After a couple of weeks of wonderful relaxing over Christmas, this week I started my new job with LMAX. The people there are all very friendly and welcoming and it’s been really nice to have a bigger group of people in the office.
The commute into London take about an hour each way and after some experimentation I seem to have sorted out the best trains to catch. The morning journey I usually wind up standing up on the train into Paddington but it’s a fast, express train anyway so it’s only about 19 minutes. Then transfer over to the tube and the Hammersmith branch I take isn’t heavily used so I can always get a seat in that half. The evening trip is done in reverse but I’ve found a good system to make sure I always get a seat. Since Paddington’s such a big station the trains can wind up leaving from different platforms a fair bit so everyone crowds around the big displays at one end of the station until it tells them which platform the train they want is at. The tube line I come in on is at the other end of the trains so I’d normally have to walk the entire length of the platform, find out which train I wanted and then come back, but I’ve discovered the live departure information on the web so I just look up which platform the train is waiting on from my iPhone while I’m on the tube and go straight to it. Turns out the web will tell you the platform 5-10 minutes before it shows up on the display boards in the actual station so I’m generally the first person on the train and get my pick of seats.
In terms of the actual work, it’s a pretty full on learning curve trying to get my head around how trading financial derivatives work as well as getting used to their very large code base but I’m making pretty good progress and felt useful towards the end of the week. There’s a lot of regulation from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) so I have a bunch of training to work through as well, from money laundering to client fair dealing and personal conflicts etc. The regulations have a huge impact on how they do business, particularly around security practices but they’ve done quite well at providing good security without making it feel like a high security prison. There’s also a fair bit of impact in terms of the features the system can, can’t and must provide which is quite interesting – especially combined with the very high performance and reliability requirements of the market in general.
So it all seems to be going really well, plenty of new challenges and friendly colleagues plus it’s a lot less stressful than working with Ephox and I can much more easily leave work at work and just relax when I’m at home.