV
Your mileage may vary on whether or not this is a good time to be involved with finance and derivatives.  This could either be a great time or a terrible time for companies that deal with derivatives.

Much of the current downturn could be laid at the feet of complicated derivative products sold by and to people who didn’t understand them completely.  Then again, that could simply mean that there’s changes headed to the world of derivatives, possibly in the form of new regulations.  These hypothetical changes might require additional development effort, so this is potentially a good time to get involved.  It may also be true that with the markets so far down, there are a lot opportunities in trading, and so this could be a good time to be involved. 

Your mileage may also vary with respect to the fact that this is a full coding position.  Some people love it that way, others chafe at the lack of control.

In Summary
This is probably most interesting if you can see yourself as a Senior Java Developer and you’ve either got experience with or interest in financial software and derivatives.

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