Trading Technologies Reviews

Updated March 23, 2015
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2.6
60 Reviews
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
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Rick Lane
21 Ratings

Pros
  • Good perks like game room, free beer, good kitchen and generous PTO (in 12 reviews)

  • Flexible work schedule, WFH option, good vacation package, tuition reimbursement (in 9 reviews)

Cons
  • Upper management suddenly wants things done yesterday (in 6 reviews)

  • Finding a balance between fixing legacy issues and bringing to market a new platform (in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

Employee Reviews

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  1. TT is company that rewards outstanding work.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Technical Analyst in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Trading Technologies full-time (more than 10 years)

    Pros

    Most people I work with at TT are competent at worst and many of the them are excellent at what they do while maintaining a reasonable degree of humility. I and others I know well have been fairly compensated for outstanding work.

    Cons

    Relatively recent organizational changes and the addition of an all new product have made for a bit of a wild ride. It certainly has not been a time for the faint-hearted.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to recognize those who make the most significant contributions (not necessarily the flashiest ones) and continue to work toward stability in terms of people's roles and focus while the new and old platforms coexist.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 3 people found this helpful

    Interns Seeking Zero Direction, Look No Further.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Intern - Associate Software Engineer(Full-Time) in Chicago, IL
    Former Intern - Associate Software Engineer(Full-Time) in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Trading Technologies as an intern (more than a year)

    Pros

    Great location near both CTA/Metra and options for lunch if you don't pack. Renovated kitchen/lounge. WFH options when commuting to office is inconvenient. Folks there were nice, if they choose to acknowledge you in the morning or passing by in the hallways.

    Cons

    I worked as an software engineer intern here for about a year, switching to a full-time schedule after the first two months or so. One of the final questions during my technical interview was if I had any prior knowledge about trading. When I said no, I was told not to worry, as many employees there also had little knowledge of it when first hired. After a year of working there, I still couldn't tell you what the flagship application actually did. The first month of the job, I was given the source to build and run, then told to "play around" with the application, as if the experience in trading and using trading software would magically dawn on me at some point

    Even though my job discription included debugging/enhancing the client-side GUI, it was several months in until I really wrote any code. Keep in mind that developers who grilled me during my technical interview were the ones selected as my mentors, so they were fully aware of what I was capable of. If only they bothered to give me any sense of direction. I was twiddling my thumbs for quite some time, monitoring builds and prepping packages for testing teams. Sure, I was taking that load off one other developer, but I never felt like I was actually contributing anything to TT.

    Initial enhancements and defects assigned to me took way longer than they should have to fix. Tickets used all the "trading" lingo I was promised to be taught, so it took awhile just to get someone to clarify just what the hell I was supposed to do. That on top of the fact that the huge code base with both legacy and new code was overwhelming to someone who was expected to learn it by just "playing" with the app for a month with zero guidance. Sometimes my tickets, and request for explanations of those tickets, just died in email after people just stopped answering me. I guess my work wasn't the least bit important to them.

    All of that was the latter half of 2013. Just when I thought I was already in the dark about what was going on, it suddenly got darker. Enter 2014, along with a new CEO and a sudden shift from a flagship desktop app to a flagship web app. Everything I had been working on up to that point I was told was no longer necessary and needed to be scrapped. The rug was pulled out from under most developers too as they scrambled to learn a new technology and get this web app off the ground for an October beta release. I was never given a chance to get on board with the new project, which would have been awesome to add to a growing resume. In fact, my mentors, too busy themselves, were perfectly fine with keeping me in the dark about that web app. I still don't know much about that project outside of the code name it was given.

    After quite some time without new requests, I personally requested some more development work from my manager. Rather than giving me some task that aligned with what I signed up for, I was tasked with writing scripts with a language/ custom API I had never used and working with people on the other side of the office that I didn't even know existed. This group of developers were way outside of my job description (remember, I signed on for client-side GUI) and tasked me with writing scripts for gateway test automation. It was clear to these developers that I, being an intern, was just being dumped on them so they were content with providing even less guidance than my actual mentors did.

    The best part came within the final few months. I was tasked with making a custom app for the testing teams and given free reign with how I wanted to go about implementing it. This should be an intern's time to shine, but not for me. Just like before, I was dumped onto another group of developers completely unrelated to me and my previous work. My app involved a legacy section of the solution I had never worked in or even knew existed for that matter. In fact, my app was never given a proper description of what exactly it was supposed to do to being with; or at least it was never made clear, with the sorry "just reply so he'll stop emailing me" feedback or advice I was given about my project.

    Around this time I was shaking hands with more and more departing developers, whom I am guessing were fed up with the new management and sudden project shift. I don't know. After about a year my full-time internship ended. All I remember was everyone scrambling so much to get this web app beta off the ground. I doubt they even noticed that I left.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Other than the CEO's name, I don't know a single thing about TT's "management," even after a year of employment. I know I was just an intern, but that certainly isn't a good thing.

    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 13 people found this helpful

    Ghost of progress, dressed in slow death

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Trading Technologies full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    The people outside of management. The engineers are great and friendly and interesting. All that is positive in TT comes from them and the $20k coffee machine. Be warned, there has been a recent mass exodus of many, many talented people.

    Cons

    Where to begin? My opinions are as follows.

    Many ex-employees have discovered, some after nearly a decade of commitment to the company, that TT will not wish you well when it comes time to depart. It doesn't matter if the company is laying you off or if you're trying depart on good terms, the story is always the same. Upon hire, TT will force you to sign a one-sided non-compete. This non-compete is incredibly broad and offers no compensation if they choose to enforce it. And TT always threatens to enforce it. To get TT to release you from the non-compete, the company will typically require you to give up all the stock-options you've earned over the years. This is the sort of respect and appreciation TT shows employees who decide to leave for whatever reason.

    Maybe the non-compete agreement doesn't phase you and you've decided to give it a go anyways. You'll quickly meet leadership who have no business being leaders. A small fortune has been spent advertising the new CEO, Rick Lane. His PR team is quick to point out he worked at Google. Don't be fooled, he was there for maybe 3 months. He won't respect you. He has a rotating list of favorites. He doesn't understand how to engineer a large piece of software. He'll have you rewrite software in whatever the latest trendy programming language is and give little explanation to his demands. Then you'll have to rewrite it again in a real language a few months later. Upon becoming CTO, he was given a team of roughly a dozen senior engineers to begin a new project. Every single one of those engineers, save maybe one, either quit or asked to be taken off the team. This is the new CEO.

    Unreasonable demands will be made to get software out the door. Feature creep is a daily occurrence. Leadership won't hesitate to request you skimp on important security features if it means new flashy GUI features can be done a few days faster. Maybe you try to object, and voice some technical opinion on the matter. Congratulations, you're now on Rick's bad side. What happens next is a wild card of negative possibilities.

    So you've succumbed to the poor decisions management has forced upon you and are ready to push your product into production. Management thinks you should support their rushed decisions. Prepare yourself to hand over your cell phone number and keep a laptop with you at all times. You'll be required to provide 24 hour support.

    You've finally had enough, you're ready to leave! That's great. Now please refer to my first paragraph.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Replace the CEO. Sell the company.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. Software Engineering

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Trading Technologies

    Pros

    training, exposure to financial market, very flexible timing, the collegues are very helpful and you get a good opportunity to learn about the whole trading firm

    Cons

    need to know about the in and outs of trading techniques in order to get along with the ongoing development.
    Transparency is a bit less. Need more focus on personal growth

    Approves of CEO
  6. 8 people found this helpful

    Beware of promises that are not kept

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - CSC Analyst in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - CSC Analyst in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Trading Technologies full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Free breakfast and coffee, catered dinner for PM shift.

    Cons

    The experience I had while working at TT can be summed up in one word: Horrible. Management at the time clearly had no idea how to manage their respective

    The promise of stock option IPO was never fulfilled.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Sit back and wait to get bought out.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 10 people found this helpful

    The good, the bad, and the ugly...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Software Support Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Software Support Specialist in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Trading Technologies full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Good perks, comfortable environment, great coworkers. When I first started, this was a wonderful place to learn and work.

    Cons

    Poor management, too much turnover. Let too many good people get away to fill some silly agendas.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create a more stable environment where everyone isn't "looking over their shoulders."

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  8. 14 people found this helpful

    Good, on path to mediocre

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - TTNET Software Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - TTNET Software Specialist in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Trading Technologies full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Talented people. Everyone’s friendly and easy-going. Cool kitchen with beer on tap. Soda and healthy snacks. High-end laptops for all employees.

    Cons

    We are a mature software shop with 20 years of tradition that is desperately trying to downgrade to a start-up. We just don’t seem to be able to manage ourselves. The new poster boy CEO is running the company into the ground. Yes, it’s important to innovate, but could we please have a vision?
    People are leaving left-and-right due to instability and mismanagement. Asking them to work overtime without any compensation or bonus doesn't help either. How about hiring someone who actually has experience running a company?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Hire leaders with vision, experience and charisma.
    Improve your incentives package. You can't expect people to work long hours just because you shelled out $$$ on a new kitchen.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 1 person found this helpful

    Great Job, Great people, Great Product

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - TTNET Software Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - TTNET Software Specialist in Chicago, IL

    I worked at Trading Technologies full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    TT had many people with the company for over 10 years which should speak for itself. They treat their employee's great with free drinks, snacks, coffee, and TT Tuesdays.
    The product that they sell is top in the futures industry and is constantly getting better. The environment is laid back and every is treated with the utmost respect.
    Hopefully the cloud trading platform really takes off and ushers in a new era at the company.

    Cons

    There is a lack of vision and motivation from the top of the company on down. No one is sure if the company can withstand it's current leadership.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Try building up the company as one team that is excited and motivated to deliver a great product to your clients.
    After you have Sun Tzu-ed your organization, you still need the warriors to fight for your cause. More beer for those who aren't gone, yet, doesn't ensure they are driven to innovate and provide excellent service.
    If you are just looking to sell the company, then make sure you do a good job of showing future value.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10. 10 people found this helpful

    Uncertainty, Uncertainty, Uncertainty

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - IT Support Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - IT Support Specialist in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Trading Technologies full-time (more than 3 years)

    Pros

    Free beer, good location, game room & renovated kitchen

    Cons

    We are in the process of retiring our old product line and launching a new offering. The support staff has really been feeling the heat. There are no training programs to teach us the new platform and, at the same time, the developers are asked to be on call. How can you expect us to do our jobs well, knowing that we are dead weight?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Bring back Doug Duquette

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  11. 13 people found this helpful

    All the stresses of a startup without the benefits of one

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Software Engineer in Chicago, IL

    I have been working at Trading Technologies full-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Kitchen, game room, and bar are very, very nice.
    Building location is excellent.
    Paid time off and work from home policy is generous.

    Cons

    Work-life balance has been shattered in the past year or so. In the past, one of the big benefits of working at this company was that you could put in your 9-5 and not worry a bit about work until the next day. There was the occasional end of project crunch, but nothing that was for an extended period of time. The company's *excellent* phone support staff handled all Level 1 type incidents, problems that were escalated were usually okay to wait until the next day. All hands on deck fire drills were exceedingly rare.

    Now there is a pressure to put all waking hours into the company. I've seen non-urgent email threads go on until 12:30AM on week nights. Senior staff will email on the weekend about non-critical internal development environments being down. I can tell from our issue tracking software that any given weekend between 4-6 developers are working. This past weekend was Labor Day weekend and we had 14 different people do some work. Email threads went on until 10:45PM on Saturday. On Monday, the emails started up at 8:45AM.

    This has created a work environment where if you're not responding to non-urgent after hours emails or working weekends you are falling behind your peers. Putting in quality work five days a week is no longer enough to maintain your position. There has been a steady trickle of firings for the past couple of years, so falling behind your peers isn't just a missed opportunity for a larger raise. Simply performing instead of over-performing can definitely mean losing your job.

    This is the environment of a high-paced startup, but the company is not a startup. There is a stock option plan but no roadmap to going public. Company is large enough that there is still a bureaucracy, there is a small chance you will influence decision making, and you will work on the same thing indefinitely. The company is on a long term course to get smaller and smaller, so it is not as if you stay on for five years you're going to accidentally find yourself in charge of a large department because the company took off.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Be honest with your employees. If the future culture of the company is going to be this never ending 16 hours a day, 7 days a week schedule, give employees the opportunity to get out if they don't agree with it. You still have everyone under a one-year non-compete agreement.

    The median age of your employees is pretty high. This is no longer a company of twenty-somethings. Do not expect all of your employees with families to be able to indefinitely sustain this level of output.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

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