Life at Optiver  · 

Q&A with a Software Engineer at Optiver

Meet Dovile, one of Optiver’s C++ developers. Originally from Lithuania, Dovile joined Optiver following internships at Goldman Sachs in London and HDE in Japan. She holds a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Edinburgh.

We asked Dovile a few questions about her chosen career:

What do you love about your work?
One of the things I enjoy most is that every day is different. We have so much freedom as engineers at Optiver, and we’re able to make an impact.

The time from solving a problem to going into production and deployment is really short, which makes it extremely rewarding. I get to work side by side with experienced and skilled developers and traders, and the learning curve from both technical and financial perspectives is extremely steep. I don’t think I have ever had a day here where I didn’t learn something new.

How is every day different? 

My role at Optiver is not limited to being a developer. I have to conduct research and analysis to see if my solution would make a valuable impact on the problem. On a daily basis, there are disruptions that come my way, which I really enjoy as they make my day dynamic and multi-faceted. I find that handling small tasks, such as production issues that require immediate action or new feature requests from traders, gives me headspace for the big projects I have to focus on, and it boosts my creativity.

When trading systems need to be enhanced or something needs to be added, it can be challenging as I really need to understand the problem from a trader’s perspective. Often, I feel that I don’t even know where to start, but working in collaboration really helps the puzzle come together. All these things that I do at work are just the tip of the iceberg; I know that at Optiver, I will never be bored and every day will be different.

What are your tech-related interests outside of work?
I like to do exercises on LeetCode because it always provides performance feedback on your code. I try to learn something new and optimise my code. I also enjoy having a few side projects: this year I wrote a PacMan game to improve my c++ coding skills. 

What keeps you inspired?
At university, my fellow students inspired me. I am quite competitive and always tried to be a better tech expert than they were. These days, I am inspired by my colleagues – I get to interact with many experts and am consistently fascinated by their knowledge and skills.

What makes you good at your job?
I am not afraid to take ownership. I am proactive but when I feel that I get stuck with a problem, I always ask for help and suggestions on how to solve it. While I consider myself to be a good learner, I also really enjoy sharing my knowledge with others. 

How did you get started in technology and what led you to your chosen career?
My interest in technology goes back to high school in Lithuania. After school I was confident that I wanted to pursue a career in IT. Initially, my dream was to become a robotics programmer and I had a lot of encouragement from my teachers, parents, and friends. 

I started studying Computer Science at The University of Edinburgh back in 2013. During my studies, I had opportunities to try out different courses and I found out that robotics wasn’t my passion after all. I was way more interested in writing a code and seeing it in action straight away. That’s what led me to consider a career in FinTech. 

I always believed that technology is key to the competitiveness of the financial sector and that in order to write competitive code you need to be highly skilled and open to new ideas. I got my break in 2014 while attending a CITYVIEW event, where I heard about opportunities at Goldman Sachs and was selected as a candidate for their spring internship programme. A year later I rejoined as a summer intern but did not want to limit my experience to FinTech. I decided to try out non-financial companies and, in the summer of 2017, I completed a software engineering internship at HDE in Tokyo, Japan. This internship taught me that I found the finance world very exciting. In my final year of study, I started looking for roles in the financial industry that was highly-oriented around technology, which is how I found Optiver. 

What are your non-tech interests?
Since moving to Amsterdam, I have started bouldering. I also love cycling around the city on the weekends and trying out all the different local beers. 

Why did you choose to move to Amsterdam?
The Netherlands has a great work-life balance. It’s great how cycling is encouraged – it really impacts my life, health, and mood in a good way. The vibe in Amsterdam is really nice, everyone is laid back, and locals really make you feel welcome. 

Why should someone consider a career in technology?
There’s a common misconception that software engineers spend their days staring at their screens and not communicating with the people around them. This really isn’t the case. Having a career in IT is immensely rewarding. You get to meet amazing people, forge lifelong friendships, tackle diverse problems every day, and most importantly, engage in continuous learning and share your knowledge with others.

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