Hi, I'm looking to get into automated trading system development. I've been trading forex on a practice account for a little under a year now and have begun to learn c# a few months ago. I still consider myself a beginner programmer but I want to start some how applying what I learned to trading system development. The problem is I don't know where to start. I understand I will be using .NET but I have many questions as to how I can do that and I would really appreciate if someone took the time to help me out. I've looked into the (open source) TradeLink and (expensive) RightEdge. I see RE has a code library that I can use. This is probably an extremely newbie question but can I use the code from that library in tradelink (being that Im not in the position to spend 600$ on their software ATM)? Also, where to I get data for backtesting? And how do I start collecting my own tick data collection? (for FOREX) and is there any free software that I can do visual backtesting of the data with using c# code (kind of how MQL does it in metatrader where it draws out the historical data visually tick by tick and executing orders where conditions are met)? I've considered learning MQL but i figured that it will only be a temporary solution since I plan build systems as a career eventually and so will have to learn to do it with a "real language" anyways. Plus I'm only 19 so I try to be patient. Anyways, I'm currently on the chapter on LINQ in my c# book so I look forward to learning how to work with data better soon but where do I get the data to begin with? I've heard of socket programming and FIX protocol but I dont quite understand what role it plays and how to utilize it. Will i have to learn to "socket program" if I want to have a live, updating data collection running 24/7? I'm reading "Pro C# and the .NET Platform" and am almost done with the C# part of the book and will be moving on to the .NET part shortly. I've skimmed the .NET topics in the book but this book is HUGE at 1500 pages and I was wondering if there are any particular chapters/topics that I will be using extensively, others rarely, or others not at all so I can feel free to skip them for now. I'm currently on chapter 13 of this book: http://www.amazon.com/2010-NET-Plat...5491/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1309913550&sr=8-1 I hope that some can use the "Look Inside" feature to check out the table of contents and let me know if there is anything I can skip temporarily so that I can get up to date on how to use .NET specifically for trading system development and not waste my time learning topics I will certainly not be using. Thank you in advance to anyone that can take the time and answer my questions in a "Trading System Development For Dummies " type of way because I'm totally lost as to how all these things fit together.