Where do I hire a programmer to create or help me set up a system for analysis?

Discussion in 'Programming' started by Laissez Faire, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Hello all,

    I am a programming illiterate and I need help to create either a custom application or set up a system using publicly available software. I believe that what I want to do can be done with Excel VBA. It is a matter of statistical analysis and modeling.

    As it were, I already hired a programmer from Guru to complete this project for me, but he was not able to finish it in time and I don`t think he would have been able to complete it anyway judging from the samples he sent me.

    I consider using Guru one more time, as several of the other bidders seemed to be well qualified, so perhaps my error was simply in choosing the wrong programmer.

    Are there any other resources where I can find a good programmer who understands statistical analysis and financial markets? Not a requirement, but it may be an advantage.

    Thanks in advance,

    Laissez Faire
  2. you can go to http://www.activequant.org and figure out a deal with them. it all depends on the work that you have done already.
  3. Here are two key questions to ask a programmer for how they approach programming both in and out of the financial sector:

    1) Are you familiar with object-oriented programming, and do you use it frequently?
    2) What error testing methodologies do you use?

    These are very basic questions, but it filters out a lot of people. For question 1, the person should answer yes. If they say no, it should be for performance reasons, or because the scope of the project does not require it. For question 2, you want a person to definitely mention unit testing and debugging the software through trial and error. Once again, these are basic things for a good programmer. If you want, contact me regarding any programmers you are considering, and I'll give you a hand evaluating them as time permits. I have a programming background myself, and I interview and hire other programmers fairly often for work, so this is something I am familiar with.
  4. odesk.com
    vworker.com (formerly rentacoder)
  5. 2rosy


    whats your project? it probsbly doesnt need a programmer and there is already something available
  6. Yes, LF, post your requirements or specs. You'll probably find that you need little, if any, custom programming, and a commercail or open-source platform can be set up to do what you want.
  7. I've seen it advised to hire three programmers from an online site such as Guru, and give them all a simple task that should take no more than 4 hours to complete. The one who you feel does the best job, hire them for the actual project. Mind you, this advice is for basic stuff, not high frequency trading or mission critical software.

    Once you mention Excel and VBA, any programmer is going to assume that the complexity level is low. Generally speaking, competent programmers try to avoid VBA. If your project is not much work, VBA should be OK. If the project is already half-complete, you might stick with VBA. Otherwise consider agreeing to whatever language the software engineer is comfortable with. C, C++, Java, C#, Python, etc.

    Feel free to PM me the specs, or post the details to this thread.
  8. best advice I got from another poster

    Also, regarding hiring out someone to program for you I'd be very careful. The saying "you get what you pay for" really holds true with programmers and programming. There are lots of guys out there (especially on ET) that are also trading these strategies on the side so they offer help with programming just to acquire new ideas and strategies. Think of it as a relationship not as a contracted out job. The code will forever need to be improved on and bugs will need to be fixed. You are going to want to have a good relationship with a programmer and have them around for a while. Just do your homework before you get into bed with someone.
  9. Thank you very much, gentlemen. The answers in this thread have revived my faith in the kindness of the human spirit. I can`t adress you all specifically, so let me answer all your questions generally.

    I have a friend who is taking a PHD in finance and is an aspiring programmer, using both VBA, MATLAB and C#, but I`m not sure if he is able to undertake the task and I would prefer to let someone I know can handle it do it from the start. I will read through all the links you guys sent me. Thanks.

    Yes, I believe it can be done with commercial software. I already bought MATLAB on a student license, so that is an option, but I have not invested any time and considerable money in it yet, so I have no attachments at this point.

    Most of what I want to do is public knowledge, although it does not seem to be common knowledge, at least here. Because of that, I do not want to divulge too much information here, although it is hardly anything revolutionary.

    It is a matter of statistical analysis and modeling of intraday price data. Automating the process of collecting daily metrics of the intraday price gyrations, volatility analysis, coding each day according to specific parameters and integrating it in a framework where it is possible to do historical queries and predictions based on this information. I expext that once completed, the model will have predictive value, an evolution from the descriptive and simplistic statistics I`m currently using. I may be disappointed, but I think the ideas hold some promise and I want to investigate it further.

    I have been using 1-minute data as input for my analysis and I believe that is enough to get started as I`m focusing on the intermediate or major intraday price swings, however, it would be nice to set it up such that I can implement tick data at a later time without any major changes. I assume storing the data in a database is a must, although I`ve heard different opinions on this.

    I imagine updating the model and system on an EOD basis, but it may be interesting if it is possible to set it up such that the database receives live price data and use this as input throughout the trading day.

    Thanks in advance,

    Laissez Faire
    #10     Aug 18, 2012