Archive for the ‘ Entrepreneurialism ’ Category

Scaled Dynamics is Hiring!

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Scaled Dynamics, Inc. is seeking to fill the position of Associate Developer. This position is best suited to a candidate looking to work closely with a small team in a fast-growing start-up.

Responsibilities would include:

  • Working with other programmers in the development of customized trading software.
  • Participating in planning sessions
  • Learning from senior developers

Job Requirements:

  • Thorough understanding of .net
  • Experience with multi-threading and event-driven programming
  • A willingness to work hard in a growing company in a fast-changing industry

Ideal Candidates would also possess the following characteristics:

  • Experience with unmanaged C++
  • Experience with web development (PHP, MySQL, JavaScript)
  • Experience with front-end development (WinForms, WPF, XML)
  • Entrepreneurial spirit

This is an hourly position, with pay commensurate with experience. There is the potential to earn a salary in as soon as 2-3 months for the right candidate. Benefits include health insurance, health club membership, company phones & laptops, paid time off and generous bonus potential. Our office is located in The Loop (financial district), and is within walking distance to public transportation.

About Scaled Dynamics:
Headquartered in Chicago, Scaled Dynamics, Inc. is a premier Independent Software Vendor (ISV) catering to automated traders across the globe, including Futures Commissions Merchants (FCMs), proprietary trading operations, brokers, and individual traders. In addition to its suite of high performance execution software, Scaled Dynamics, Inc. offers software professional consulting services, including customized functionality for execution strategies, back-office, risk management, and scalable infrastructure with a core competency in futures, options and other derivatives.

Scaled Dynamics, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer M/F/D/V.

For more info, visit: http://scaleddynamics.com/careers/associate-developer-c/

6 MUST READS if you Want to be Successful

I’ve done quite a bit of reading in my life. When I was a kid, my dad had an agreement with me whereby he would buy me any book I wanted, provided that I would read it cover to cover. He kept his promise all the way up to my 18th birthday; though my mom hated making good on that promise since that meant taking me to the bookstore twice a week and trying to find a place to put the literally 10,000 pages/month that I would read. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve made special note of the books that have had a major impact on my success in life:

1. Raising Venture Capital for the Serious Entrepreneur – When I failed to raise the money I needed to grow Scaled Dynamics, this book taught me exactly why. From setting up a business plan to negotiating a term sheet, this book walks you through startup finance from inception to exit. I ultimately succeeded by bootstrapping, however if I ever do try to raise capital again, I’ll do so armed with the confidence to pull it off successfully and under favorable terms.

2. Founders At Work – Owning a business is no joke. It is full of great highs, a sense of accomplishment, a sense of well being by providing job opportunities, and if you do everything right and have a bit of luck, untold riches. But being a business owner has its lows too. The 18 hour days become grueling, the roller coaster that is startup finance will wear on your nerves, and having to be the center of hope for everyone who relies on you for product and paycheck will also take its toll. This book is what gets me through those difficult times. It’s the stories of people that I consider to be my mentors and role models, and it gives me hope.

3. How to Win Friends and Influence People – This is the quintessential human interaction handbook. 99% of this book is common sense, but it’s incredible how easily we often lose sight of the bigger picture when it comes to working with others. This book is a cure for that.

4. Ultimate Sales Machine – Based on the premise that your skills will only ever get better through “pigheaded discipline,” I’ve made it a point to read this book at least once a year since it was recommended to me. This book will teach you how to manage your time in an efficient manner and will walk you through a number of the intricacies of the sales process. With that said, the author, Chet Holmes is a perfectionist who is obsessed with discipline. This isn’t a “tips and tricks” book that will give you sales tactics, it’s a true game changer as long as you have the resolve and persistence to implement the Chet Holmes way.

5. When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long Term Capital Management – I’ve read this book twice. Once when I was 17 and again when I was 27. This book was my first introduction to capital markets, and I would say that it is an essential read for anyone who wants to understand how markets work. A decade later, I was struck by how former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine was deeply involved, and it gave significant color to another industry blowup.

6. Barbarians At The Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco – Anyone who wants to understand how private equity works should give this a thorough read. A number of the characters are shared between this and When Genius Failed, so I’d recommend reading this before When Genius Failed to get a sense of chronology.

How to Negotiate a Raise, The Follow up

I couldn’t believe the response that came from my raise post last Thursday. I got a number of emails and comments and I’d like to address a number of them. Depending on my resolve, this may or may not turn into a regular series where I walk you through how to interview, crafting the perfect resume, and how to build a career. In the meantime, I want to address some of the points that were brought up, and provide some clarity.

A close friend of mine, Jeff Young is a Talent Acquisition Consultant for the Chamberlain College of Nursing. When it comes to recruiting, the guy knows his stuff. He’s been recruiting talent for almost as long as I’ve been making trading software.

Jeff writes, “Honestly, I have to say I disagree with most of the article. All it encourages people to do is become cockier, less dedicated to the business they work in, and overall they will change jobs so frequently that they will in essence be unmarketable. Maybe you could pull something like this in a sales oriented position, but for any other “corporate” position this really doesn’t work. There’s budgets and thousands of other restraints that keep someone from just getting a raise because they think they deserve one. I know if someone on my team asked for a raise because they deserved it, they’d be told to go pound sand. Now if that same person was making significant contributions toward the company’s vision/goals, then we promote. But that’s the management’s call, not the employee’s. Summary: Loyalty > threats.”

First I’d like to say that from a disclosure standpoint I’ve spent the majority of my career in sales so my approach might be a bit too aggressive for other parts of an organization. With that said, I don’t think that raises are exclusive to those in profit-center roles and I’m sure that there are other cases where you might be able to get a raise. If your skills suddenly come in demand (as I pointed out for compliance people in the financial industry) and your current employer doesn’t see fit to pay for rising costs, it’s in your best interests to find another job that will pay you. If you’ve significantly improved your skillset from the time at which you were hired, you’re probably significantly more marketable and again, would be eligible for a raise.

Many employers (such as my firm, Scaled Dynamics) have annual reviews during which time it’s expected that compensation will be discussed. If your employer does not have a process for reviewing employees from time to time, then being proactive and asking for the raise is, in my opinion, far superior to waiting and hoping.

People tend to put an implicit valuation on themselves and say things like “Oh this company couldn’t survive without me,” and “I could get way more elsewhere.” My first step is to encourage people to go find that out for a fact rather than just state it. If you can actually PROVE that you’re worth a significant raise, and the market supports it, there’s no reason on god’s green earth why you SHOULDN’T have that raise!

To Jeff’s point about loyalty, I agree wholeheartedly! Whenever I look at a resume full of 6 month and 1 year positions, I think to myself “this guy is a mercenary and isn’t going to stick around. I’ll pass!” Timing is everything. You should spend at least 2 years with each employer and you should be getting a raise at least once a year. Always remember that it’s also ok to turn employers down when you’re interviewing. You want to make sure that wherever you end up, it’s good enough of a fit that you’ll stick around for awhile.