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Kick-starting Engineering Careers in Finance

The Tech Starters program is a great initiative – whether you are a graduate or an experienced hire, not many tech people have prior exposure to financial markets. At Optiver, we expect end-to-end ownership from our engineers, which means they need to interact a lot with trading teams to understand how the systems are supposed to behave. Having the Tech Starters program is invaluable in getting basic knowledge about what, how and why we trade and will increase confidence of engineers to have these discussions with trading. This program is unique when I compare it to other financial organizations I’ve worked at. 

Ronald Izaks – Tech Ops Engineer – Experienced Hire

Tech Starters Programme

There is often a misconception that you need to understand finance before you can work in Tech at a trading firm. We assure you that this is not the case at Optiver. The minute you step into Optiver’s Tech department – be it as a software engineer, application engineer, FPGA specialist or a network engineer – you take part in our comprehensive Tech Starters Programme. Optiver’s Tech leaders and Learning and Development experts designed this 6-month long program to equip our Tech hires with the business and technical knowledge, behaviours and personal connections they need to build a successful career in our company.

The Tech Starters program covers a broad range of topics and learning styles. Each Tech starter is given responsibility for a project early on so that they can start ‘learning by doing.’ They are also matched with a senior engineer who will mentor them from the start.

Our starters learn about financial theory and trading through a suite of lectures and simulation trading led by ex-traders. This gives our engineers the trading knowledge they need to work independently and confidently in their role, as well as the vocabulary to comfortably have domain-related discussions with end-users.

Presentations and group discussions with our Tech leaders help our engineers understand Optiver’s technical domain, tech strategy and the engineering standards we apply to our work.

Patrick Kostjens is one of our Software Engineers who quickly rose to be a tech team lead. He sums up the programme well: When I started at Optiver, I knew very little about trading. The tech starters program taught me what I needed to know to effectively start building software for trading. On top of that you’ll also learn a lot about how the various teams in Optiver work, while also gaining knowledge on how to write good software. The tech starter program sets you up for a successful career in Optiver.

Our engineers often reflect that one of the biggest takeaways from the Tech Starters program is a deeper understanding and appreciation of the financial markets, how they work and how they contribute to society. Dovile Vitonye, who started as a Graduate Software Engineer at Optiver said: “What I loved most, is that you learn how important it is to treat markets with great respect and how market- makers improve the market, which really makes me feel proud to be part of Optiver.”

Our engineers’ continuous development is supported throughout their career at Optiver by their team leads and our dedicated team of Learning and Development experts. To find out more about opportunities at Optiver visit our website or get in touch with [email protected].

Tech Starters programme is a great opportunity to step into trader’s shoes and learn about our trading software stack! You not only learn theoretical aspects about markets from energetic mentors, understand what great risks come in trading world, but you also get to experience what it feels like to sit in front of multiple screens, see how the market reacts to news and Trump’s tweets, and hopefully make (simulated) money.

Dovile Vitonye – Software Engineer

Life at Optiver
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