SWE Facebook –> SWE at hedge fund

Facebook / Eng John Smith
Sep 3, 2018 13 Comments

Should I move from a big tech company (level 5) to a SWE position in a hedge fund? Assume they pay the same, but HF won’t guarantee any bonus compared to guaranteed stocks.
What are growth perspectives at SWE in fin-tech?

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TOP 13 Comments
  • Google Clck58
    Apart from a few exceptions (two sigma, de shaw, perhaps jane street), swes are treated as second class citizens in finance. That’s a big shock for most people moving from tech. Keep that in mind when making a decision.
    Sep 3, 2018 1
    • PayPal vdAR66
      Truth
      Sep 3, 2018
  • Amazon / Eng jNeo42
    In finance, the further you are from the revenue, the closer the glass ceiling. This means that if you are a quant analyst influencing the portfolio allocation and thus profits, you have unlimited earning potential. But you’ll need a PhD for that, and will need to be a C++ expert. That’s not you? Then you’ll be a fixed cost to the company. You can still do well, but you will max out in comp. I contracted with hedge funds in IT for 12 years. My comp went from $200K to nearly $400K as a Corp-to-Corp. But note that the high end was a fluke and I cannot get that back. So even with my expertise in the field, the most I can get today on the free market is around $300K, I can quickly get that up to $325K if I don’t take much time off and have some time to prove to the client how awesome I am. From there I might get to $400K and that would be my max as a contractor. This puts me where Blind posters with 5 yoe on the west coast claim to be — and I’ve been an engineer for 25 years. But the visibility in these spots is great: you know everything and you’ll get Joe his reports which need to foot to 25 billion dollars and 4 decimal places. So welcome to your glass ceiling. To break through it in Corporate America, learn how to eat ass, perfect the art of corporate politics (I mean fucking nail that shit), and give up on some parts of you which you thought were your soul. Because your entire soul will only block you from perfecting the ass-eating and politicking.
    Sep 3, 2018 3
    • Deutsche Bank Newbie4321
      Very true. And as OP is in Facebook it makes no sense for him/her to move to a hedge fund
      Sep 3, 2018
    • Facebook / Eng John Smith
      OP
      Thanks! The HFT company I’m talking about is in London and very small and cozy (around 100 people in total). Quants are the main money makers for sure, however they explained me that my role would be also important as I’ll be building an automation for the researchers
      Sep 3, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng jNeo42
      I don’t know what unvested RSUs you’d be giving up, but you cannot work at big companies forever. If your FB tenure satisfies you at this point, and you think it has set you up well to go back to big tech at some point, then you have nothing to lose. Small finance is an interesting niche and I’m ready to leave 2 years of Amazon to go back to it. I can tell you that the so-called certainty of vested RSUs can become painfully suffocating. If it’s a good HF, it does well, and you do well, they are not going to skimp on your bonus because that is bad for their reputation. If you’re not performing well, they’re more likely to cut you than give you a bad bonus. Of course when things like 2008/2009 hit, you should most assuredly expect a shitty bonus if your hedge fund was not heavy on the short side of things at the right time! I’d take that any day over handcuffs in a big corp. But like I said, you need a mix of experience. You might go back and forth in your career, do as many different things as you can.
      Sep 3, 2018
  • Google / Eng
    happy2help

    Google Eng

    PRE
    Facebook
    BIO
    Always happy to help. PM me.
    happy2helpmore
    Then it is not same pay when you have uncertainty?
    Sep 3, 2018 3
    • Facebook / Eng John Smith
      OP
      Well, it means it can go higher at HF, this pays for the uncertainty
      Sep 3, 2018
    • Deutsche Bank Newbie4321
      Add uncertainty of losing the job to the list of risks
      Sep 3, 2018
    • Facebook / Eng John Smith
      OP
      I asked them about chances of being fired and they said they prefer not to hire (interview process wasn’t the easiest indeed)
      Sep 3, 2018
  • Lyft ride
    If they're not guaranteeing the first year bonus, walk.
    Sep 3, 2018 0
  • IBM / Mgmt
    > FB

    IBM Mgmt

    PRE
    Google, Apple
    BIO
    Hi!
    > FBmore
    Sure, if they offer $400k base salary, go try it out.
    Sep 3, 2018 0
  • Microsoft amdx86
    Growth mindset.
    Sep 3, 2018 0

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