Posted on July, 12, 2017

Written by Lauren , Software Developer, Chicago

Posted in Our People

Lauren, a software developer in Chicago, is a year and a half into life at IMC. After receiving her doctorate in Computer Science from Notre Dame she was looking for her next challenge. She finds challenge in her work at IMC on a daily basis. Follow her journey here.

Since joining IMC I’ve had plenty of opportunities to push myself and embrace new experiences. I’ve traveled to far-flung countries, started picking up new programming languages, and have taken on a new role in a different team. I’ve even learned how to throw axes!

Ax throwing isn’t a formal part of my development and neither is sailing with our interns, but I learned a lot from both these team-building experiences. Together with other social activities, events like these help forge close relationships across departments; something IMC places great value on. This manifests in several ways. For example, my boss used to insist that I shouldn’t work through lunch. He said it was crucial that I get to know the rest of the team – and he was right. 

Building relationships isn’t a one-way street and from day one people have made the time to introduce themselves which helped me feel at home. Time isn’t something IMCers have an abundance of either as work around here is fast-moving. I was committing code on my second or third day, and I’ve been collaborating, delivering, and improving ever since.

The opportunity to progress is one of my favorite things about life at IMC, and I’ve already had the opportunity to change roles based on my interests. I previously focused on latency problems centered around direct communications with the exchange. However, after picking up a few tickets on a different set of problems, I expressed interest in the team that works on tasks like calculating market volatility. It’s been a complete mentality shift. For one thing, I’m working with existing data sets rather than starting from scratch, and for another there’s an even more acute focus on accuracy.

I’m also learning C++. I’m a Java developer so, again, it’s quite a shift. There’s a lot less hand-holding in C++ compared to Java, which means it’s a less intuitive language, but everyone has been helpful and patient when it comes to answering my questions. I can already see huge improvements in my practice, and my confidence in working in large and unfamiliar code bases has grown too. This is something of an art form, so I’m pleased to be progressing.

While I love learning, my real passion is teaching and sharing. I’ve gotten the chance to be involved in various activities where I can share my experiences, such as IMC’s work with Girls Who Code, a nationwide program that encourages young women to pursue careers in technology. In the future, I want to move into training and developing others. That might involve mentoring interns or coordinating onboarding efforts to get new hires up to speed. I’m not sure of the exact path yet, but I’m confident that when I’m ready IMC will help me take my next step, just as they have in the past.