Data Engineer

Meet a Data Engineer

Why did you choose to join SIG?

At Penn, I was involved with the Advancing Women in Engineering program. We worked closely with the national Society of Women Engineers to get more women interested in engineering and computer science. After graduation, I continued to work with AWE. Since SIG's Head of Technology is a woman, I actually invited her to speak at an event for the organization. I had only been here for six months at the time, so I thought it was really cool that I could ask her to do that.

What does your team work on at SIG?

The Data Engineering team is responsible for making sure the platforms we support can deliver vital information to traders and quants. It's data that the traders use directly to make trading decisions. We supply the datasets they run their algorithms against and data tools for them to make decisions on the fly. I like that I get to work with a variety of technical groups as well, like security, systems engineering, and market data, as well as directly with the traders.

Your career has grown significantly since you started at SIG. Tell us about your path.

I came in as a campus hire and began working in the data engineering space. I have always wanted to progress my leadership responsibilities at SIG, and SIG has been great at responding to that. Because I was encouraged to share my goals with my manager, I was given the opportunity to step into a tech lead role pretty quickly. Over the course of my time as a lead, I continued to take on more responsibility. Eventually, I became the manager of the team. My team is great; I now lead four developers and work on reporting and our data processing tools. I like being able to set priorities and figure out what people are good at and focus their direction. I believe because we have a small team, we can focus and accomplish a lot.

With this opportunity to lead, I also relocated to sit directly on the trading floor. I came into SIG not knowing much about finance, but it's now part of my world. It's really interesting learning more about how different events affect the markets.

What does a day look like for you?

Each morning, I monitor all the overnight processes to see their progression. When I get into the office, I determine the most critical issues. To address I talk to the quants about where the data is or what the issues are, or I escalate to developers. If it's minor code issues, I'll do it, but if it's recompiling code, I'll work with some of our developers.

Since I work with quants and traders, I meet with them frequently to prioritize our work. I may be in one of our weekly, monthly, and quarterly meetings, which include members of our Quant team, as well as some of our trading desk heads and our CIO. At least once a day, I have a meeting with one of my direct reports as well. Afterwards, it's lots of project planning and update meetings.

What do you like best about working here?

Our organizational structure is relatively flat, so I'm very comfortable going to the head of a team if I need help or guidance on a project. Even before I was a team lead, I was having one-on-one meetings with the Senior Manager of our technology group. My manager was overseeing a large team, so based on what I was working on, meeting with the Senior Manager helped me get a sense of what was going on in the rest of the business and set my priorities.

What are you passionate about outside of the office?

When I started at SIG, I was training for marathons. Instead of marathons, I do triathlons now, and my dog does a third of my training with me. In the summer, I do one at least once a month. I train before and after work.

In 2019, SIG sponsored the Grace Hopper Celebration and you attended with our team. What were the best parts of that experience for you?

I had been trying to get a ticket for four years! Having the chance to engage with such a wide range of technical backgrounds - from systems engineers to computer scientists - was great. I was excited to get the chance to meet other women in tech and get their insights and advice about the tech world. As an added bonus, I got to spend time with my sister, a software developer at Google, who attended as well!

What is your advice to younger women looking to start a career in technology?

Don't be intimidated. I think that's what's made me successful, I tried not to be intimidated. If I felt like I was being pushed aside, I stepped up and made myself known.