Like all good pigs, I want to maximize ROI for strategies that go largely unused, save a couple instruments scalped manually. Automation holds great benefit: access to 30+ instruments during their regular trading hours, instead of ~2. Further, quick markets more suited to program trading can be accessed, instead of ignored. My technical skills are few. I can write simple code and have done so for 3 strategies in AFL (Amibroker Formula Language). What I need is a competent programmer who can automate existing systems, and have them trade flawlessly, real-time. Here's a short-list of estimated needs: - migrate strategies to C+(+) - integrate strategies to various API's - test and debug over several months - ongoing monitor and administration - ongoing system development (my own toys) and light optimization - hardware acquisition and support - security design and administration (can be outsourced) The term of employment would be full-time and ongoing. Insofar as computer trading is used, I would need a full-time administrator. The obvious risk is an outsider must be trusted with high-value, intellectual property. The temptation to steal, sell or transmit IP for their own gain will be very real. Besides non-disclosure and non-compete contracts, what other legal safeguards exist for intellectual property not subject to patent? Even such legal contracts provide no guarantee as theft or transmission would be very hard to detect. To explore further, how do top Wallstreet Banks and Brokerages secure proprietary trading systems against theft and disclosure? They too must entrust outside help - programmers and quants - with full access to source code. Those employees could easily trade that code for themselves or sell it to anyone. What protection does the industry have against this? Maybe consultants could advise in this area, too? As far as compensation goes, what is fair? I think the average is ~250K for system designers/quants plus a healthy bonus. Perhaps ~1 million a year. The exception: outside help is not required to lay the golden egg. Only the technical implementation of existing eggs. So what is fair in terms of salary? 150K per year? What about a bonus structure? It would be nice if guys with industry experience/programmers/Wallstreeters could give some input. Thanks.