While financial technology recruitment remains relatively subdued, there are still pockets of activity. Some skills in demand are still relatively rare and contained within the list below are key words that will get the attention of IT in finance recruiters.
IT projects in investment banks can be huge, bureaucracy laden beasts requiring months of planning, followed by long periods of development and then testing to iron out the kinks. The idea of following the Agile development methodology is to make life less complicated.
It's described as an 'iterative' or incremental approach, whereby requirements and solutions within particular projects are completed in smaller, more manageable chunks and problems can be solved quicker.
Scrum - where IT departments are split into cross-functional teams working on smaller tasks - is among the most popular Agile approaches, and knowledge of this something banks are increasingly demanding, along with the relevant financial product and programming language knowledge, obviously.
"Agile suits a lot of businesses as it allows a quick release and the project to evolve going forward. It's something more banks are looking for," says Adam Pizzie, manager - IT at Robert Walters.
2) XML messaging specialist
As banks get their data management in order, either through regulatory pressure or a general desire to improve risk management through better data quality, more firms are recruiting technical architects.
"A key skill is XML, and within a banking context somebody who can ensure a smooth data flow across a large, often globally fractured organization is highly in demand," says Paul Bennie, director of IT in finance headhunters Bennie McLean. "There are probably around a dozen people in the City who can call themselves true XML messaging specialists."
3) Change management
Yes, the frantic demand for change management professionals is extending to banks' technology teams. Currently, banks are looking to recruit project managers to look at ways IT will have to change in the wake of new regulatory measures.
"Once the FSA dissolved and there is likely to be new legislation enforced on both the buy and sell-side, and technology specialists are likely to be in high demand to develop solutions that ensure compliance," says Kuljeet Chahal, managing consultant at IT in finance recruiters Vivacity Executive Search & Selection.
4) Information security
Making sure the right technology safeguards are in place to protect against both internal manipulation and external threats is an increasingly big concern for banks. Information security professionals are in the privileged position of being both in demand, and in short supply.
"Banks are recruiting people to ensure their access identity management technology is cutting edge and that their external IT security is robust," says Cat Halliwell, sales operations manager at 7 Fifty Two Solutions. "There are only a handful of good people and, unless banks can poach from another institution, they're having to look outside the industry."
5) Equity derivatives
Unlike equities generally, demand for equity derivatives professionals - particularly people in sales and those with Delta One and ETF expertise - has remained comparatively buoyant.
Technology remains key to this sector, but many of the development roles require relatively generic programming language (such as Java, C# or C++), so it's the domain expertise itself that is getting recruiters' attention.
"Strong domain knowledge of equity derivatives, equity finance or equity swaps is still a comparatively rare skill-set among technologists," says Justin Willis, director of IT in finance recruiters Bright Purple Resourcing.