Ex IT workers


Junior member
Ex I.T. workers

I'm curious. How many of you/us are ex I.T. workers or are to some extent still employed in that line of business ?

I've just noticed a lot of references to I.T. inclined people in a variety of places on this site. Amongst other things peoples profiles, technical aptitude/skills displayed in posts, interviews, I.T. job market crash/outsourcing, most people being INTP/INTJ's, I.T. people being more likely to use a trading site are all factors that have inspired the question.

Personally I have an I.T. background, (whether I have an I.T future is still to be determined :) ) But the weakness in the I.T. market is one of a number of reasons that have got me looking at trading.

Are there many others in the same boat ?
Over the years I've heard about quite a lot of people in trading. Of these I would say that 80% have an IT background of some sort.

I've always assumed it was because:
a) they have online access at virtually any time of day
b) they are able to be online without being rumbled by the MD
c) they are good at programming
d) they have a reasonable amount of cash available for trading
e) their work (particularly after Y2K) can leave them with free time on their hands
f) they are bored at work.

This gives them the time and motive to trade.

And virtually all of them appear to have the belief that trading is just a case of writing a buy and sell program so they can sit back and let the system trade itself.


Established member
I worked in I.T for 8 years and have an MSc in Information Technology, does that count :)

Im currently not working in the I.T. Industry, although I do work for people occasionally.


Experienced member
I have a degree in IT too, but realised I wasn't cut out to sit behind a screen all day (how things change!) tapping away at code, so I went in to selling software instead.

Won't bore you with my life story, but in a nutshell, got a job as a trainee trader after a few years in sales, floor closed, went back to IT, then thought $od this, went back to trading. No plans on going back to IT (unless I blow up)- although I expect that would be difficult no anyway considering the market.


Legendary member
Skimbleshanks said:
Over the years I've known a bit about quite a lot of people in trading. Of these I would say that 80% have an IT background of some sort.

I've always assumed it was because: [...]

...or that the sort of person that gets attracted to IT in the first place is the same sort of person that trading will appeal to.

There is also a very high correlation between interests in trading and psychology.

The three areas (I.T./Psychology/Trading) seem to overlap to an amazing degree.


Well-known member
I think one of the problems most IT people face at some point is the amount of reading/ training you need to do to stay in touch with the fast pace of progress and rapid change that is a feature of the industry.

What was exciting and challenging in your twenties and thirties becomes a task in your fourties. In the last two years I have deliberately not updated my IT skill set and am allowing the skills I have in this area to phase out as the industry moves on. I still do IT work but it is now a much smaller proportion of my time and tends to be updates and maintenance to code I have worked on in the past.

I really don't have the energy to compete with a fresh faced eager new grad who has current skills and enthusiasm for projects which I have seen in one shape or another in the past. A little jaded by it all but there is very little which is new or exciting in software implemetation projects. Once you have done a few it tends to be more of the same with the same issues. The only bit which changes is the technology that is being used to facilitate the latest whizz bang billing system but at the end of the day it is still a billing system or management information system or automated online nose wiper.

Where trading has the upper hand to myself is that the skills I learnt last year are valid today and will be tomorrow. I can add to my skill set but I don't have to throw away all the old skills to do so. I have also found that one of the core skills which any good IT person has is the ability to identify the key issues and data. This is a skill which migrates very well to trading.

All in all I'm happy with the transition. I would like to do less time in front of the keyboard and so have an interest in automated systems but I don't give them as high priority as actually trading. Having the skill to write good code is one thing but using it to write good code that actually works is another and right now unless its a small bit of code which will help my trading I don't bother.

I, for the most part, enjoyed my time in electronic design and IT but I aint going back.


Experienced member
Im still in IT (Contract Java/J2EE). In the boom days we used
to pull in 150K, some still do, however im now
south of 100K, buts its still good money.

I think there is still life left in the old dog yet, before they
outsource everyone. However the industry is highly subject to
boom and bust and its left me very disillusioned.

Its also very boring, and projects gets cancelled all time
so I dont bother putting any real effort in anymore.

If it wasnt for the fact it was easy and well paid i would
have quit ages ago.

Alot of IT contractors have plenty of cash to spare, and
the markets look seductively easy especially as most
would consider themselves to be smarter than average.

IT Contractors who lose their fortunes normally fall in to
two categories.

1) They p1ss it all away.
2) They blow it all in the stock market.


Being smarter than average can and does hinder the success of many in trading. This may be down to the fact that those who are smart think they can model or theorise how markets will behave.

This is flawed in my view because of those who I know just as many smarter than average traders lose money as those who are less than average.

It would be interesting to know how intelligent the most successful traders are compared to those that are not. There again though the people who make most from trading dont actually make the trades they claim to and appear to be those who offer seminars to 150 people at a time for £2000 per delegate giving a nice £300K risk free payday.

Maybe they are the smart ones and the rest of us are idiots ?



Experienced member
Donalddukes 2nd category of contractor is my favourite!!!

PAul - you make some excellent points. That is why I have always said Darren Winters has only spotted an opportunity in the market and exploited it. Just like we do! People get upset with this idea because their emotions are involved. They understandably dont like being taken for a ride, yet the same thing happens to these people when they sell bottoms and buy tops. The only difference then though is that they cant blame anyone else for their failings.

On the point of intelligence, can any one here give a concrete definition of what intelligence is? Sounds easy....


Junior member
Phew, a lot of interesting replies there. I'll be here all day if I replied to them as fully as I'd like. Being relatively new to the I.T. business it's good to get a take on the story of people that've been in the business a lot longer than myself. I'll hopefully remember it at the approriate time in the future :)

The three areas (I.T./Psychology/Trading) seem to overlap to an amazing degree.
I'd never really considered that before but it's certainly true in me, I've always been interested in the 1st, the past few years I've been getting more and more into the 2nd and I'm just starting to look into the 3rd.

On the point of intelligence, can any one here give a concrete definition of what intelligence is? Sounds easy....
It's not easy but I'll try, with a little help from a book ;) First thing is that there are a number of different types of intelligence but people in general don't get that or would much rather simplify things. The I.Q. test has a lot to answer for, it's merely an indication, but it's given too much credence which leaves the people with an awry idea of what intelligence is. The best definitions I've seen about intelligence come from How Brains Think by William H Calvin
Some of what intelligence encompasses are cleverness, foresight, speed, creativity and how many things you can juggle at once.

Intelligence is what you use when you don't know what to do

Intelligence is guessing well
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