JAX Finance 2017

It’s been 4 months since I attended JAX Finance and I think that was one of the best conferences I’ve been to so far. I’m really passionate about technology in finance and this conference was primarily focused on that. I cannot really express how excited I was just before this event started. It all began in Park Plaza Victoria hotel in London, quite close from where I used to live at that point. The venue looked amazing and the registration went really smooth. I was ready to load my brain with some extra knowledge.

My favourite talk was definitely “HFT to Laplace Demon, when timed data technology curves the market” by Eric Horesnyi who shed some light on the history of HFT and offered some insights into the future of AI-driven hedge funds processing hundreds of data sources in real-time to gain a competitive advantage in trading. Needless to say, I started reading “Flash Boys” straight after the conference.

The other memorable talks were:

  • “Data Hunters: The Rise of Quant Consultants” by Pierce Crosby – focused primarily on the rise of alternative data sources,
  • “Social Media, Real Time AI and the search for Alpha” by Dr Jamie Allsop – Twitter as an alternative data source for generating signals and insights of the architecture of Yedup,
  • “A Glimpse of Python for Finance Folk” by┬áDr Russel Winder and Burkhard Kloss – nicely presented how easy it is to get financial data from Yahoo Finance and plot it on the screen in Python,
  • The last, but not least was an eye-opening talk on hacking and security presented by FreakyClown which included some real-life stories of physically breaking into banks and other large companies. It was definitely one of the most interesting talks at the conference.

Don’t get me wrong, the other talks were really good too, I just found these particular ones the most interesting to me.

JAX Finance is not the biggest conference (yet?) I’ve been to, but the organisation and selection of topics were great. If you’re also interested in DevOps you’ll be happy to know that JAX DevOps runs in parallel to JAX Finance and you can easily switch between talks. I went to some Docker and Kubernetes talks and I enjoyed them quite a lot. I think that software developers should all aim to have a broad knowledge and specialise in one or few key areas. The DevOps part of the conference was definitely a good opportunity to broaden my knowledge.

The conference was a huge motivation to me and it was one of the reasons why I decided to start this blog. Learning about different programming languages, algorithms, ai, low latency, electronic trading, blockchain and other code/tech/finance related stuff is pure joy to me and I hope I will be able to share it with you.

To summarise, in my opinion, JAX Finance is a great conference especially for people interested in technology and software development in the financial sector and I’m looking forward to taking part in 2018 edition.

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