aspose file tools*
The moose likes Jobs Discussion and the fly likes java + finance Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Careers » Jobs Discussion
Bookmark "java + finance" Watch "java + finance" New topic
Author

java + finance

arpit sharma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 27, 2006
Posts: 41
hi guys, i came across a guy who is working as an IT consultant in an MNC for a large financial firm . While addressing us I realized that he is extremely well versed in both financial domain and technical domain as he was answering both the type of questions comfortably.
What I want to know is that how do you master a particular domain and more importantly - how are you considered as an expert in a particular domain-- i read somewhere in this form that people in financial domain do thing like CFA etc. I just want tO know how poeple pull it off??
Pete Joseph
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 21, 2006
Posts: 25
If you're a tech person and work for a certain industry for a specific amount of time, you should pick up certain details and ideas.

If your friend has been a tech person in the finance industry for a few years and he's proactive in his learning, it wouldn't be that hard to figure out some basics and advanced topics regarding that industry.

It's not that hard to pick up information if your open to it and the company is willing to show you some of the ropes. Why many people don't pick up specific business skills is beacuse of the fact that many people get on as consultants or move from job to job or contract to contract and you just never have the time or need to learn more than that.

You have your tech skills but you don't have the time or need to learn the intricate details of the industry you work in for a month or two or less. It's pointless to learn everything about finance when next month you might be moving onto a project in the drug industry...

Some people are just tech people. They don't want to know anything else but technology. Sometimes a company isn't that open.. The tech people are located with only tech people, so the fact is you really never learn the ins and outs of a company.

I worked on a project one time where the only people i ever saw were tech people. Networking, software, security, so on and so forth.. The building I worked in was about 2000 miles away from the companies headquarters. So the only people any of us ever saw were tech people. Yes, you had figure heads who ran the building I was at, but it was the tech headquarters and for the most part, nobody ever interacting with the business people because we never saw them.

There are many places like that. If you don't interact at least once a week with business people, your not going to learn all that much about how this bank runs or this finance company or this drug company and so on.

It's good to be proactive, but sometimes you have to realize before you take a job, that some places don't want you doing anything outside of what you do best, and that's IT.

It really depends on the person, the company, and your outlook.

If you want to learn about technology and the business you are working for, don't jump into a job where the only people you'll ever see or interact with are technology people.
Jason Cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 287
Not all techies started out in the IT field. One of my fellow consultants was originally a CPA and then jumped to Java programming. He has been very helpful in developing accounting rules in some of the applications we've had to write.

Some, as Peter noted, have worked in a domain for so long that they have picked up the foundational knowledge and most of the jargon for the industry. This is not really a bad thing. However, I think this knowledge is sometimes overvalued. For instance I know of some hospitals that only want techies that already have healthcare experience.
Tim LeMaster
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 31, 2006
Posts: 226
This actually bugs me quite a bit. I'm a developer. I spent considerable ammount developing my skills and I spend a considerable ammount keeping them up to date. If you don't understand your domain or process well enough to help me get good requirements in, chances are I will not enjoy working there.

I don't ask business people to understand threads, events, or other technical matters. I have specialized knowledge in designing and developing code, when I see needs prior experience in health care, finance, insurance, etc I get the chills. Not to say they might not be better off with a candidate that has those experiences, but if they value those skills over strong technical skills they may be disappointed when their new hire understands what they want but can't produce it.
Manish Hatwalne
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 22, 2001
Posts: 2579

Originally posted by Tim LeMaster:
This actually bugs me quite a bit. I'm a developer. I spent considerable ammount developing my skills and I spend a considerable ammount keeping them up to date. If you don't understand your domain or process well enough to help me get good requirements in, chances are I will not enjoy working there.

I don't ask business people to understand threads, events, or other technical matters. I have specialized knowledge in designing and developing code, when I see needs prior experience in health care, finance, insurance, etc I get the chills. Not to say they might not be better off with a candidate that has those experiences, but if they value those skills over strong technical skills they may be disappointed when their new hire understands what they want but can't produce it.


What you talk makes sense to me! However, often in Indian companies working in finance; domain knowledge is give lot of importance.

- Manish
Jason Cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 287
It's often just as true at US companies.

I understand why they would want technologists to understand the domain to some extent. There is a lot of value in understanding real estate terminology and concepts while you're working in that domain for instance. Regardless, everyone has to learn somewhere and most technologists do not go into IT assuming they need to learn finance, healthcare, real estate, etc. etc.

I've never had any problem integrating into a new domain. Granted, that is expected due to the nature of my work, but even so I would not recommend against a full-time candidate just because they lack domain knowledge. That can usually be learned and quickly, especially if the company has a good requirements gathering process or has other experienced technologists that can mentor new hires in the domain knowledge needed.

I really think pre-existing domain knowledge for a role is overvalued.
Pete Joseph
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 21, 2006
Posts: 25
I agree with what has been said.. Many times candidates won't ever be considered or overlooked because you might have worked in IT for a auto manufacturer or whatever and they are specifically looking for candidates with healthcare experience only.

That is stupid. Maybe if you are jumping on board as a CIO or CTO or some high level position like that, I'd understand. But for most IT people, there might be some new things to learn here and there, but at the end of the day, it still is IT.

I don't know, it is real stupid that some places want somebody who knows the industry, when in reality, you'll really never need to know a damn thing about that industry as an IT person.
Jason Cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 287
I disagree, I think it is very valuable to learn about the domain you work in, I just think that domain knowledge is currently overvalued.

I found the more I learned about real estate the easier it became for me to write real estate applications. There was less miscommunication and it easier it was to ascertain what the customer wanted.

I wouldn't neglect the usefulness of domain knowledge, but I also wouldn't pass on a good developer just because they have zero knowledge starting out. If they really are a competent developer they'll learn whatever they need to do their job. That might mean learning a new technology or learning industry jargon. I think holding out for the perfect candidate is where so many businesses miss out. It is far easier to make the ideal employee than it is to find the ideal employee.
Manish Hatwalne
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 22, 2001
Posts: 2579

I think domain knowledge is value addition - seeking this as mandatory requirement sounds funny to me. Even though it is as useful as finance domain, as a technical person I wouldn't like to restrict myself to only one domain. I'd rather get exposure to diverse domains myself.

As a technical person I am there to solve business problems, and providing solution is #1 priority - and if I work long enough in one domain I am bound to get knowledge of that domain. But that doesn't imply that I can or I want to only solve problems in the same or related domains.

- Manish
arpit sharma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 27, 2006
Posts: 41
hey guys .. great discussion .. i want to know one more thing.. if i want to begin looking into some knowledge of these domains which is the best place place to start.i looked into google but got lost as nothing relating to financial or healthcare was there that was meant for someone with IT job and i found it was too complicated.

if anyone here knows some sites/journals/ebooks/links/articles related to domain knowledge please let me know.


please send me at least one link so that i have atleast something to search for in google.
Rish Jain
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 22, 2006
Posts: 85
Visit http://www.investopedia.com/ for Finance.
kri shan
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 08, 2004
Posts: 1382
I would like to learn Accounting(like balance sheet, Profit & Loss account) basics. Any good on-line beginner level resource is available ?
arpit sharma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 27, 2006
Posts: 41
http://www.investopedia.com/ is really good man.
Thanks Rish .
arpit sharma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 27, 2006
Posts: 41
if someone can suggest some magazine or newsletter related to financial services that also has some relation with people like us that would be really helpful.
Pete Joseph
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 21, 2006
Posts: 25
Gaining knowledge about a certain domain is fine. If you have extra time and want to learn about accounting, go for it.

But the fact is, while it's good to learn about the domain you work in, it's a waste to think you'll actually become proficient more in that domain than in IT..

Many IT jobs these days are consulting and contract related. If i go into finance company, help design and build their new or existing system and am gone within two months.. It's ridiculous to think I'd be an expert in that domain..

Yeah I might have picked up a thing or two, but the fact is I might be in finance today, the drug industry next month, some entertainment company the following month, a government agency the month after and so on and so forth.

I learned alot more by working in various domain rather than just one. Yeah if you are lucky enough to leave college, get a job in a great company, stay at that company, learn all about their software, hardware, business, people, and so on...then that is great.

But if you get out of college, work for a good company, learn all about what they do and how they do it, but it's 10 year old technology you are working on, it's not always a good thing.

I worked for an organization that used 15 year old mainframes. We had a huge upgrade when The funnyu thing was when I first started we changed from a 20 year old mainframe to a 15 year old one. Yeah an upgrade.

I did learn alot when I was there. I learned alot about the organization, the mainframe, how to save on reel to reel discs.

But at the end of the day, my skills were not that valuable outside that company and a couple of others because quite honestly, my experience was with a 15 year old mainframe system most people never even heard of before, yet alone used. And government agencies are weird because each one thinks they do things differently than the other ones.

So when their were cutbacks and lay offs I moved onto more consulting type work.. I didn't learn about many domains because i just didn't spend that much time at one place to learn about them. One month I was here, another month somewhere else.

I learned alot more IT skills in the few years as a consultant than I did for 5 years with the other organization. Yeah I could tell you how things worked at that agency and I became very knowledgable, but the fact was, they used 15 year old technolgy that nobody used anymore.

Keeping my skills up to date on my own was nice, but when looking for other opportunities, people want to see real world experience and not "yeah I know how to do this."

So learning about other domains is great, but if you become more of an expert about a certain company and domain that uses older technolgy, that isn't always a good thing.
Jason Cox
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 287
If you're in technology you're better off spending your extra time studying about technology.

Any necessary domain knowledge can be picked up on the job.

If you're looking to go work for a specific company that demands existing domain knowledge they usually want prior experience. It's usually not enough to say you read a book or studied some of the concepts. They want actual experience. It sucks, it's unfair, but that is just the way it is.

I would really recommend not putting too much effort into another domain unless you're looking to become a domain expert, in which case you'll need actual college courses.

I've missed assignments before due to lack of domain knowledge. I've learned not to stress over it. I always end up on a new assignment and I always end up picking up new experience.
Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
I've avoided jumping into this debate, but I will offer some anecdotal evidence (which I encourage you to confirm on your own). It comes from speaking with scores of recriters and hiring managers.

Here in NYC, financial services is the biggest market for IT. They are pretty adament about having domain knowlegde (except for new college grads). There are a few exceptions, but by and large they want people who understand finance. Most of the time, they expect prior experience, or you'll see job listings that require things such as experience with the FX protocol or trading applications. While they certainly prefer experience, you can get in with knowledge, but you have to prove it. Financial services companies talk to me ebcause of the work I did with two finance professors at Harvard Business School. Likewise if you take some classes that you can put on your resume, that might help you get noticed. Just readin books is tough. No matter how you get the knowledge, being able to provde it during an interview is helpful, the hard part is getting that first interview. To do so, you either need to have the knowledge demonstrated on your resume/cover letter, or get the ear of the hiring manager (e.g. a recruiter who can present you and say, "although it's not on the resume, he does know this stuff").

In some other industries it's also highly beneficial. I've spent some time in the mortgage lead industry and while not required (it is a small field), it is highly desired by those companies. The same is true in biotech, especially anything with genomics.

I'm not going to weigh in right now on whether it's right or wrong. I will say certain industries value it more than others, and some want experience and some want knowledge. How much effort and of what nature you should make to get a career in that industry can really vary greatly.

--Mark
nandan johri
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 12, 2006
Posts: 75
Hi
Amongst this discussion about the domain I want to ask one question .Does domain specialization matter in both product and service industry or is it more of a service industry specific term.
In the service industry well I found out that domain specialization is considered important especially at the position of Team Lead and above but just want to ask if it matters also in the product companies.
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
 
subject: java + finance