Currently doing liquidity risk management at First Republic Bank, which involves quite a bit of data analysis / financial modeling. Similar to most of us in the finance industry, I’ve historically used and abused Excel for most of my analysis, but that didn’t scale so well when I started dealing with millions of records, real-time data, automation needs etc.
Eventually I decided to bite the bullet and learn SQL, which helped with some of this, and got me interested in exploring programming more generally (which I had always been somewhat curious about).
Started with Python, JS, Scheme, and most recently Clojure (after reading too many of Peter Norvig’s Python notebooks and wondering to myself “how the hell does somebody write code like that?”). I really liked the style in those notebooks and figured throwing myself into a FP language where the traditional crutches of mutability / imperative style are not available to me would help accelerate the learning process. I started with “The Little Schemer”, and the rest is history.