Archimedes said, “give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I can move the world.” We might not be moving the world, but we do count learning and teaching among our most important values, and we are always looking for ways to leverage the talents of our incredible employees.
That’s why we put our new trader hires through what we like to call OCaml Bootcamp. For four weeks, we sequestered twenty traders on the far side of our 33rd floor office to conduct an intensive OCaml training program. The traders started by plowing through a series of assignments designed to introduce them to the language, Jane Street’s programming style, and our vast trove of proprietary libraries. There were interactive lectures once or even twice a day by senior members of our tech group, and almost everyone in tech dedicated a day or more to serving as a “TA”, residing with and mentoring the developing
developers coders. After completing the sequence of assigned tasks, traders pivoted to work on building tools that would immediately aid their desk’s trading.
The traders in the program were mainly new hires, but several senior traders joined the crew as well, aware that the power and flexibility of OCaml would substantially raise their game. Even one desk head, an eight-year Jane Street veteran, sacrificed nearly a month of trading time to learn the ropes. OCaml Bootcamp isn’t just learning for learning’s sake, but building skills that will underlie the next decade of growth on the trading desks.