C ++ is the new Python

C ++ is making a comeback. He placed fourth on the Tiobe index as the most popular coding language this month after being ranked among the best by 8% of people. That doesn’t put it exactly on a par with C or Java or Python at 11-12%, but that means C ++ is among the favorites – and it continues a series of growing popularity which started in early 2020.

as we have noted beforeC ++ has historically been used for a particular set of functions in investment banking and financial services companies. Due to its low level memory access and therefore speed, it is often the language of choice for high speed trading systems. This is why JPMorgan, for example, is currently recruiting a C ++ engineer for its low latency JISU platform, why the Citadel hedge fund wants a C ++ engineer for its own market making systems, and why Goldman is looking for C ++ expertise for its team. systematic trading.

As high-speed electronic trading systems become an increasingly important differentiator and algorithmic trading takes hold beyond equity markets, C ++ expertise is increasingly sought after in finance. Paul Bilokon, former Deutsche Bank credit quantitative and founder of AI company Thalesians, has long been an exponent. Bilokon points out that Bjarne Stroustrup, the Danish computer scientist who created C ++, described it as a language for defining and using light abstractions, which makes it particularly appropriate in banking and hedge funds. “Finance is full of abstractions. And there is a great demand for their lightweight implementations – in derivatives pricing and, more specifically, in high-frequency trading, where there are few alternatives to C ++,” he says. he.

As C ++ evolves, Bilokon says its use is spreading. Hedge funds Millennium specifies that his quantitative developers have “substantial modern C ++ programming experience,” a designation she does not define and which can mean different things to different people. “Modern C ++ meant C ++ 11 and above, but nowadays can be considered to mean C ++ 17 or even C ++ 20 and above,” Bilokon explains.

In finance and elsewhere, the more recent iterations of C ++ have significant advantages over their predecessors. Older C-style idioms are used less and the language is both cleaner and more powerful, which can make users more productive. “In the past, I’ve seen a lot of people write their own smart pointers to manage resources. Nowadays, this is no longer necessary, we can rely on the standard C ++ library ”, explains Bilokon. He says the result is that C ++ caught up with Python by introducing range-based “for” loops and powerful lambda expressions. “C ++ 20 is about modules, coroutines, concepts, and the Ranges library.”

Although C ++ does not exactly replace Python in finance (there are currently 2,150 Python roles advertised on eFinancialCareers for only 785 for C ++), this means that the language becomes easier to use and ventures beyond some of its historical niches. Goldman Sachs, for example, migrates its SecDB risk and pricing system far from its proprietary language, Slang, and is looking for people who can code both Java and C ++ to ease the transition. C ++ is also well used in analytical systems, site reliability engineering and for strats roles relating to price, risk and P&L calculations.

Python has become a necessary language to learn if you want a job in finance. However, while students everywhere become minor Python coders, the fact that C ++ is more difficult to master can be a differentiator when it comes to getting a job. At the same time, newer versions of C ++ are easier to use than previous ones. C ++ 20 has improved support for reliable software at scale, Bilokon says. “The light abstractions promised by C ++ are now easier to achieve. These changes are causing a renaissance of C ++ on Wall Street and the City, as well as in high-frequency malls such as Chicago. “

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photo by Flower at Unsplash

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