Learning to Program

Discussion in 'Programming' started by FCXoptions, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. I am wanting to learn about programming in general and eventually to be able to do algorithms and more complex stuff. I will more than likely take a class or two next year at school, but I wanted to learn some stuff on my own as well. Do you all think I would be best off learning Python or what to start off with? I think the introductory course at my school starts with basic programs in Python.

    Just looking for some input.
  2. Here's an interesting site for starting out. It's interesting, that's all I can say about it.

    Of course just about any programming language you can think of has tons of learning sites and/or forums for reference and assistance.

    Good luck
  3. Just do it ...

    Quit wasting time and waiting for someone to tell you what to do or hold your hand...

    There is no best language...
    There is no best operating system ...
    There is no best book on how to learn ...

    Just pick a language, pick and OS, and go with it... You can expand your horizons (different language and/or OS) later when you master the first one.

    What to program? That's easy. Go find all the stocks listed on Yahoo Finance, scrape the important info (Symbol, Name, Exchange, Sales, Shares Outstanding, etc.) and put it into a file.

    Second project - automatically download all the historical quotes for each symbol, and put it into a separate CSV file with the following fields: Symbol:Date:Open:High:Low:Close:Volume:Adj_Close.

    Third project - parse each price data file, and determine the 52-week and All-Time highs and lows, adjusting for splits and dividends (hint, that's what the adj_close field is for).

    Fourth project - parse the price data, and create moving averages of various lengths.

    Fifth project - use PHP to feed your price data to HighStocks (highcharts.com) so you can draw pretty graphs of your data and moving averages.

    Then write these five projects in another language and see which one you like better.

    This will teach you most of the fundamentals of programming. You can now take this knowledge to tackle other projects.
  4. thanks for the advice guys, and Blah that is a good suggestion on an exercise to figure out which I like using better. I am starting a Computer Applications in Finance class tonight at school, it is mainly going to be excel type work I believe (probably pretty simple stuff based on our finance department, but hopefully I will learn something worthwhile).

    Once I finish this class up, I might take one of the MIT online classes that are free through their site to get started. That or just figure it out myself.

    Thanks for the input.
  5. Pretty neat site! Thanks for sharing that link.
  6. lwlee


    Suggestion, think of some project that might be cool to try. Keep it simple. For instance, pulling 2 minutes quotes from IB and persisting it to a database.

    If you find what you build useful, it makes the project much more fun.

    I actually started out as a programmer but haven't done it in a while. To get back into the groove, I decided to build a simple java app to alert me when certain eBay items fell to my price range. Very enjoyable project and profitable too. :D
  7. vicirek


    Since you are asking this question on trading discussion site then just check how you can access and interface with financial markets through brokers, data and information providers. The answer is there:

    Most of them offer either C/C++, Java or .Net technology (C# is the flagship .Net language).

    Also many commercial platforms offer API (application programming interface) using mainly one of the above.

    It is not trivial where to start because there is overhead and problems switching from one to another even if all are practically the same and originate from object oriented programming concepts of c/c++.
  8. slacker


    Here is a link to a free course on coursera on Computation Investing I which covers some basic python examples of how to download and use financial stock data.....


    The discussion forums also has a lot of good questions and answers.

    Good luck,
  9. braman09


  10. learn at "general assembly"
    #10     Jun 11, 2013