Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Get Rich Quick with KDB+

I am convinced that the world needs more KDB+ consultants. The supply of these creatures is so small, that if you end up needing one in a hurry, you probably have to go through First Derivatives.

KDB+ is used by most of the Wall Street companies --- I can name Citigroup, Barclays, Bank of America, and Lehman as big KDB+ users --- to store tick and order data. KDB+ 's biggest competitor is probably Vhayu.

The main blockade to learning KDB+ is their programming languages - K and Q - which can make APL look verbose!

If you are affected by the upcoming layoffs on Wall Street, and if you are looking for a new, exciting career change, and you don't relish the idea of selling steak knives door-to-door, then there is room in this world to be a KDB+ consultant.

©2007 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved


Anonymous said...

I don't think it's a get rich quick scheme at all, as First Derivatives provides a very competitive level of service. You don't need many out of work consultants in such a niche for the rates to drop to unattractive levels.

Ahah! As someone who hires kdb+ consultants maybe this is what you are trying to effect !

marc said...

Agreed that First Derivs consultants are excellent.... but damn expensive.

If you are trying to build up a team that needs some KDB expertise, I find that there are very few candidates to hire ... except for more First Derivs consultants. If I needed some short-term, first-class KDB help, then FD is the way to go. It also looks like FD is buling up some of their third-party KDB offerings. I am testing out their new qIDE right now.

However, I would like an alternative source of KDB expertise besides FD. What's that saying about all your eggs in one basket ...

Anonymous said...

If you have continued demand then perhaps in-house training is the way to go. A chap called Jeff Borror offers a very professional training course which he has delivered to several kdb+ customers. As for 3rd party kdb offerings - that's a very difficult area that FD are moving in. Just in terms of qIDE, there's already Skelton's Studio for kdb+ (which I think he is releasing a mega update to in a few weeks) and also an eclipse plug-in from some other guy in Frankfurt - both of which are free. Perhaps their other stuff like q-excel makes more commercial sense.

Now that Kx have opened up their partners program, I would expect more consultants to become available outside of FD (FD have staff turnover too!).

marc said...

We know Jeff Borror very well. A good guy.

James Webster said...

Having had just a quick look at kdb's evaluation policy, it would appear that getting started in this technology will be quite an uphill battle for an individual without the backing of an entity that looks like it might spend some serious money on the product. You identified this problem with some of the CEP vendors you have recently evaluated; ie. Coral8 & Streambase vs Apama. Same in the grid world, DataSynapse is very closed to evaluation, compared to say Digipede.

Anonymous said...

There is another alternative which is to use OneTick. This was built by a team of ex-Goldman guys and it is an amazing product. It has the best order book functionality by some stretch and the APIs are Java and C++ so no expensive K developers required!

Anonymous said...

Hmm... that looks strange. Why the steak knives and who is there to carve? Why do you think the market for KDB folks is bad? I haven't observed it. Maybe I am wrong, but in all honesty, the consulting market is simply excellent.

marc said...

The steak-knives quip has nothing to do with KDB. It has to do with the career path that a lot of Wall Streeters took when the big layoffs of 2002 hit.

On the contrary, I think that the consulting market for KDB consultants is probably really good.

The point I was trying to make was that, if you find yourself without a job after the coming layoffs of 2008, and you don't want to sell steak knives or encyclopedias door-to-door, then being a KDB consultant is a good career path.

Anonymous said...

If they are so good, why don't you go work for them?

Doreen said...

hey Marc, where is Jeff Borror these days? I used to work with him at First Boston and then with Hadar at UBS.

marc said...

Jeff is at Morgan Stanley now.

Jeff said...

Doreen: Where are you now?


Sri Gauri Shradha Pradip Nair said...


My name is Pradip; I am looking for a consultant or trainer who can do KdB+ training for a client of mine here in Bangalore, India.

Would you know of anyone nearby? Can this training be done online - Webex or something?

Pls. let me know.

Best regards,