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How do I choose Microsoft .Net technologies like C++ or C# versus Red Hat Linux or Solaris Unix platforms for my Java or C++ quant development?

(Last Updated On: July 25, 2010)

How do I choose Microsoft .Net technologies like C++ or C# versus Red Hat Linux or Solaris Unix platforms for my Java or C++ quant development?
As I mentioned in a previous post as being part of these influential Linked In groups, there was a very interesting one which was the most popular operating system and C++ compilers out there in the world of quant. I have already discussed my views of Linux versus Microsoft Windows. For those that don’t know, I would go with Linux based version if you need latency to near zero. Windows technology might not cut it.
As part of the C++ compiler question, why was there a resounding popularity for Windows based compilers like Visual Studio and Microsoft related programming languages like C++ or C#? I mean, once you support these languages, it is safe to say you will become a fully Microsoft shop. As I have consulted with numerous investment banks and even researched a bunch, it seems larger banks like Morgan Stanley, Citi, or whoever use a hybrid approach. It sounds like many of CIti’s derivative trading platforms are deployed on Microsoft Windows servers while other departments like their Risk maybe deployed on a Linux or Unix based platform like Solaris. I mean it gets kind of confusing for those starting out in Quant development.
I think one suggestion for those go into this career is to choose a better cross platform language like Java or C++. Also, if you go with a C++ technology, ensure the frameworks (or libraries) you choose are cross platform as well. This is one reason why I like Java backed web frameworks like Google Web Toolkit as they are cross platform and browser independent. You obviously do not get that with Microsoft .Net based technologies which of course include C ++ or C#. As I said, choose well based on these technologies and programming languages for your early quant development days.

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