NYC Open Source FinTech Meetup

Open source software is a critical part of the tech stack for many organizations, both large corporations and early-stage startups alike. For various reasons, the financial services industry, one of the dominant industries in NYC, has lagged other sectors in adopting and contributing to open source.

That is changing, pushed partly by the strategies and success of high-growth fintech startups, as well as a broader recognition of the benefits of an open source strategy. A number of financial services and fintech companies here in NYC play significant roles as contributors and maintainers for open source platforms, tools, and languages popular in the industry.

To better connect people in NYC working with open source software in financial services, my friend and AVC community member Rob Underwood of TTM Advisors has teamed up with the Symphony Software Foundation to create the NY Open Source FinTech Meetup. Its inaugural meetup is January 8th at 6:30pm at Rise NY. Aaron Williamson of the Symphony Software Foundation will be moderating a panel discussion with John Stecher of Barclays and Mazy Dar of OpenFin on the 2018 outlook for open source projects in the finance industry.

If you’re working at the intersection of financial services and open source you should check it out.

#hacking finance

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    What do big enterprises think about open source generally these days?They typically shy away, generally due to lack of professional support availability.

    1. JimHirshfield

      There are usually companies that spring up to do support

    2. John Herron

      As one data point, IBM, with financial services a primary market, has massively embraced open source. The market demands it. Good to see this fintech open source meetup.

      1. William Mougayar

        But that comes with support. Typically new / innovative open source software takes a while to reach those levels, which enterprises demand.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Think they are terribly worried about security and data too.

    3. LE

      The saying ‘nobody got fired for choosing IBM’ applies. But then again given that people aren’t keeping jobs for life any more, it actually does make sense that employees and managers would be more willing to risk not going with ‘the’ IBM choice. [1]I don’t know what third party support currently costs, but I can tell you that back in the 90’s when I bought full service 4 hour response hardware and software contracts for Sun and SGI servers the cost was much much less than it was for support from Red Hat for Linux. No comparison. The Red Hat offering (and similar) was way way more expensive iirc.[1] If there had been open source back in the legacy era of computing it is doubtful that it would have ever taken hold the way it has.

  2. Tom Labus

    The Estonian model is some model to look at. The mindset completely open and very different.

    1. JLM

      .Estonia is a very interesting country. I have won several bets on the question of: Where was Skype developed?The problem, challenge maybe, is how much does a citizen want the gov’t to know about them?In Estonia, it is everything.Estonia has an army of 6500 soldiers and about 35,000 reservists and is a NATO member. Why they were admitted to NATO is a mystery. Under Art V, an attack on Estonia triggers the entire NATO military to defend them. Best insurance policy in the history of the world.The Russians just ran a combined military exercise a month ago with Belarus which was announced as a counter-terror exercise. In fact, it was a planned attack of Estonia and her neighbors as well as a thrust into Poland.This is troubling because the Russians planned to take all the Estonian ports and airfields as well as their digital core. It was a very modern approach to land warfare.Estonia suffers from two problems: The Russians think they own it and there is a large Russian contingent from when Stalin moved Estonians out and Russians in. This is a smaller Crimea problem.Keep your eye on Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. The Russians are.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Tom Labus

        They are very aware of the Russians. Their embassies are mirror servers. They can flee and still operate the country.

        1. JLM

          .Haha, “They can flee and still operate the country.”What do they operate if the leadership is gone?I get what you’re saying.Merry Christmas.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. LE

        an attack on Estonia triggers the entire NATO military to defend themWhy they were admitted to NATO is a mystery. Then it becomes a good training exercise, no? Plus it’s location is strategic. [1]It’s like when the NYPD sends officers at NYC’s expense to other parts of the world to assist. Or when the NTSB or FBI helps with air crashes on foreign soil (that do not involve US assets). It’s essentially training and adding to the knowledgebase. Not a statement of fact btw, just a guess on my part.More importantly ‘why do royals fight in the military?’. My guess is it has something to do with Kings back in the day and battle.http://www.businessinsider….[1] Speculation on my part I am guessing to be sure.

        1. JLM

          .The NATO 2014 maneuvers included 6,000 troops from a number of countries. It was a faux defense of Estonia. Purely window dressing.It also gave the Russians a good idea of how we would arrive to fight. This is why Russian focus on ports and airports is so troubling.As a Cbt Engineer 1st Lt and a Cpt, I used to cross an entire corps — about 50,000 men plus equipment — in river crossing operations at the Rhine and the Imjin in S Korea. Those were maneuvers.In those days, you would be asleep and get a call that the first division would be arriving at the river crossing in 4 hours and you better be ready to receive their tanks, artillery, and troops. We had to build rafts to move the first tanks and then floating bridges for the entire division.I was never late, but I saw a guy be 30 minutes late. He was relieved and sent back to the States. West Pointer.The recent Zapad maneuvers (Russia & Belarus) admitted to 12,000 troops involved because there is a treaty which requires the imposition of observers above that number.In fact, the Russian maneuvers involved more than 100,000 troops plus 1,000 tanks. Aerial imagery confirms this. It was a full scale dress rehearsal for an invasion.It was so real, NATO moved aircraft forward thinking it might be the real deal. When the Russians jumped on the Ukraine, they did it off some faux maneuvers.Obviously, the NATO maneuvers would not be adequate to repel an invasion by 100,000 which would be more than two corps. 2-3 corps = an army. An army is the basic unit of maneuver if you’re going to invade eastern Europe.This has really spooked the crap out of NATO and the Pentagon. Perhaps, for good reason.You have to ask yourself why NATO wants to defend Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. They don’t contribute anything of substance to the military alliance. Plus, Russia has short supply lines to start a fight and NATO would have long ones. Always a bad deal.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. JamesHRH

            So the answer is let them just take them?

          2. sigmaalgebra

            My FIL sponsored a couple from Latvia. They HATED the Communists. In those little Baltic countries, Russia would likely have a guerrilla war.

      3. jason wright

        The Russians never left. They are ’embedded’ throughout Eastern Europe. Remember, Putin was KGB. Still is, but now ‘FSB’ overlord.Don’t overlook Kaliningrad.

  3. sigmaalgebra

    Gee, FinTech using open source software?Gee. I’d guess that somewhere in FinTech are some running copies of LINPACK, the original Fortran version, a version converted to C with the Bell Labs open source C program f2c, and C versions compiled with special options.For portfolio re-balancing, there maybe some usage of GuRoBi optimization software.I’d be surprised if there were no usage of open source fast Fourier transform (FFT) software. There are many versions of the FFT; most of them are tricky to think of starting just with the original Cooley, Tukey paper, so open source will be welcome.And I’d believe there was open source for some time series computations, e.g, maybe from some of D. Brillinger’s work.And open source graphics? I’d guess so.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Many FinTech firms are running Fortran on old IBM servers. One of the most difficult thing in Fin Tech is lock in by a regulator.Assume I am a bank and I want to scrap my core banking technology like FIS or FISERV. I go to an Esotonian open source cloud based core banking technology that is light, and allows me to innovate and be super customer focused-and it’s cheaper to operate allowing me to make more money, invest in my business or pay higher wages, or send a dividend to investors.My bank regulator shows up, and asks, “What core bank tech are you using?” If I say FIS or FISERV, they check a box and move along. If I say, “We adopted this newer technology that is cheaper and allows us to service customers better and innovate” the eyebrows go up and the bank regulator takes a deep dive.Because of aversion to regulation, bankers become locked in, and crazy risk averse at doing things with their tech stack. At the NY Fin Tech Lab event, bankers went to great pains to tell entrepreneurs they were in no mood to rip up the guts of their tech stack. They are interested in lightweight solutions to problems that work on the edges.

      1. JLM

        .Same regulator is looking at your loan portfolio. He gets pissed off and 10% of your loans which were on the “watch” list get moved to the “underperforming” list which triggers additional capital requirements.Bank examiners are bullies.If every suspect bank in the late 1980s had been allowed to continue to operate, every penny of loan loss would have been recovered, including the default rate of interest.Bank examiners and bank regulators caused the crisis. Not to say there weren’t some abusers, but they already knew who they were.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. mikenolan99

          Careful buddy! #1 daughter is now a bank examiner for the OCC… In her first year, she’s uncovered money laundering, human trafficking and a whole mess of suspicious activity…Are cops to blame for people breaking the law? If they just looked the other way, the “free” market would have taken care of it?

  4. JamesHRH

    I am big Rob fan but my doubt here is my doubt w Blockchain: is free and open the way to go with high value transactions?