Switching from tech to finance?

Pinterest Bjzt62
May 5 29 Comments

Recently got an offer from a hedge fund in NYC. Curious if anyone has experience switching from tech / startup companies to big bank / finance firms. How is the culture different? Pros/cons?

What's it like being in NYC vs SF?

About 2 YoE, is that a good point to start something new?

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TOP 29 Comments
  • Compass / Eng
    FUPayMe

    Compass Eng

    PRE
    Google
    FUPayMemore
    Expect fewer if any perks. More work. Longer hours. Less flexibility.
    May 5 4
    • Pinterest Bjzt62
      OP
      Are longer hours true across the board? Specifically, this role is with DE Shaw and (what they tell me) is that WLB is quite good.
      May 5
    • Compass / Eng
      FUPayMe

      Compass Eng

      PRE
      Google
      FUPayMemore
      Yep across the board when compared to traditional tech firms.
      May 5
    • New / Eng #####
      There’s outliers, compass is right in general but there are companies and teams with good WLB
      May 5
    • Axtria DesiLaunda
      DE Shaw is pretty good. Congrats!
      May 5
  • Nvidia bdei51
    Would prefer NYC to SF given everything else equal
    May 5 5
    • Pinterest Bjzt62
      OP
      What makes you say that?
      May 5
    • Compass / Eng
      FUPayMe

      Compass Eng

      PRE
      Google
      FUPayMemore
      Girls exist in oversupply in nyc.
      May 5
    • Axtria DesiLaunda
      What app, tinder? Or just picked up women at the bar?
      May 5
    • Pinterest Bjzt62
      OP
      Newly single, so this is not something I had thought about before. Is the SF scene that much worse?
      May 5
    • Compass / Eng
      FUPayMe

      Compass Eng

      PRE
      Google
      FUPayMemore
      San Jose is called man Jose for a reason

      And regarding meeting women. There are more women than men in nyc. The surplus alone is around the population of San Francisco.
      May 5
  • Susquehanna International / Eng Kristaps11
    Pros:
    - All cash comp.
    - Clients of any software you write are usually always internal. Feedback and updates can happen more organically with more direct communication. This is why if I go to a FAANG I think I would most enjoy working on a library team.
    - Teams are generally smaller (idk how if this is true vs Pinterest but def true vs FAANG) so you’re more likely to have significant ownership.

    Cons:
    - Clients are always internal. I listed this as a pro but I know some people get satisfaction from knowing they contributed to a product that goes into the hands of public consumers.
    - Teams / desks can be quite siloed from each other for financial/security concerns. This means you’re shielded away from the big picture plans of the firm as well as the big picture financials of the firm. Less of a problem / nonproblem in tiny firms (ones with <100 headcount).
    - Some firms have perks as good as the most generous SV companies (Jane Street and HRT come to mind for having excellent perks) but on average trading firms are more stingy with these things.
    May 5 0
  • Wish
    ¥✨🤖✨¥

    Wish

    BIO
    I clean toilets. Pee Hach Tea 🍵
    ¥✨🤖✨¥more
    If you’re not a quant, you’ll be treated like IT instead of an engineer not that IT is mistreated horribly around here.
    May 5 1
    • Susquehanna International / Eng Kristaps11
      Firms will have dedicated IT that’ll be treated like IT.
      May 5
  • Nutanix naughtynx
    Aren’t you waiting for your Pinterest stock to vest?🙂
    May 5 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Pinterest Bjzt62
      OP
      ~240k. 160 base and 80 bonus, but the bonus is pro-rated and we're halfway through the year. They also do a deferred payment plan which would start paying back in 2021 (so a bit of a time commitment).
      May 5
    • Pinterest Bjzt62
      OP
      Yeah the main difference for me would be cash bonus instead of equity. Just a different way of thinking about comp.
      May 6
  • Credit Karma zipWthIndx
    OP don’t you want your shares to vest?
    May 6 1
    • Pinterest Bjzt62
      OP
      My way of looking at it is that shares are just part of compensation. At least the way I see it, I haven't been 'paid' those shares yet, so moving somewhere with equivalent compensation in different shares / straight cash bonus isn't a huge loss.

      The main difference would be if the next offer had a cliff or something w.r.t. vesting.
      May 6
  • Morgan Stanley ninja007
    Don’t do it. This is the right time to be in tech. Jump to another good tech co - if you’d like to. Also - plenty of them have openings in NY now, including F/A/G/U and smaller ones like Affirm/Etsy etc.

    Only move to finance if you’re really interested in the domain and want to specialize long term as a quant dev.

    NYC over SF/Seattle anytime
    May 6 7
    • Facebook fooking
      Pretty sure they can easily get interviews at F/G with DE Shaw or TS. From there it's just leetcode and system design interviews.
      May 6
    • Pinterest Bjzt62
      OP
      The work I would be doing wouldn't be hyper specialized @ninja, it's infrastructure work so I imagine those skills would translate fintech-FAANG-startup-etc.
      May 6
    • Morgan Stanley ninja007
      Understood OP. In that case, it’s purely a TC play for you.

      There’s also a major downside culture wise being in a costcentre v/s a revenue generating group. But at your YoE, it shouldn’t matter atleast short term.
      May 7
    • Facebook fooking
      Are you talking about the fact that he's a SWE at a HF? Or that he's in an infra team at a HF? What sorts of major downsides are there?
      May 7
    • Morgan Stanley ninja007
      The infra team at a HF part. Those are cost centers and the pay growth over years isn’t as good as a role where you learn more about the domain as well.

      Also - from a tech learning perspective, you’ll learn more at AWS’ scale than at a HF.

      So goes back to my first comment - I’d recommend HFs only if you’re going to learn the domain and build a unique combination of domain+tech skills, which will pay off outsized long term.
      May 7
  • Susquehanna International / Eng Kristaps11
    Do you know if you’ll be on a front office team @op?
    May 6 1
    • Pinterest Bjzt62
      OP
      The role is for infrastructure (quant systems)
      May 6