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Three hot tech skills that will get you into Goldman, HSBC and other banks in Hong Kong

The most sought-after (and secure) jobs within global banks in Hong Kong are increasingly found within their technology units. Even as banks cut equities traders in Hong Kong, for example, they are building up their e-trading tech teams.

If you want to work in banking technology in Hong Kong, you’ll want to know which specific programming languages are most popular right now. To find out, we looked through the careers websites of global banks, and found out what languages are in demand within the job descriptions of their Hong Kong technology vacancies.

We eliminated several languages that appear in fewer than five jobs across all the firms (PHP, Perl, Scala, Swift and R, for example, didn’t make the cut). That left us with seven languages that are mentioned (as compulsory or desirable) within current job advertisements, as shown in the chart below.

Banks with fewer than five Hong Kong jobs across these languages were then removed, hence BNP Paribas isn’t included in our chart.

What are the most popular programming languages in Hong Kong?

Three programming languages – Java, Python and C++ – are substantially more sought after right now than other ones are.

Java is the most popular programming language listed in current jobs at the 11 global banks in our chart – it’s needed in 30% of the vacancies we looked at. At Goldman Sachs, Java is widely used across almost all tech and strats (quant) roles – from securities trade processing to cloud automation. The language is also sought after as Goldman builds its FAST unit, a cross-divisional team that develops analytics tools for the front-office, in Hong Kong.

That Python came in second place (the language appears in 22% of the vacancies we examined) isn’t surprising. Used primarily for pricing, risk management and trade management platforms, Python has progressively become one of the go-to programming languages at investment banks globally. And its importance extends beyond banks’ tech teams – Citi, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs are encouraging junior traders and investment managers to learn how to code in Python

C++ is the other major language on our chart – it’s mentioned in 19% of roles requiring programming expertise. Banks need the language within the newly hot area of low-latency exchange connectivity. “There’s now a dearth of skills in C++ in Hong Kong, especially candidates with low-latency skills. A number of banks are hiring people from telecoms or hardware firms to fill this skills gap,” Peter Barker, a senior director at Gravitas Recruitment in Hong Kong, told us previously.

As shown in the table below, two global banks in Hong Kong are doing most of the hiring across the seven programming languages: Goldman Sachs boast 25% of total vacancies, while Societe Generale has 18%.

Goldman Sachs has several Hong Kong-based vacancies in equities technology, including a program developer for quant clients. Recruiting more developers is essential for Goldman to see off the “expected risk of competitors accelerating their builds, leaving GS unable to reach revenue targets”, according to the bank’s careers website.

Societe Generale, meanwhile, uses Hong Kong as one of its global hubs for software development, particularly within trading. It’s currently hiring for specialist front-office developer roles in quantitative market making and exotics equity derivatives, for example.

Image credit: Getty

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AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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