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The best banks for engineers and technologists

Investment banks may not be as dynamic as technology companies, but their technology jobs aren't necessarily that bad either. Although banking technologists sometimes complain about their roles, it seems that on balance technologists rate banks higher than other kinds of staff. 

We looked at the ratings given to various banks by both technology and non-technology staff on Glassdoor and compared them in the chart below. As the chart shows, with the exception of Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs, technologists always give higher ratings than the rest. 

Morgan Stanley's technology analysts rated their bank highest of all. Writing on Glassdoor, analysts praised the bank for its 'challenging environment, interesting and complex projects,' for its flexible working ethos and lack of pressure for technologists, its modern tech stack and its extremely polite people. The positive ratings follow Morgan Stanley's reorganization of its technology division in under Robert Rooney, the former head of fixed income sales and trading who was appointed head of technology for the bank in 2018. Rooney set about modernizing Morgan Stanley's technology function after jettisoning senior staff at the end of 2019. 

At the other end of the ranking is Deutsche Bank, which historically had a reputation for being a chaotic place to work as a technologist. However, Deutsche signed a cloud deal with Google in December last year and said it was already attracting a high calibre of technologist as a result. 30% of Deutsche Bank's staff were engineers said Bernd Leukert, head of technology, data and innovation at DB at the time; the bank wants to increase this to 50%, he said. In a comment on Glassdoor, one technologist said, "DB has had its problems but is turning itself around and technology is leading the way. This company is one to watch over the next few years." 

Goldman Sachs' comparatively low ranking seems surprising, given the firm's pride in being a 'technology firm.' Negative comments from its technologists on Glassdoor include complaints about old technology, long hours, in-house tools (presumably Slang), and an opaque pay and promotion structure. More positively, Goldman technologists say they get good support from management, early responsibility and that the culture in technology is "friendly and easy going." 

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AUTHORSarah Butcher Global Editor
  • en
    6 May 2021

    I have seen codebases in banks and tech companies. Let me just say that I am surprised that any bank is still in business at all.

  • Mi
    22 April 2021

    I'm very surprised by this finding. I've worked in tech @ MS for close to a decade, and the past few years have been difficult to say the least. Rooney is not a capable leader, in my view. He doesn't understand tech and he seems interested only in cost-cutting and hitting quarterly EPS targets. There's a lot of talk about cloud and the "transformation agenda", but the reality is that many teams are horribly short-staffed and struggling to recruit good people. We've been told point-blank to hire only "diverse" candidates, and there's a very strong push away from so-called metro locations. So, after two years of running very lean after those destructive cuts of 2019, every team is now desperately trying to hire from a small pool of talent before the window closes. Result : we're going to bring in a lot of people who absolutely wouldn't have got an interview a couple of years ago. This is not good for the company long term. To add to the pain, our head of "transformation" just quit after a mere 2-3 years in the role. The whole Agile thing has been a mess and still isn't taken seriously by front office types.

    While i'm ranting, I have to also say a word about the company's pandering to social justice causes. Just a couple of days ago, after the Chauvin trial, we got a to-all from Rooney, exhorting us all to "double down on fighting social injustice". I find this stuff really repellent. I work for MS because I enjoy solving challenging problems with bright like-minded people, NOT because I want to get bombarded by political propaganda. If Rooney's so concerned about changing the world, perhaps he can start by donating some of the 10 million he earned last year ? Or stepping down to give a more "diverse" candidate a chance ? No, thought not.

  • Da
    19 April 2021

    The problem is the salaries. Why work in a bank when you can earn more in a tech company?

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