Goldman Sachs IT Back Office or Credit Suisse IT Front Office

Fly's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 4

I have job offers from Goldman Sachs (GS) Back Office (BO) IT and Credit Suisse (CS) Front Office IT. I have experiences in both. Which one should I choose and why? If I join GS BO IT, is it easy to move to the FO IT a few years later?

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Comments (13)

Oct 7, 2012
Fly:

Which one should I choose and why?

Front office, because it's front office.

Disclosure: I have no clue what Front Office IT is.

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Oct 7, 2012
BlackHat:
Fly:

Which one should I choose and why?

Disclosure: I have no clue what Front Office IT is.

^^ This

Oct 7, 2012

I believe it refers to the placement of the actual office room within the building

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Oct 7, 2012

It does not matter. IT in FO works on the systems FO uses, and IT in BO works on the systems BO uses. The job will be identical.

IT guys move around in banks based on their skills, so if a FO group needs someone who develops java C++ matlab whatever (i have no idea what im talking about just throwing random IT terms out there) you can move from a BO group, and vice versa.

So not sure what the point of your question is. Why does it make a difference to you which group you do IT support for?

Oct 7, 2012
trailmix8:

It does not matter. IT in FO works on the systems FO uses, and IT in BO works on the systems BO uses. The job will be identical.

IT guys move around in banks based on their skills, so if a FO group needs someone who develops java C++ matlab whatever (i have no idea what im talking about just throwing random IT terms out there) you can move from a BO group, and vice versa.

So not sure what the point of your question is. Why does it make a difference to you which group you do IT support for?

Asatar:

It makes no difference. Both are an IT job, Trailmix nailed it.

Don't comment on shit you don't know anything about. Back office IT is completely different from FO IT. Back office IT could mean working on the databases used to store client data under the commercial/retail/investment banking division, enterprise software, compliance, etc. Basically shit that's easily outsource-able and not nearly as critical. A lot of it is just "business analyst" work and doesn't require any knowledge of coding (I have a friend who's a psych major and doesn't know shit about programming doing that stuff).

FO IT (as in trading, none of the other FO areas are technology intensive) include trade-support (sometimes working directly on the trading floor to support traders) or working on the software, pricing models, etc. that traders use. You've got to be great at coding to do this, and the stuff that you work on is a hell of a lot more critical (and interesting) than some back-office reporting system IT architecture that's being designed in some cubicle in New Jersey.

As for how hard it is to transition from BO IT to FO IT, I have no idea. But I do know that the people in FO IT tend to come from better schools/backgrounds than BO IT.

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Best Response
Oct 8, 2012
JDawg:
trailmix8:

It does not matter. IT in FO works on the systems FO uses, and IT in BO works on the systems BO uses. The job will be identical.

IT guys move around in banks based on their skills, so if a FO group needs someone who develops java C++ matlab whatever (i have no idea what im talking about just throwing random IT terms out there) you can move from a BO group, and vice versa.

So not sure what the point of your question is. Why does it make a difference to you which group you do IT support for?

Asatar:

It makes no difference. Both are an IT job, Trailmix nailed it.

Don't comment on shit you don't know anything about. Back office IT is completely different from FO IT. Back office IT could mean working on the databases used to store client data under the commercial/retail/investment banking division, enterprise software, compliance, etc. Basically shit that's easily outsource-able and not nearly as critical. A lot of it is just "business analyst" work and doesn't require any knowledge of coding (I have a friend who's a psych major and doesn't know shit about programming doing that stuff).

FO IT (as in trading, none of the other FO areas are technology intensive) include trade-support (sometimes working directly on the trading floor to support traders) or working on the software, pricing models, etc. that traders use. You've got to be great at coding to do this, and the stuff that you work on is a hell of a lot more critical (and interesting) than some back-office reporting system IT architecture that's being designed in some cubicle in New Jersey.

As for how hard it is to transition from BO IT to FO IT, I have no idea. But I do know that the people in FO IT tend to come from better schools/backgrounds than BO IT.

First off, I would advise against accusing people of "not knowing shit" as you so put it. I have over four years experience leading sytem enhancement projects at a BB which involved managing IT groups from all over the firm. Now, I disagree with your statement as I think that you generalize IT groups into 2 extremes with no overlap and nothing in between.

The reason I said that the development skills are identical between IT in FO and BO is because there are systems in BO that are every bit as complex as live trading systems in the FO. For example, take a BO system that has to receive an order for an equity index swap and then has to allocate collateral between several prime brokers and send them complex messages with the trade details, then send details to the executing broker, proceed to send messages to book the trades in the firm accounting systems and the client GUI desktop and send additional information to risk control systems, all this and more has to be done withn a few seconds. Then multiply this activity by the number of trades and products being executed on a daily basis.

So developing and doing daily maintenance and trouble shooting something like this which has as many features and options to its user as a bloomberg terminal, you're going to need very educated developers who are no less skilled then their counterparts that have the same functiona in the FO.

I'd be happy to discuss further (mostly to help the OP), but would appreciate more insight and a bit less cocky aggressiveness on your part.

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Dec 21, 2017

BQE Before Quants existed.

Oct 7, 2012

It makes no difference. Both are an IT job, Trailmix nailed it.

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Oct 8, 2012

I am referring to being a Business Analyst (BA) in FO IT and BO IT. FO IT BA normally has more product, business and flow knowledge. BO IT BA is more on the flow analysis.

Oct 8, 2012
Fly:

I am referring to being a Business Analyst (BA) in FO IT and BO IT. FO IT BA normally has more product, business and flow knowledge. BO IT BA is more on the flow analysis.

Are you comparing the work itself or the networking opportunity?

Oct 8, 2012

I don't get into a bank to network. My work speaks for me.

Oct 8, 2012
Fly:

I don't get into a bank to network. My work speaks for me.

You must be my counterpart in life.

Oct 8, 2012
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