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An Evening at AHL

London is probably one of the most exciting places to live if you are a software developer. True, the rent is absolutely ridiculous and the Tube gets rather crowded during rush hour, but the amount of activities, conferences and meetups geared toward technologists is absolutely staggering.

I am a member of Pyladies London and Women in Data, two meetup groups who do an excellent job organizing interesting events for women working in software engineering and data analysis. Yesterday, I attended a joint Pyladies and Women in Data meetup sponsored by Man Group’s AHL hedge fund.

At AHL, we heard three great talks, one by Carol Ward, AHL COO, one by Charlie Beeson, a quant developer and one by Giuliana Bordigoni, a quant researcher. Charlie Beeson explained the reasons behind the adoption of Python at AHL. While previously, the quant research and the quant platform part used different technologies (R and Matlab for the the quant research and Java and C++ for the quant platform ), now AHL uses Python to bridge the gap between the two.

In addition to developing in-house Python software, AHL developers also contribute to Numpy, Pandas and SciPy open source projects. The dev environment of choice at AHL is Eclipse IDE with the PyDev plugin. I was quite please to see that AHL had developed the F1 short cut for the PyDev plugin, which allows an RStudio like execution of Python code line by line.