BTW, forgot to mention, there is a big difference between banks and trading firms. I'd suggest you focus on trading firms. Banks vary quite a bit and many of them are just IT shops that buy vendor products. Trading firms lean way forward and although there is a penchant for hiring people with financial sector experience that is a way distant second to hiring damn smart people. For my team, I'm actually looking for people explicitly NOT from the financial sector. We have a lot of ex-Google people, national lab HPC people, etc. I'm looking for people with experience in _large_ scale distributed computing (and by distributed I mean global and all the latency and flappiness that implies).