"The reason I haven’t just stayed with one team is because each one has taught me different skills."
I joined straight out of university. I spent about three months in the Trading Systems engineering team before joining the entry-level training class. I met a lot of people who were just starting out, and that became the basis of my network at Bloomberg. After the training class, I returned to the same team, which today is called Sell-Side Pre-trade Negotiation. I did that for about a year and a half. Six months after my training, I also became a Tech Rep, which was a real career progression. I then had the opportunity to move to BTCA Front-End. BTCA (which stands for Bloomberg Transaction Cost Analysis) is a solution that’s useful after the trading activity is done. It's a data analysis tool for big trading shops to analyse the performance of their trading decisions, ensuring they have made the right (and most profitable) choices. I spent about two and a half years there, worked on a lot of interesting challenges, rewrote some of the existing code, and made performance and resiliency improvements. Today, I'm on the Alerts: Distribution team, which is responsible for delivering Alert content – more than 10 million Alerts per day – to Bloomberg Terminal users. It's a team I joined about a month ago.
When you subscribe to the Bloomberg Terminal as a customer, you expect a lot of quality in return. You expect quality in terms of latency, speed, and accuracy. When I was looking at companies to work for, I recognised that a company like Bloomberg can’t afford to cut corners the way other large technology companies can because the customers are paying for more. We must be very serious and very careful about how we build products. And we do it with fewer engineers.
Furthermore, the first Terminal was installed almost a decade before the World Wide Web was invented. Since then, we've successfully challenged some of the fundamental building blocks of our industry. We had to build our own solutions and that means we do things a bit differently from the rest of the world. We have our own protocols. Where else but here can you actually work on core networking functionality that is not even imaginable to people outside the company?
It comes back to the opportunities that we have, starting from the hardware we design and build all the way to our approach to high-level application development. Depending on what you want to do, you can choose what path to take. I personally want to become very strong technically, so I don’t see myself becoming a manager any time soon (never say never!). I would like to be responsible for very big technologies.
The reason I haven’t just stayed with one team is because each one has taught me different skills. The Trade Negotiation team was all about low latency. I learned how to make things go very fast. When I moved to BTCA, it was all about ensuring the correct technical data is available to enable clients to build the complex models necessary to measure the effectiveness of their portfolio transactions. With the Alerts Distribution team, it’s an architectural challenge. So, each team has helped me expand my knowledge and technical skills.
As I’ve become more senior, I’ve had the opportunity to get involved with things like recruitment and other programs that help mentor younger engineers. Three years ago, all I did was code on Bloomberg’s tech stack. Today, I get to work with internal technologies, learn third-party platforms, and increasingly, use quite a lot of open source tooling. Open source means there’s a larger community using the tools, so there are more people to think about when fixing bugs and contributing back to a project.