Computer Science for Trading?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Doran, Jan 10, 2013.

  1. Doran


    Greetings :) first time posting and happy to be here.

    A few months back I found a thread here with a new guy asking a few questions on how to become a stock trader. He was essentially asking what university degree he should get to be a trader, and I was very very surprised by the answers read here.

    It seemed as if people were saying to not waste your time getting an MBA or Economics or Finance degree, for it's the act of trading that makes you a good trader. Ah, wise and insightful indeed, thanks. But what surprised me the most was with how many people suggested him to get a computer science degree if anything. Over and over again, people suggested programming, and as I browse the forums here, there are quite a few sections entirely dedicated programming.

    But why? I'll be honest, it never occurred to me that stock traders were also programmers. What can you do with programming and/or computer science that makes you a better trader?

    And if one were to study computer science with the intent of trading, what language to start with first and what type of programs to write?
  2. because the theories are well known but most talk out their ass and won't roll up their sleeves and analyze terabytes of data to make informed decisions.
  3. Start with Sanskrit,that`s all i`m gonna tell you.
  4. heech


    Someone who sits at a screen trying to pick-out patterns doesn't need an education. It doesn't matter *what* you major in.

    Computer science might be useful for helping you think analytically in general (but so would 100 other majors). You do have the advantage down the road of possibly automating your strategy + back-testing.
  5. newwurldmn


    Compuer science is not relevant to trading much anymore unless you are in some high frequency type stuff. Programming is useful, but any analytical person can figure it out.

    I studied computer science in college. I wish I had studied math or physics instead.
  6. You completely miss the point.

    Let's say you want to cross Africa on foot...
    You need specific training, experience and problem solving skills...
    That probably takes 10 years to develop...
    And your question is do I buy blue shorts or red shorts?

    Building a trading firm is harder than crossing Africa on foot.
  7. vicirek


    Regardless of having successful method of trading today's markets overwhelm human being with the amount of information coming in real time. Trader will miss most of it (tired, lack of focus, hungry, emotions, distractions, sleepy, drunk etc.).

    It is difficult to analyze market information on the fly even for most experienced traders. To stay focused they can only concentrate on a small fragment of the market action.

    The advantage computer (science) gives you is to facilitate processing and analyzing of information in consistent manner in real time plus added benefit of targeted scans of historical data and trading simulations.

    Instead of staring at multiple monitors you can have all relevant information on one screen and computer can beep you, call you or even trade for you in consistent and predictable manner.

    In addition machine can scan hundreds or thousands of securities and news feeds in real time.
  8. 2rosy


    I think it depends on the trading that you're doing. If you're trading exchange traded securities where automation is high then compsci could be useful. I see a lot of engineering grads in that space. But if you're trading illiquid otc securities schmoozing and connections might be better. As for programming, it makes researching and tedious tasks easier.
  9. Shanb


    You'll be surprised by how much information a good trader can process at any one given time. Markets aren't static, so imo the best traders are the ones that are the most in tune with the market and changes in the market. I call it "feel" others call it something else. There are so many little nuances that a trained human mind can process, its still the best machine out there to do the job!
  10. Please quantify such vague statements with trading profits.

    #10     Jan 12, 2013