When I first started trading, I was looking at every avenue you can take, learning a little about a million things. I eventually came across TradeStation's Strategy trading idea, and was very impressed with the idea. As I started to get into it I realized that this was my home in the trading world that I had been searching for. For the past 3 months have I been toying around with trying to create an automated strategy. I felt that if you are taking your emotions out of the game then you are at an advantage. So from then I started to learn programming. It was kinda easy picking up the programming language because is was similar to my high school language. I have read many many books about the developement of automated strategies, even how to test correctly and do optimizations. I put my life an soul into trying to create this and believe me about 70-80 hours per week doing this, however I was just never able to come up with something. But that didn't stop me, I still read more books and read more forum posts to learn how to do this thing. But no matter how persistant I was, I was never able to come up with anything that actually worked. Sure there were times when I thought I had something but only ended up begin a stat. flub that produced better than normal results. At that point, I felt it was time to give automated trading a rest. I then took my strategies that I tried to create, and did them by hand. I would go back into time and have the last bar on the chart being at the extreme right where I could decide if I wanted to buy, sell, or do nothing then click to the next bar and see the result. I recorded the results on excel, and got amazing results. I then switched to another trading vehicle and got great results too. Last week was my first real week trading, and my real first week making any real money. Finally, the first time in my trading career, I finally feel confident in the market. I'm not sure if there is an element of feel that is present, but it sure seems like it is. I'm not going to give automated trading up, but at least for now I'm going to stick to grinding it out manually.