QuoteOriginally posted by: dionysiusArthurDent: How does a new programmer not add value? Without them, softwares wouldn't be built.On the margin, a new programmer in a company that has 60k employees adds little value. Actually it is worse - New programmers don't build anything new at MSFT or any other big bureaucratic place and are really "code maintenance" guys for several years before anyone even takes them seriously. Yes, even the ones with PhDs are basically twiddling some tiny knob somewhere for quite a while. Someone here used to have a signature saying "Code Janitor", which is VERY appropriate.Whether as a quant in a big bank/hedgefund or as a programmer in MSFT/GOOG, you are part of a big system, whether that is adding value really depends on your definition of value. Ultimately one might say that everyone in the services industry and knowledge-based industries is not adding value! After all what value does a management consultant add? But then, why do we still need them?QuoteTrading for general goods add value since you're bringing goods from places of higher supply vs demand (i.e. cheap prices), to places with lower supply vs demand (i.e. expensive prices). Physical location obviously matter much less for financial instruments, which is why quant strategies are an exception.If say the NYSE has more price anomalies than say the LSE, and RenTec exploits that by trading pairs across countries, then they are not doing anything much different from your example!QuoteAnyways, the sense I get is that people are resigned to the reality that quant strategies don't actually add value to the world.I don't find that to be the right question to ask even! It's like the Russian guy who asked "Who controls the supply of bread to London?" If quanting is not valuable, it will automatically disappear, eventually.What I do find useful to ask is "Do I like what I am doing? Am I using my skills to the best I can? Am I working at the edge of my abilities, if not, how can I do so?"Let me now ask another question - is any pure research valuable? So if you had an offer to join IAS Princeton would you turn it down because it adds no value to the world?Quote Cuchulainn:I have been a member of Wilmott since 2004 but it's only in the last 6 months or so that 'meaning-of-like-type' questions have been posted. What's the reason in your opinion? Market correction? Both markets - that for financial objects, as well as that for financial jobs? In 2000, the Tech industry lost a lot of HTML "developers", perhaps we are going through a similar phase in finance.
Last edited by ArthurDent
on November 15th, 2008, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.