Get to Know Us

Val

London

Software Engineering

2017 Intern

Full-time since 2018

Read the transcript

Transcript

Get to Know Us | Jane Street

Hey, I’m Val, I’m a desk dev, which means that I sit very close to traders and the sort of code that I write helps them take better decisions faster than if they did everything manually. So that’s my job, it’s called the “desk dev.” I am located in London and I started here in 2018.

Do I need experience in finance to apply?

I mean, I think most people who come in don’t have actual financial experience, right? And, I think even for people who are even traders, we sometimes prefer to teach them our way of thinking. I emailed my mentor the week before coming in and I said, “Hey, I have forgotten OCaml. Cause I know learned that, picked it up over my internship. I’ve forgotten OCaml.” I said, “I know nothing about finance. What should I read up?” And he said, “No, Val, don’t worry about it. We’ll teach you everything that you want.”

Are there classes you took in school that helped you prepare for the work you do at Jane Street?

I think the classes that most prepared me or the classes that I didn’t expect to prepare me were classes that were about literature, classes that were about sort of speaking and, how do you write the paper, how to express an idea that is in your head. And it’s very well there and really well formed and juicy and ripe. And you sort of want to check, have someone check it for you so that you can go and do it and you can go write that code. How do you express that idea? That’s the sort of stuff that I, again, controversial opinion, but I guess comparative media studies classes were the ones that have helped me a lot in a very unexpected way.

Is there really no hierarchy?

I think when people ask, is there no hierarchy, what they mean is will I be heard on my first day of work? And I think the answer to that is, yes. It doesn’t really matter how long you’ve been at Jane Street. If you have a good question, if you spot a mistake somewhere, if you say, “Hey, I think the way we think about XYZ is wrong” and you can provide good arguments for that, it doesn’t matter whether or not you have been in the firm for 10 days or 10 months or 10 years, people listen to you because you’re saying, okay, this is a way that we can improve or you’re asking a good question.

Who are your end users and where does your work go?

My end users are traders. So something that I really like in my job is how tight the feedback loop is. The tools that I work on are mostly infrastructure tools, as well as sort of display like monitor tools, um, that help traders take better decisions faster.

One of the things that I really miss about being in the office is lunch break. Lunch break is awesome. The devs go to the cafeteria and we sit down, we have lunch with one another and we’ll talk about the most bizarre stuff. Okay. So we talk a lot about submarines and we talk about rockets and we talk about video games and Star Wars. I don’t know, my colleagues are really cool and they don’t tell you when they’re cool. That’s like the best bit…you learn from other people. Cause people are humble. And if you want to listen, if you want to learn it is just, yes, you just sit there and you, and you know, you also write some code and in the meantime as well, it’s pretty fun. Also, the food’s nice.

Yeah.

The next great idea will come from you