programmer wanting to get into trading

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by omgdallas, Aug 12, 2006.

  1. newguy1


    This is what I've been told as well. The wilmott guy went so far as to say that nothing quant at a bank was even related to what he did with the two; he couldn't just walk out of the bank and say, "yep, time to print some money daytrading with my quant skills i used at the bank".

    In the end, he did not encourage going into a msc if trading was what you really wanted to do. He basically said, "if you want to trade, then trade. If you want to do something else...well go into a msc fin math".

    But he made it his own. Not to mention, trading jobs are hard to come by. I hear a lot about FNYS. And yeah, its hard to get in. But you could rifle off 20 more trading-related firms (maybe not equities or strictly prop) that are just as competitive, if not more so. A degree in "mathematical trading"(yep, they actually call it that) from Cass (although cass isn't an upper tier UK institution) won't hurt when applying to places like optiver/mako. Some even prefer a msc for whatever reason.

    You got a lot of options, so if you know you want to trade, then trade. If you don't know, then maybe heading into a msc isn't such a bad idea. (this is the advice i received, and i'm going to follow it myself).
    #11     Aug 12, 2006
  2. newguy1


    also, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying your cs degree, while useful, is going to make you any money. I mean, you aren't printing money off it right now, so clearly trading and cs aren't one and the same.


    heres something i just pulled of craigslist--just shows you got some options, and a msc would be analogous:

    "We are seeking people with programming experience (preferably C++) who are looking to apply that knowledge to trading equities on an intraday basis. We will provide capital for people to execute automated trading programs. We provide generous payout on profits.

    Programmers will retain control of their intellectual property. You would be able to test algorithms on live market data, and backtest.

    We are willing to povide training in equity trading and securities licenses. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in programming with an interest in learning the financial markets. "

    see, you already got a headstart! Now you just have to figure out the trading part...
    #12     Aug 12, 2006
  3. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Oh grow up.

    I was offered a job by both Bright and Questrade...
    Primarily because they were both fascinated by my advanced hedging strategies.

    Both clearly intended to rip off all of my "intellectual property"...
    To the ridiculous degree...
    That the 2 Questrade principals dsicussed ** in front of me **...
    Simplistic ways to clone what I was doing.

    Fortunately, there is no easy way to clone what I do...
    It would take minimum 2 very talented software engineer/traders 1-2 years...
    To build systems similar to mine...
    Not counting learning curves that can be years.

    The point is...
    Unless you have it in writing...
    And have the resources to win a protracted legal battle with an elephant...
    (Minimum $100,000 legal fund)...
    Everyone will ** routinely ** steal your "intellectual property".
    #13     Aug 12, 2006
  4. newguy1


    yikes, pretty naive. In truth, i didn't pay much attention to it, was just pointin out an ad existed for cs and trading.

    like the newb i am, (if i had any cs skills), i'd of probably toiled away and been taken advantage of.

    Good point hound. (man, the more stories I hear...makes me think this industry is just saturated with shady folks. I mean I've had multiple first hand encounters, but in the back of my head I like to think, "ah, they can't all be shady". and then you mention that. lol
    #14     Aug 12, 2006
  5. Omgdallas, I think you have lots of good things happening now. You can write code to test trading methods. Download price data off the internet and backtest with it. Don't worry about your full time job for the moment. You can always go looking for another job. If you can successfully develop a trading system then it will help you for the rest of your life. Compounding really works and you are young. You might grow your money for 50 years. A 10 % return on $ 25,000 investment compounded annually for 50 years can make a very big pile of money.
    #15     Aug 12, 2006
  6. trader_XX


    Your best shot is a MSFE (MS financial engineering) degree. Most of these guys dont know what they're talking about here. I know because I was in your position 1 year ago. And now, 1 year later, I just weeks ago started working at one of the top investment banks on the street at the interest rate derivatives desk.

    I did an undergrad degree in Electrical Engineering. I then began working on my MS in engineering. It was at this time that I realized that I wanted to be a trader. I began taking courses in my school's financial engineering program, reading books, and even got a programming gig at a hedge fund to help me learn the business.

    When fall recruiting came around I applied to the jobs just like the other MFE students. I landed one of my top choices.

    They recruit the MFE students like you have no idea. Those guys all got jobs. They have something like a 99% placement rate if you go to a good program. And the starting pay is ridiculous.

    I was able to scoot in there because I did the hedge fund internship which caught a lot of recruiters eyes. It showed hard work and a genuine interest. I used any IN that i had, in this case programming. I also networked with alums from my undergrad school.

    The point is that there is no ONE way in there. You dont have to get a phd. And it isn't impossible. It's very possible.

    Your best bet honestly is an MFE. You will have a great shot landing a trading gig, or at least a quant role at a bank where you can later move into trading. The good programs are Columbia, NYU, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, and Berkeley. I would recommend Columbia's because you can do it in 1 year, and the proximity to wall street makes interviewing easy and means that a lot of banks recruit heavily there. Some of the programs are called MS in Quantitative Finance or Mathematical Finance or Computational Finance, but they're all basically Financial Engineering degrees. The coursework is practically identical.

    good luck
    #16     Aug 25, 2006
  7. And for those of us who can't make in the Ivy League?
    #17     Aug 25, 2006
  8. Cheese


    If you began a career in programming .. then that is what it is.

    Stay with it and forget entirely about trading and markets. You wouldn't be suitable.
    #18     Aug 25, 2006
  9. Luke_P


    I have to disagree with most of the posts here. The bottom line is that it is your life, do what you want and what you enjoy. Having programming skills can be hard to come by. Sure there are a million programmers out there but most of them are happy being slaves to people who know the real value of custom software. If I were you I would continue with your current direction. Get a real automated trading platform like NeoTicker and spend as much time as possible coding your strategies and backtesting them on historical data. Don't trade for a full year but learn from trading professionals on this forum and others. When you finally do start you will have a better chance at success than most, IMO.
    #19     Aug 25, 2006
  10. I tend to agree with Luke above.

    Keep your job, take your spare time and learn to trade and make money consistently while you save enough money up to give you a good shot at it once you have a methodology that works. When that time come, do it off hours/part time until you've amassed enough money that you have no need of the job at all, and can live 10 or 20 years on what you've made.

    That's what I wish I had done. Got there anyway, but the hard way.

    Good luck
    #20     Aug 26, 2006