When people think of Bloomberg they usually think of business and market news, but it’s much more than a media company. Bloomberg L.P. is a privately held financial software, data, and media company with 19,000 employees across the globe.
It takes a strong engineering team to deliver and build new technology platforms. What do you need to know to work there? We asked Nicole Stelluti, Head of Engineering Recruitment at Bloomberg, who’s been recruiting software engineers there for the past 9 years.
Is being an engineer at Bloomberg, which is a media and financial company, any different from being an engineer or developer at a strictly tech company?
While many people know Bloomberg as one of the largest news organizations in the world, few realize that we have a team of almost 5,000 software engineers – more than 25 percent of our workforce – who are exposed to a wide range of unique technical problems as they build technology solutions for the global financial sector.
Bloomberg is dedicated to improving the end-to-end workflow of financial professionals, so small engineering teams own big products. This requires handling massive amounts of real time data and developing a variety of financial analytics, advanced tools and applications, each of which presents a series of challenging and interesting business and technical problems. In addition, Bloomberg’s core product – the Bloomberg Terminal – is software, so engineers here are revenue generators. Their role is not just to build solutions, but also to partner with the product teams, share their vision, and, ultimately, build software that finance industry professionals find indispensable for their daily work.
How difficult is it for you to attract top tech talent?
As we all know, the market is extremely competitive. Bloomberg continues to build a strong tech brand by attending and presenting at academic and industry conferences, publishing research, our campus recruiting program, and our internship program. Once candidates learn about the work that we do and the unique, challenging problems we solve, it’s easy to attract them to Bloomberg.
What kinds of tools are you building; servers, apps, mobile products?
All of the above. Our developers are responsible for building and managing everything from proprietary and open source infrastructure and development environments to client- facing financial and mobile applications. Our applications talk to a large distributed service oriented architecture that runs advanced analytics and models on top of data and news stories sourced from a worldwide feed ingestion system. In doing this, they regularly tackle technical challenges that are unique to our industry.
What are the latest technologies you need to know to get hired as an engineer at Bloomberg?
If you’re a great technologist, we have a spot for you at Bloomberg. We don’t care about specific languages. We are looking for smart engineers who are excellent problem solvers, communicators, know how computers work, and who are interested in continuously learning. The majority of our software is written in C++ (more than 1.2 billion lines of it), but we’re big believers in using the right tool for the job.
Is there a particular coding language or area of tech specific to Bloomberg that will make a candidate more successful?
No. We look for well-rounded software engineers and focus on four things: problem solving, coding fluency, communication skills, and engineering culture fit. A smart engineer can pick up any language or domain, so no previous knowledge of finance is required.
What’s your interview process like?
While no two jobs are the same, our interview process is relatively consistent across all of our Engineering roles. Generally, you’ll have one or two discussions over the phone where you’ll need a computer with internet access so you can interact with your interviewer. After that, if you like what you hear and your skills are a good match for us, we’ll invite you to visit our office or arrange a time to meet you on campus. In person, you’ll have a few rounds of technical discussions with our engineers. We’ll take the time to get to know you, your code, and the way you solve problems. If the role matches your strengths and interests, we’ll then work with you to find the best team for you.
What’s your favorite interview question that gives you the greatest insight?
It’s tough to pick just one! Our favorite questions have an architectural, algorithmic, and programming component. The most interesting questions have several possible solutions and stimulate a technical dialogue.