Currently deciding between JS and a return internship offer for junior summer, and I had some questions for devs @ Jane Street:
- How are engineers treated? Is there a big front office/back office culture divide like in traditional finance institutions? How significant is the pay gap between traders and engineers? How is career progression?
- How transferable are the engineering skills in finance? I have some concerns about working in OCaml/functional programming, as I plan on eventually working full-time in the Bay Area.
- How reputable is Jane Street in the tech world? How will having JS on my resume affect full-time recruiting?
- While the WLB of any financial firm certainly can't compete to tech, how is working at JS full-time?
- With a potential recession coming, how will JS/prop shops perform relative to tech companies?
Thanks in advance!
1. Engineers are treated pretty well. There’s no front/back office divide afaict. I think we try pretty hard to align everybody’s incentives and specifically avoid creating pay gaps between different dev groups that are nominally at different distances from “what makes the money” but really are just equally valuable. I don’t have a great picture of traders’ comp, but honestly I wouldn’t be surprised if the average dev and average trader make the same.
2. The skills I’ve learned definitely feel transferrable. Trading as a business domain doesn’t feel that different from something else selling ads online. Sure, depending on the team you might end up learning some finance-y stuff that’s not generally applicable elsewhere, but the fundamentals of software engineering are the same regardless of where you go.
3. JS has a reputation for being very selective, which I believe means it’s a good thing to have JS on your resume.
4. Most devs at JS work *pretty reasonable* hours. I average 45 hours a week, and I don’t feel weird about it.
5. JS naturally thinks pretty hard about market crashes, definitely more so than any tech firm, so I feel pretty good about our chances if / when a recession hits.