Programming + Trading = career path ?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by Detonator, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. nitro


    What is stopping you from learning to program now?

    #21     Dec 29, 2006
  2. This might help you up the learning curve.

    Ninja Trader v6

    They've already done a lot of the development work required for a robust automated platform, adding your trading skill(z) and getting up-to-speed on a programming language might get you to where you want to go (at least for your personal needs).

    This is a parth I plan on exploring fully in the comjing year.


    #22     Dec 30, 2006
  3. Heres a story.

    About a year ago I was watching an episode of Ghost in the Shell - Standalone Complex (showing the nerdy side now).

    During the episode they were tracking an individual who, as it turned out, had been dead for years. Only they handn't known this little fact because his financial records showed that he had been doing business transactions. It turned out that he had developed an automated trading program that just kept making money.

    Sound like Sci-Fi? For an experienced trader who also has decent programming skills and the ability to code at least 70% their discretionary methodology, nope.

    There are traders doing it on ET right now.


    #23     Dec 30, 2006
  4. Very nice to hear from a management level Software Engineer.

    Most of the people hear are ** absolutely delusional **...
    About both trading and programming.

    Buy Tradestation and you are a "trader".
    Write a few scripts and you're a "programmer".

    LMAO. Greed is such a mental mind f*ck.

    It takes 10 years of focused work to become a doctor or a lawyer...
    And it takes 10 years of focused work...
    To become a top trader making 6 figures ...
    Or a software engineer that's IN DEMAND.
    No one needs low level coders.

    There is no free lunch in this world.
    Why do I have to actually repeat this?
    #24     Dec 30, 2006
  5. RedDuke


    You definitely can not go wrong with C++ and FIX, but it takes years to become fluent in developing efficient and good code.
    #25     Dec 30, 2006
  6. #26     Dec 30, 2006
  7. a couple of points:

    1. you don't need to be a "developer" to work in a bank, most junior quants in banks only have the 2-3 year of 'playing' around with languages during their PHDs or their other quantiative courses..

    2. banks DO employee dedicated programmers - DEVELOPERS - who sit next to traders and some of them have not a bit clue or interest in trading.. but just build etc. whatever the trader tells them.

    3. the language of choice and c++: you'd be surprised how many people in the industry actually hate c++. you'd be even more surprised how many of them actually still use Fortran, and how common and loved the Excel VBA is. I had visited a HF about a year ago and they all used VBA (because they all understood it), I also visited ABN trading floor and they had a team of dedicated VBA programmer! really strange..

    in the financial markets, you need to be a good MANAGER. in other words, you need to understand the need of a project, and the most suitable solution. you need to have awreness of all the possibilities out there and which is best suitable. e.g. while c++ offers some advantages, it may not be suitable and prove costly and not productive for certain projects. on the other hand, you should recognise if mili seconds are important to you and u trade intraday, which solution is best. this KNOW-HOW is not limited to the programming language, but to operating systems, connectivity protocols (api vs. fix) etc..

    4. programming is not rocket science. NOTHING IS if you love it and have great interest in it. the best thing about programming is: once you learn one of them, you learn all the others with ease. a good starting point is definately VBA.

    5. if you plan to work for an institution and not for yourself (i.e. meet the demand of others and the industry) you seriously need to consider learning and being competent in more than 1 language. typical they can include but not limited to: C++, C#, VBA, JAVA, MATLAB, S+, R, VB.NET, MySQL..

    6. "quants". they don't necessary trade. they may support the prop desk of a bank, but may not necessary be a quantiative trader. they may focus in other areas that you u may or may not be interest: pricing, forecasting, building risk models.

    7. given the points in 6, to be a quant in finance, you can't just be a programmer. you need some higher level math: statistics, pure math (vectors, stochastic calculus, PDEs), econometrics and time series analysis techniques..

    8. IF u are seriously keen to be part of a bank team then you must also have a quantiative degree from a reputable university, most candidates that I've come across have PHDs from top universities. degress mainly include natural sciences: physics, chemistry, biology, engineering, maths, statistics. THE main reason for this is, you're required to actully use knowledge gained in these areas to develop new theories etc. I wouldn't be surprised if there were couple of nobel prize winners if risk managers of top banks published their prop models..

    in short, a trader-programmer/'quant' career is definately the hottest area in financial markets at the moment.
    #27     Dec 30, 2006
  8. If you work for an Investment Bank you are not normally allowed to trade your own account while working for them.
    Ofcourse you can do it in secret, but if you main selling point is that you are experienced trading and programming your own account this might make hard for you to get hired even if you say you'll stop it once hired.
    The alternative is to work for a financial consultancy or software house where this shouldn't be a problem.

    Also, IT like any other field places a high value on previous commercial experience, for each job there are dozens of resumes, most candidates are not suitable but they all come with years of commercial experience and most with IT degrees.
    You are going to find it hard to break in.
    #28     Dec 30, 2006
  9. Thanks for the information Bat's, it actually shows that a lot of the corporate level jobs aren't so much about what you know, as they are about who you know, same old same old.

    Once again, doing your own system development is going to be a learning curve, but I seriously doubt it's going to take 10 years to hammer out ... and as I've pointed-out, there are great strides being taken in the industry.

    Regards to OP for brining the subject up.

    #29     Dec 30, 2006