Painfully slow technology

New joiner here - started FT in August at a BB.

I did the internship virtually last summer and don't recall any technological speed bumps.

But this year, I can't even put into words how many mind-numbing headaches have been caused by the technical issues I have to deal with on a daily basis. I suspect the main culprit is our Virtual Desktop, but not entirely sure.

Often throughout the day, Excel/Powerpoint will crash, it'll take literal minutes to load up a graph or open a big doc. Outlook crashes too and sometimes it takes way too long to send out a simple email. Bloomberg glitches on basically a daily basis.

The frustrating thing is I do like my job and my team, but the amount of time it takes to complete a task is drastically raised simply because of tech issues.

I know there's nothing really to be done about this situation on my end, but I was wondering if this is happening at other banks?

Comments (45)

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 11, 2022 - 9:35pm

Are JPM and GS known to have slow tech? Pretty surprised to hear that, tbh

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 12, 2022 - 8:08am

JPM probably has the slowest/worst tech on the planet

They are cheap, cheap, cheap 

  • Analyst 1 in IB - CB
Jan 12, 2022 - 12:00am

All Virtual Machines are ran through a server, so there is naturally a lot of lag when using the VM. It sucks. There is a lot of input lag and VM specs are pretty shit with low ram typically. Makes for an annoying ass combo when dealing with large files or having a lot of programs open. My BB has the same issue but you just learn to deal with it

Jan 12, 2022 - 5:19am

Haha fairly sure this is at a bulge. Most banks give laptops which don't require a virtual desktop but rather a simple VPN connection. But have heard horror stories from my friends at bulges which only use desktops and thereby screw over those working from home due to having to use the virtual desktop which is literally the worst.

  • 3
  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 12, 2022 - 8:44am

lol we have laptops AND have to remote in via a virtual desktop :(

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Cov
Jan 12, 2022 - 4:08pm

I have probably lost whole hours of work over the last few months because of the random restarts when you try and save down a file that's too big for VMware to handle. I also have this issue where sometimes certain kinds of PDF just won't open on my machine, literally the other day had to read through initiation coverage on my iPhone because my computer decided it didn't want to open it.

  • Associate 3 in IB-M&A
Jan 12, 2022 - 3:54pm

If you have an office manager, bring it up with them and point out how much it affects your work. I eventually got a computer upgrade and it helped a ton.

Jan 12, 2022 - 4:07pm

Strap in buddy, you work for a bank now. The tech is literally 10 years old (at a minimum), and improvements to the tech stack take forever and often break things (because all the good tech people don't work at banks lol)

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 12, 2022 - 5:51pm

Happens at my MM bank... Virtual desktops only (even for laptops). Such a pain in the ass was seriously considering quitting and going to another bank. Not happy to see almost every other bank has the same problem.. Lol

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 12, 2022 - 5:58pm

agreed. makes me feel relief in a way that it's not just my bank, but also kind of dejected that this seems to plague a big part of the industry. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 12, 2022 - 6:03pm

Yeah, no doubt. Nothing worse than working late and the p.o.s. computer keeps crashing / taking forever to load. Honestly faster to just use my mouse because of the keyboard lag. Pretty absurd. Have been close to making a few holes in the walls during those 3am nights...

Jan 12, 2022 - 9:24pm

This is everywhere. I am at a loss for why firms don't take a few million and get all analysts high end gaming-level rigs with the fastest possible connection. Really feel like slow comps and crashing software contributes to mental stress and mindless tasks. 

Will say though - make sure you name scrub your excels! delete external links! delete names! ctrl-F ".xlsx" and delete the shit out of it.  If you copied an old popular template, you will have hidden external URLs the computer is trying to ping from like 10 years ago. Old equity analyst models or internal file names - just absolute killers of time. 

Array

  • 4
Jan 12, 2022 - 11:13pm

sorry why would you use Virtual Desktop?

if you open Excel files from your desktop, and they crash it means either:

1) the excel file is built with heavy formulas and/or has external links - in this case build models more elegantly and kill external links (bring data sources as data tabs with just values)

2) laptop is old and slow - ask the company to replace or buy your own

3) you caught a virus cause you use your work laptop to pirate shit and/or watch porn - don't do that. have a laptop for work and a laptop for entertainment.

  • Associate 3 in PE - LBOs
Jan 13, 2022 - 10:20am

The PE firm I work for has a thesis and investments to address this problem. You'd be shocked how many times banks band aid their systems instead of overhauling... The financial world (and parts of healthcare + transportation) are all relying on hardware that was discontinued in the late 90s. 

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 13, 2022 - 5:17pm

Could probably cut my working hours by at least 20% if the IT wasn't so terrible. Literally spend half my life waiting for shit to open or troubleshooting IT errors.

Jan 13, 2022 - 7:03pm

N1 at a BB and this has been my single biggest complaint since starting the job. And the single thing I was most dumbstruck by. I genuinely cannot believe how slow the systems at some of the most important leading financial institutions are. And given the value of a banker's time, you'd think it would be worth the investment to fix these systems up. I could increase efficiency by 30% JUST by having my Virtual Desktop PPT and Excel go at the speed as my personal computer's PPT and Excel.

  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 13, 2022 - 7:07pm

same here! never thought technology would be my main grievance when working in IB

  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jan 14, 2022 - 2:00pm

I disagree. The seniors aren't the ones dealing in the trenches with PPT and XLS. All they see is how best can they, theoretically, keep information protected. The solution is VMWare and shitty safety installations that make these computers run slow as shit  

Jan 15, 2022 - 12:29am

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  • Analyst 1 in IB - Cov
Jan 15, 2022 - 11:26am

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Jan 19, 2022 - 12:11am

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