Question: hiring custom programmer

Discussion in 'Strategy Building' started by rdavenport, Jun 22, 2005.

  1. I have developed a system which seems to work well on equities. I would estimate it to be of medium complexity (uses three timeframes, 2 external or non-price/volume inputs, and will probably require 3 called sub-routines). I am interested in having someone program it and backtest it for all the stocks in the S&P 500.

    Does anyone have experience hiring programmers for system development?

    Here are my questions/concerns:

    (1) There are a lot of programmers out there. How can I choose
    a very good programmer who is very professional?
    (2) What is a typical or "fair" rate to pay?
    (3) How can I be sure my system won't be stolen or made public
    (4) Will programmers do iterative backtesting to optimize the
    (5) What is the best data source to use (TradeStation, Wealth
    Lab, e-ignal, other?)?
    (6) I would prefer someone who has worked with institutions
    or hedge funds in the past.

    I am interested in any positive or negative experiences different people may have had along these lines.
  2. The going rate is $75 to $125 per hour. Unfortunately the procedure that gives the best pre-quotation estimates is for you, the buyer, to make your best guess about how many hours it "ought to" take, and then multiply that number by 2.5. Yes really.

    There's a tradeoff between cost and confidentiality. The more well-established "name" trading system programmers, who have been in business several years, have earned their reputation for confidentality and secrecy. And what do you know, they charge the most. In this group I would include Darryl Tremelling, Sam Tennis, and Stuart Okorofsky. Search the classified ads in the usual trader's mags to find them.

    At the other end of the spectrum you can shop your programming "job" at one of the Rent-A-Coder websites. You'll get an amazingly cheap quote from somebody (several people, actually) outside North America and Western Europe. On the other hand, they may know nothing - ZIPPO - about trading, and you'll have to teach them (and pay them for billable hours while they absorb your teaching). Then there's the issue of secrecy: if YOU were a programmer in Romania, billing at $15 per hour, would you avoid the temptation to resell the client's secret trading system?
  3. TGregg


    Not sure if you want a general indicator sort of thing, or a full-fledged trading platform and/or automatic trading system.

    The first one is not a huge effort, but the others will literally take hundreds of hours of programming time, unless your coder has some sort of framework already built. This can be custom code he or others wrote or could be a platform like TradeStation or Wealthlab. And I think TS or WL would only work well in an automated or mostly automated system.
  4. How do you know it? have you traded it for few monthes
    at least and profitable? Is so, post your account statment
    with sensative infos erased, and not only they ignore the
    fees, but fight over it

    Check Easylanguage specialist for TS around 25 vendors,
    and 120 somthing add-on developers with less coding
    skills but might with better trading ideas
  5. Nana is right. You really can't say that you have something unless you have actually run the "system" for a few months.

    If you truly have something that works well, I would be very careful who I share it with. Even though most traders wouldn't know a successful system if it hit them in the face, there are those who will pick up on something if it is new. Be careful and good luck!

  6. Yes I have been using this with positive results since the beginning of the year. I'm currently trading it (real money) on ES, NQ, ER, and YM and a few ETFs (SMH, XLE, and OIH). I'd like to expand into individual stocks.

    But I'd probably have to automate it for stocks. Plus there is no guarantee it will work as well for stocks. So I'd like to have it tested and if it works as well on individual stocks as on the indices, then I would automate it (and I'm sure that's a whole different set of problems).

    I don't really care if its back tested on TradeStation or Wealth Lab or something else as long as the data I get back is reliable.

    I'm definitely willing to pay more for a very high quality and reliable programmer.
  7. If your idea isn't complicate, then just anyone with
    Basic scripting ability can code it (including myself).

    But i do think any of above 20 somthing EL specialist
    can code your idea, unless it's somthing that can't be
    much quantified into numbers.

    You can't hide your strategy, unless you can code it yourself,
    you can pickup any scripting language within 3-6 monthes,
    and showme studies in EL can pinpoint your conditions on
    charts that if you have coded your strategy in a right way
    that TS understands it.

    Also tradestation securities Strategy development
    Team might do it for you or they might recommand
    others to you
    Tel: 1-800-871-3577
  8. If you are looking for a hardcore programer PM me I can give you someone that is one of the best. Not the cheapest per hour but will save you a lot of time, trouble, and cost less in the end. If you are worried about someone steeling your ideas you need to have a non circumvent confidentiality agreement signed.
  9. non circumvent confidentiality agreement= Good for toilet papers
  10. Yeah, especially in your neck of the woods...
    #10     Jun 22, 2005