Careers Ken Griffin on the Three Paths for Software Engineers

Ken Griffin on the Three Paths for Software Engineers

April 22, 2024

“Software engineering is one of the careers that you pick where nothing stays the same.”

Hear From Ken


Software engineering is a field defined by constant change. Aspiring engineers know they must continue to learn new skills or risk being left behind. With new opportunities and challenges emerging every day, how can future engineers find a path where they can excel—and remain at the top of their game?

“The key is: what do you enjoy? What surface area of problems do you find interesting, that you could be passionate about?” In a recent fireside chat, Citadel founder and CEO Ken Griffin highlights one trait above all others: passion. Pursuing a subject that inspires you to learn—and raises questions you’re motivated to answer—will help you build an impactful career.

Ken sets out three paths that Citadel software engineers typically pursue to maximize their effectiveness:

  • Achieve excellence in a focused area of technology. Exceptional subject-matter expertise in a specific field like database engineering can give you a competitive edge in a crowded field.
  • Become skilled in applying engineering expertise to commercial problems. Technologies and skillsets evolve, but there is always a demand for people who can use technology to solve business challenges. Commercial thinking keeps engineers relevant in times of rapid change.
  • Complement your technical abilities with skills in leadership and management, bringing together domain experts to drive a project forward.

To pursue one of these three paths, engineers must seek out the right opportunities. To build the knowledge and experience required to adapt as your field evolves, it’s critical to join a firm that offers autonomy, mentorship and challenges that will help you grow.

The Citadel NXT Engineering Network is a structured program designed to help early career software engineers transition into the finance industry. NXT gives software engineers with 2-5 years of experience the chance to learn and grow alongside seasoned professionals solving real business problems and adapting to the challenges posed by the markets. If you’re an engineer considering a future in finance, visit our NXT Engineering Network page to learn more and apply for the program.


Explore the NXT Engineering Network