Trade Talk Blog

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If you’ve been following TT recently, you know 2014 is already shaping up to be a year of significant change. In the past two months alone, we’ve:

  1. Welcomed a new CEO, Rick Lane
  2. Launched a new brand identity
  3. Revealed the next-gen TT platform, a streamlined, go-anywhere trading ecosystem that should be in full production by year’s end

This week we reached another significant milestone, the unveiling of our newly renovated Chicago headquarters.

One of the primary objectives of this renovation was to create a space where our team could engage, collaborate and freely exchange ideas—an environment where our talent feels empowered and willing to take risks. We know that inspiring our people to be at their best is the most surefire way for TT to deliver compelling solutions for our customers.

A great deal of thought and effort went into planning this exceptional facility. In fact, I think it’s more impressive than many of the spaces developed by other tech companies in Chicago.

What’s equally impressive is that we kept out-of-pocket costs to a minimum by doing the renovation in conjunction with our recent lease renewal. As a TT shareholder, this is my favorite part!

Pictures from the internal event celebrating the unveiling of our newly renovated space.

The dramatic two-story, multi-purpose space serves as kitchen, lounge, game room, meeting space and…wait for it…bar, with a constantly changing selection of six craft beers plus two wines on tap.

The bar is particularly noteworthy. It’s constructed entirely of reclaimed materials, including wood from a grain elevator built in 1887. At the time it was completed in Duluth, MN, it was the largest grain elevator in the world. It stood intact until about ten years ago, when crews began to deconstruct and salvage the wood. I think it’s pretty special that purely by chance, we stumbled across materials that are historically significant to our industry and ended up incorporating them in the structure of our bar, which is where I’m sure many new ideas for our industry will be born and nurtured.

Other highlights of our new common area include:

  • A wall of coolers holding more sodas, juices and sparkling waters than my local 7-11.
  • A breakfast bar with cereals, oatmeal, fresh fruit, muffins, bagels and cream cheese.
  • A self-serve coffee and tea station with machines for drip and specialty beverages including lattes, cappuccinos and espressos.
  • Racks of (mostly) healthy snacks like almonds, corn nuts, trail mix, dried fruit, chips, popcorn, jerky, granola bars and bite-sized candy.
  • Multiple seating areas for eating, meeting, working and relaxing.
  • An expansive game room with shuffleboard, a pool table, ping pong, Golden Tee, board games, darts and more.

The game room doubles as an open meeting space for employee town halls, Tech Talks, presentations and even public events. In fact only one day after we unveiled the space to employees, we opened our doors to the public and hosted a Meetup.

Our Inaugural Event with GOTO Chicago

On Wednesday night, a crowd of tech enthusiasts attended a Meetup that we hosted for GOTO Chicago, which is billed as a conference designed “by developers for developers.” This year’s event will be held on May 20-21, and we’re sponsoring the opening party at Rockit on May 20.

The evening’s agenda featured a panel discussion titled “Rise of Robotics: Discussion of programming in a highly automated world.” The panelists, who came from various groups within TT’s engineering and product management departments, explored the topic of automation in electronic trading and many other industries.

The discussion covered a lot of ground, ranging from debate about Michael Lewis’ much-talked-about book Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt  to how Netflix used robots to write the plot for House of Cards. We live-tweeted some of the commentary on our Twitter feed, so check out @Trading_Tech for more insight on the panel topics.

I’m sure the GOTO Meetup was just the first of many events we’ll be hosting in our new space. As events arise, we’ll post the details on social media, so follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to stay informed.

If you can’t wait for an event to see our space, ask your TT contact for a personal tour. Or if you’re a trader, technologist or student interested in visiting our new office, tweet us at @Trading_Tech and we’ll be happy to arrange your visit. We are exceptionally proud of our new home, and we look forward to sharing it with you.