What attracted you to apply to Optiver?
In high-frequency trading, the competitive market means the problems you solve can’t stay the same – they keep getting harder, and you have to keep challenging yourself. I find this incredibly motivating, and the team at Optiver is so open and collaborative – it’s the best environment to solve hard problems in!
What team do you work in and what are they responsible for?
I’m in the Performance Research team, which focus on execution, speed and success. Identifying profitable trades to make is only one part of the process. Once that has happened, you have to execute. In order to execute the best, my team analyses and theorises about everything from low-level systems and networking protocols, up to higher-level trading algorithm strategy optimisations.
Describe your current role?
My current role is focused on statistically analysing the exchange system from a networking/OS level. I take an understanding of what all our trading systems are trying to accomplish, get really into the minutia of the networking data we’ve captured and theorise about what’s happening in this exchange “black box”. I’ll come up with experiments to test these theories, and if there are improvements, I’ll work with Traders and Developers to get the results into production.
What keeps you motivated?
The rush of those ‘eureka’ moments can be addictive - where everything clicks into place. It’s challenging, and sometimes it’s a long time between. But it’s all worth it when you get the satisfaction of really figuring something out.
What was your training like?
I’ve been here for over two years and I still feel like I’m in training (in a good way) – you will never know everything! When I joined, I had a lot of team support, help with dissecting what I found, and how that related to Optiver’s systems.
What do you love most about your role/Optiver?
Most? Now that’s a hard question. I love that I have the autonomy to focus on problems that I will have the most impact on. We’re all on the same team, and when people are able to do their best, Optiver does its best.
Do you have any tips for graduates going through the process?
Most importantly, apply! The worst way to miss a good trade is to not shoot for it! Secondly, not knowing everything is okay, take time to show what you are good at. Also, try to be concrete when talking about how you would approach a problem. The role is about taking large abstract problems, breaking them down, and actually doing the work to solve them. We want to see that you can break a problem down to the point where you can articulate the actions you will take to solve it