A closer look into the roles of trading and technology offers a sense of life at Jane Street.
Work at Jane Street is exciting and challenging. We trade in incredibly competitive, fast-paced environments, and feedback on successes and failures is quick and tangible. This allows for constant evaluation and improvement of our strategies and performance.
- THE TRADER'S DAY
- THE TECHNOLOGIST'S DAY
The trading desk
Traders are organized into teams of varying sizes (referred to as “trading desks”), organized primarily by the type of security traded.
During peak trading hours, the desks are central to the excitement of the trading floor; once the buzz has subsided, they’re a place for mentorship and open discussion.
People of all experience levels, from the newest campus hire to the most seasoned trader, work together on the trading floor.
Traders must be prepared every day to attack a varied set of problems.
Most divide their time between closely monitoring our trading systems in real-time, manually entering trades into the market, developing new trading strategies via data-intensive quantitative research, and improving the infrastructure that enables us to analyze the markets and our trading data.
To meet these requirements, traders must not only be capable of improvising quick solutions under time pressure, but also develop aptitude in a wide array of skills including statistical analysis and programming.
Traders will eventually gain the market experience that enables them to have good trading judgment and recognize subtle opportunities.
We tend to work in small and often overlapping teams, with different groups responsible for different elements of the software stack.
These small teams have a lot of freedom to make decisions about the future course of the systems they’re building, and are responsible for coordinating with people in other areas of the firm to figure out what’s important.
Desks are organized like a traditional trading-floor, with people seated close to each other on an open plan rather than in cubicles or offices. Working together on a floor facilitates communication with the group, and keeps you close to the daily rhythms of trading.
Although technologists spend most of their time on the trading floor, there are times when people prefer to focus, distraction-free, on their work. We have designated quiet rooms where people can go when they need absolute silence to focus on a task.
Creating software is a key part of what makes us profitable, so we spend significant effort working on our own tools. We’ve built a variety of internal development tools, including custom editor integration with our build system, a compile-daemon used to handle proposed changes before accepting them, a unit testing system that integrates with our build system, and tools for managing the process of code review.
We train developers largely by one-on-one mentorship. New hires are assigned to a project where they work closely with someone more experienced who can help them through the initial learning curve and give them concrete feedback.
Building great software requires understanding the problem you’re trying to solve. So as a developer, you can expect to spend a big chunk of your time learning about areas outside of software, including trading.
A big part of our process is reading each other’s code, either through formal code reviews or informal conversations on the desk. We think of code as a way of expressing intent, not just a way to get things done.
Code in action
Jane Street trades billions of dollars a day, and it’s an amazing experience to see the code that you write deployed at that kind of scale.
The people who are using the systems you create are right here in the office, so it’s easy to get feedback and to see how what you’re doing affects people’s daily work and adds value to the firm.