Original post

The three biggest skills aren’t directly tech: learning fast/efficiently, communication and execution under pressure, and perseverance/discipline to finish/deliver.

Where I work, our devops use a mix of python/ruby/golang/bash for day to day debugging and development. Ability to read, understand, and modify Python (or a similar scripting language) and a familiarity with Bourne/bash are probably the minimum for devops.

For operations, you’d want to bring some skills that add to the team in new skills or redundancy. You’ll likely be trained/cross trained in many more. Familiarity with and ability to debug some of the following: databases, networked services (sometimes a pcap replay is all you have), systems troubleshooting, monitoring, queues, or specific hardware and software platforms we use.

At the HFT I work at, we hire Jr and Sr people. For systems people, there is a bit of a divide between trading systems engineers, who work directly with devs and traders on the care+feeding of some corner of our software stack and infrastructure systems that provide shared tooling and substrates (k8s, deployment tooling, continuous integration/delivery, configuration management tooling, additional debugging help, etc). We also have network teams, traditional IT service desk teams, and performance monitoring/improvement teams.

If you’re not coming from trading, we still need all of the standard sysadmin and devops skills. We have SSH, Kafka, Zookeeper, MySQL/Maria, tcpdump/wireshark, Linux, Puppet, Docker, Kubernetes, ElasticSearch, Hadoop, etc. We have misc custom file formats but also loads of json , some xml, etc. We integrate open source and proprietary as much or more than we build. Outside of the execution stack, you’d recognize a lot of what we do at any medium-sized tech company.

If you want to talk about life at an HFT, my email is in profile. I came into HFT as an experienced hire from the startup world and currently do builds development.