What languages ​​are most in demand in finance: Wall Street recruiters' opinions

    Specialists from the Efinancial Careers portal asked investment company recruiters to tell them which programming languages ​​are currently the most sought after by Wall Street. Our blog has an adapted version of this post.


    Java is the most sought after programming language on Wall Street for many years.

    “Java specialists are needed to perform various tasks: from developing high-frequency trading systems and managing orders to creating their own risk management platforms for financial companies,” said Jared Butler, head of financial and technological recruiting for North America at Selby Jennings. Java is also good for simulating and modeling trading strategies, said John Reid, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology.

    The increased interest of financial sector companies in Java developers is associated with a severe lack of qualified specialists in this field. “At the end of last year, there were only seven candidates in our databasefor each position, this indicator is much lower than in the case of other programming languages. " Reed also said that Java developers can demand a salary that is 10% higher compared to other specialists in the market.


    This programming language has come a long way before it was first used in Bank of America's Quartz program and JP Morgan's Athena system. Python is simply indispensable in creating analytical tools and quantum models, which, according to Schiller, are the most important tools that contribute to the creation of effective trading strategies for investment banks and hedge funds.

    In addition, “Python is being used more and more because of its simplicity, in contrast to traditional languages,” said Butler, who cited a number of reasons why this language could supplant the aforementioned Java in investment banking.

    “Programmers can do the same thing with ten lines of Python code with twenty lines of C ++, with a much lower probability of error,” the recruiter is convinced.

    Banks Merrill Lynch and JP Morgan are hiring a huge number of Python developers. “Bank of America and JP Morgan built most of their trading systems in Python and continue to attract experts in this field. Other banks and investment companies are starting to pay more attention to Python programmers, ”said Nick Vermeier, chief technical recruiter at Pencom Systems.

    C ++ and C #

    “C ++ remains a popular programming language in high-frequency trading, if only because it is the most effective tool for creating well-optimized backtesting systems and a trading engine for processing large amounts of data,” Butler says.

    Schiller agreed with these words, but also added that C ++ is often used to create applications that work with outdated banking systems. “Due to the high costs of introducing new technologies, there is still a demand for specialists who can work with old systems,” she said.

    Like Java, C # can be used to solve various problems, including the creation of financial models. This language is in second place in terms of the "scarcity" of qualified specialists, which gives them the privilege and the opportunity to receive higher wages. Reed said that C # developers can get 9-10% more money relative to their fellow experts in other languages.

    “C # is still used, often with quanta, and in developing high-speed trading systems,” explains Christian Glover Wilson, vice president of technology and strategy at Tigerspik.

    Other languages

    Other programming languages ​​in this article are SQL, PHP, and ETL.

    “We see that investment companies hire specialists with different skills, from knowledge of older ETL technologies, such as Informatica, to more modern tools for working with big data, such as Hadoop, HBase, HDFS, MapReduce, Pig, Hive, Impala Flume, ”Butler says. “ETL technologies are still important for data storage, as well as for storing large financial arrays of information used, in particular, by investment banks on a global scale.”

    On the other hand, the demand for Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) is decreasing, and HTML5, along with Hadoop, Cassandra and Scala, are becoming more popular on Wall Street ...

    "The popularity of data processing technologies such as Hadoop, Cassandra and Scala is growing, we see that more and more financial institutions are implementing them," Vermeira said. "C ++ and C #, as a rule, become the main development tools, interest in working with WPF is weakening, and the use of HTML5 is growing."

    Vermeyer supported this position: “We are also seeing an increase in demand for technologies for the transfer of large amounts of data, as companies face huge amounts of information every day. Very often, they are needed as related technologies in addition to major programming languages ​​such as Java or Python. The most popular large data technologies are Cassandra, Spark, and Hadoop. ”

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