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What Skills Should a Fintech Developer of 2018 Have?

Published on 06 February 18

As the financial world embraces technology even more, the fintech developers have to ensure that their skills stay relevant, and they are not the dinosaurs which get hit by the meteor of the ever expanding skill set, that the market needs. Here is a quick rundown on what you need to have if you want to stay on top of the game:

1. Keeping up with the latest while remembering the old

Fintech developers should not be bogged down by traditional IT practices. A traditional IT qualification is highly valued. As very few investment banks and hedge funds are looking forward to revamping their entire approach to technology, fintech developers should be well versed in traditional programming languages like Java, C++, and C#. It is however necessary that these tech guys be up to speed on financial news and economics, and be fast learners.

2. The battle for machine learning

As machine learning and artificial intelligence gain more significance in investment banking and hedge funds, the differentiating factor across most industries will be their expertise in using artificial intelligence. Fintech startups will be competing with banks for these skills. Years ago at an investment bank, one needed to be very good at pricing. Now they need to have some level of experience and competency at machine learning and automation.

3. Cyber security concerns

In the hurry to do things, everyone forgets the need and necessity of security. Cyber security concerns and attacks have grown at a steady rate over the last few years. Wholesale banks are increasing their expenditure on cyber security. It is a critical area of investment and there’s a war for talent among banks and fintech firms. Even when you have the budget, good security staff is hard to recruit. This shortage of people will continue to be a challenge to financial businesses and organisations.

4. Thinking outside the box

As much as fintech is about tech, it is about the soft skills. A fintech developer needs to have the vision to understand how existing technology can change the way things are done. It is not about how technology works. It is how you can make technology work to add value for customers, having the flexibility of thought to create new applications to form business models. In the near future, it will be more preventive than developing as the AI takes over. Getting things done would take a back seat to fixing them, thus necessitating preventive care.

5. Adaptability and diversity

Financial firms are realising that it is easier to train smart technologists on financial products rather than teach technology to finance experts. But the employers are not just looking for the generic IT guy. They want someone who can think creatively, eat new information, and demonstrate adaptability to tackle different situations.

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