Meet the team: engineering manager, Chris Sellers

May 02, 2024
Title picture for Meet the team: engineering manager, Chris Sellers

"Meet the team" gives you an inside look at the team behind Databento. Not only do you get a great sense of the diverse and expert talent we have on the team, but you also get a taste of our culture overall and how we work together. If you're interested in joining us, check out our careers page!

Today, we're introducing our engineering manager, Chris Sellers!

Chris brings a unique perspective to the team, stemming from his unconventional background as an airline pilot with a deep interest in computers. Although these fields are seemingly unrelated, Chris integrates the values he gained as a pilot into his role within the finance industry.

"It's given me a unique perspective on risk management and the value of disciplined adherence to procedures and best practices. It also trained me to have the mental flexibility to change and re-evaluate decisions when new information comes to hand."

It wasn't until later in his career that Chris decided to pursue his passions in engineering. He states, "I discovered a little later I was truly passionate about designing and implementing systems to run within the complex and chaotic environment of the world's financial markets. I've been programming these systems in various capacities for well over a decade now."

As an engineering manager, Chris has a diverse range of responsibilities, from overseeing IC engineering projects and conducting research to managing operations and providing end-user support. He notes, "Each of these areas has its own challenges and interesting aspects. One thing I value is the time allocated to both improving the systems we already have in place, as well as expanding the feature set for the product."

Chris emphasizes Databento's collaborative nature and its impact on better decision-making. He illustrates how each team member's individual skills contribute to a supportive and productive environment.

"Everyone is encouraged to participate, with ideas and opinions being seriously evaluated alongside everyone else's. We've built a team with a deep level of collective experience, and often orthogonal skill sets—which I've observed results in better outcomes than if a single individual were making decisions in specific areas."

When asked what he's most proud of in his career, Chris shares his experience being a mentor and feeling fulfilled by guiding the next generation of engineers.

"Mentoring more junior engineers who are admittedly overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information, things they need to come up to speed on, and the very high engineering standards which we demand. It's been very rewarding seeing them find their feet, gain confidence, and rapidly increase their productivity and quality of work."

Chris finds mentorship valuable not only for early-career engineers but also for his professional development. He expresses his inspiration and the impact of his mentor, our CTO, Luca Lin, on his career trajectory.

"Luca, our CTO, has profoundly impacted my professional development. When dealing with engineering challenges, his exceptional skill in synthesizing diverse information and perspectives, then iterating and exploring the solution space, has been truly inspiring. Consensus is sought across the engineering team through open communication before we move ahead with any decisions. Under his mentorship, I have honed my critical thinking and communication skills and have been motivated to pursue greater levels of excellence in all my endeavors."

Outside of work, Chris dedicates his time to developing an open-source trading platform that he continues to refine and enhance.

"I spend a lot of my spare time working on NautilusTrader, which is an open-source, high-performance trading platform and event-driven back tester. It's been particularly rewarding and satisfying lately to work on integrating the Databento data schemas and APIs with Nautilus."

With the time he has left, Chris enjoys playing guitar and values being with his son and family.

If Chris' career path sounds interesting to you, check out our careers page to see our open positions. If you don't see the role for you, send us your resume—we're always on the lookout for outstanding talent.