First Derivative
graduate scheme

Graduate Options – Software Engineer

Job description

COVID-19 update: it's business as usual at First Derivative, we are recruiting now and throughout the year. In-line with Government guidelines we are following the social distancing recommendations and all interviews are currently being conducted by telephone and video calls.

The Software Engineering role is a unique opportunity for highly technical graduates with an interest in cutting-edge technology and the capital markets sector. Those chosen for this stream will help us develop our world-leading Kx Technology or go work as a Software Engineer at our client sites around the world. Graduates must be keen to continuously develop their skillset both technically and financially, whilst also being able to communicate effectively with other members of a small team and the end-user, often a trader.

Those selected for this role will embark on an exciting career that combines technical prowess with business insight and commercial acumen. Successful candidates will be exposed to the latest technologies, including the market-leading kdb+ database and q analytics language, machine learning applications and more.

The Software Engineering role involves graduates being given the chance to work with and develop our world-leading Kx Technology. This will involve being trained up in not only our Kdb+ database and the q programming language, but also key financial concepts strengthened through the Capital Markets Training Programme. This role will often involve software development in new areas of finance (e.g. exotic derivatives) and we are also now moving our software into a variety of industries e.g. Telco and Utilities. As a Software Engineer on the Options Programme, you will not only be continuously developing your skillset through our award-winning CMTP, but you will also be working on live projects alongside senior kdb+ engineers.

What types of projects will I be working on?
As a Software Engineer you could be working in a variety of different industries. Whilst most projects are within the Financial Markets, you can also gain exposure to projects working in the Automotive or Telco Sector. Projects within this area generally last between 6-8 months and thus throughout your initial two years within the program you could be based on three-four different projects in varying industries.

Typical projects within this area can range from software implementation, maintenance, and development of existing systems and codes.

Through the Options Programme, you get the opportunity to work with top firms very early on in your career. Many of our employees have worked on projects in a Tier 1 bank within a few months of leaving university! There are unlimited opportunities to expand your knowledge, each role opens the door to new languages, programs and applications. The CMTP programme provides a multitude of learning opportunities in areas of finance, technology and consulting.

Other benefits include

  • Competitive salary
  • Accommodation and expenses package
  • Award winning training
  • Global travel opportunities
  • Rapid career progression
  • Healthcare and pension packages
  • Supportive team environment
  • Social calendar

What is a typical day like?
A typical day can be varied depending on the client and industry. Within a project you will be working with a team to implement a solution, which can be very diverse and thus tend to be spread over different offices and sometimes time zones. Some typical daily tasks could include developing code to improve systems or analysing existing code or processes.

What we are looking for

  • Excellent communication skills to present findings and articulate their business benefits
    An inquisitive mindset, an aptitude for problem solving and technical skills to combine them
  • Experience with Java, C/C++ and/or UNIX is beneficial but not essential
  • Willingness to travel to various parts of the world to work with clients
  • Commitment to the 2 year training period, which rolls into a full-time permanent position


Strong academic background – ideally ABB or above at A-Level (or equivalent) and a 2.1 degree in computing, computer science, software engineering, mathematics or engineering or a similarly quantitative discipline

Accepted degree subjects

  • electronic and electrical engineering
  • engineering management
  • computer sciences and information technology

Additional job details

Northern Ireland
Competitive salary

Contract, dates and working times


How to apply

Once you've submitted your application we aim to respond within two-three weeks. If your application is successful you will be invited to an initial short telephone interview, followed by a video interview.

Click Apply to start your application now. This job will be available on Prospects until 31 August 2023

Don't forget to mention Prospects to employers when you contact them.

Closing date:  Continuous recruitment

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