Friday, January 27, 2012

car racing while holding coffee

I now recall that my manager (Yang?) mentioned (in my first performance review?) that I had a tendency to be tense and look worried, and improved a year later. Now I slowly understand why.

Now I think many people in finance IT have a lower standard on test "coverage", bugs, code consistency, code smell...

For a few years in GS I felt like a heart surgeon -- any (avoidable) logical bug would cost lives, and put me to jail for negligence of professional duty. Finance app development is like car racing while holding a cup of coffee. I was too scared of spillage but still had to drive as fast as others - so tense!

Now I know many colleagues design code less rigorously than I feel done elsewhere, and cover only the realistic use cases. If input is unexpected or erroneous, then damn it -- "undefined behaviour". That's what I see in some quant library too. Subtle errors could sometimes spread like cancer undetected.

We relied on recon or other system's validation to detect (preventable) bad data created by our engine.
Rather than "stop error propagation at the earliest", we rely on downstreams.

Another reason -- GS was my first job on Wall St. I struggled to break into Wall St and I didn't want to be inadequate and lose self-confidence.

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About Me

New York (Time Square), NY, United States
http://www.linkedin.com/in/tanbin