The role of a Quant Developer, sometimes referred to as Financial Engineer, has become increasingly important with advancements made in technology and mathematical finance.
As computing systems have become faster, it has been possible to implement mathematical models that were previously considered too complex to be computed by machines in a reasonable time frame.
This has led to an increasing need for researchers and analysts who had a solid understanding of computer science principles to bridge the gap between the technology and the mathematics of our pricing; this is where the quant developer comes in.
First and foremost, being a quant developer at Mako means being part of the Software Engineering team, but the breadth of your role will be far wider than that. You will spend the majority of your time coding in a collaborative and stimulating environment, helping us to solve a broad spectrum of challenging problems.
You will also have the opportunity to work together with Traders and Quants on Mako's numerical challenges and algorithms. Your expertise will help us develop new ideas, extend our existing mathematical framework and optimize the existing code for maximizing throughput.
You are expected to have a genuine interest in the following:
You are not expected to be proficient in all of this, but your job as a Quant Developer will revolve around these concepts.
A Quant Developer interview generally lasts about 1 hour.
Be prepared to guide the interviewer through your CV, emphasizing the most relevant experiences. A good presentation is often the perfect starting point.
The first skill that is tested is the ability to solve problems you have not encountered before: the quickest way to demonstrate this is to show how you solve brain teasers.
Secondly, you will be asked to work on a problem you would have likely encountered before: you need to demonstrate that you have the right knowledge arsenal at your disposal and that you know how to navigate in familiar waters.
Lastly, the interview is a research process for both parties: Mako is looking for the ideal candidate, as much as you are looking for the ideal company to work for. Make sure to understand what Mako is offering and whether or not that’s what you’re looking for.
Interviewing as a Quant Developer is challenging. A lot of practise is required for improving your success rate.
Make sure you have pen and paper ready. Remember: showing how you reached your answer is more important than arriving at the right one. Sometimes there's more than a single correct answer and it's easy to follow an approach that leads to a dead end. Don't be afraid to take a few steps back and restart, you are valued on how well you solve a problem, not on the number of attempts you've taken before finding the solution.
Here are a few tips:
Here are examples of what you are not going to be asked:
At this stage, you are asked to show how well you can apply your theoretical knowledge to solve a familiar problem. These are closer to real world problems than brain teasers,and they are usually a slight variation to a well-known problem.
This is not a memory test, as we are interested in seeing how you can find a solution, not if you remember some tiny details from your degree.
The most frequently asked questions in the industry are in the following areas:
You should already be familiar with all of these, and if you are not, make sure you brush up on these topics.
A consistent part of your interview at Mako is a live coding test. You will be asked to design algorithms that solve a certain class of problems in the most efficient way. Check our blog post on software development interviews here for more information.
Mako uses C++ as our main coding language. But the most important aspect is that you understand the object oriented paradigm.
You will likely be a successful candidate if the answer to the following questions is positive:
Being a Quant Developer at Mako entails working on a multitude of challenging tasks and engaging in fascinating technical debates with traders and developers, all whilst being part of a fun,collaborative and inclusive environment. Check out our current openings if you think you have what it takes to be a successful candidate.