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Kevin Sweet
Chief Technology Officer

The Mako Difference

Talent
May 27, 2020

As a founding member of Mako and the architect of its technology stack, I’m often asked how Mako manages to perform at the same level as our competitors, despite our technology team being a small fraction of their size.

We hire people who want to think for themselves, who embrace responsibility rather than shirk away from it. We have the same standards for hiring programmers that we do for traders. Qualities like pattern recognition, critical thinking, logical reasoning and an insatiable appetite for challenging themselves. Our technologists are more than just programmers, they’re problem solvers as well.

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We invest heavily in our people, encouraging as much engagement with the entirety of our business as possible.

We offer our developers a level of empowerment that is missing from your typical larger organization, which often has hundreds of people in its IT staff, but only an incredibly small core (sometimes 10 or less!) who actually get to think about the problems, leaving the rest as cogs in a machine. We take the opposite approach, investing heavily in our people and encouraging as much engagement with the entirety of our business as possible.

The open and collaborative atmosphere within teams and across departments helps our developers gain the ability to really understand the problem they’re trying to solve and then implement it in such a way that it can also be applicable to similar problems.

Along with culture, the other key to our success has been remaining focused on our core area of expertise, trading options. While our technology is certainly low latency, we aren’t a high frequency trading firm solely focused on winning the speed game. We don’t need to be the fastest, just fast enough to be able to leverage how we do things differently to achieve a profitable conclusion.        

In recent years hardware technologies like FPGAs, have been commoditized, allowing us to on-board these technologies and apply more of our time and resources to focus on the areas we truly excel, our pricing and risk management.

As we use this additional bandwidth to add more layers of sophistication to our pricing models, we are constantly searching for new members of our tech team to play a role in this transformation. If you believe that your skillset and personality resonate with the approach described above, I encourage you to join us on this journey.  

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