Where Would I Start?

Discussion in 'Automated Trading' started by oldtime, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. Over the last year my strategy has become more and more mechanical. If I wanted to automate it, where would I start?

    I know I can pay somebody to do it.

    But on nights like tonight when I am flat, I think I may enjoy doing it as a hobby, even if I never actually commit real money to it.

    The only language I ever knew was JCL.

    Would I have to learn C++?

    Or are there other simple languages that are already designed for trading?

    I trade forex with ib and have no intention of switching.
  2. I like Tradestation / Easylanguage because you get unlimited data included with the platform, but Multicharts is also very popular.

    It's more like programming in BASIC, rather than C.

    It's a great project and you will discover many Market Truths in the process.

  3. thanks for the info, I'm not looking for a new broker. I checked out the forex pricing.

    A "small markup on the spread" is no big deal if you are trading small, but the bigger you get the bigger the markup hurts.

    So I should rephrase. If I wanted to automate with ib, where would I start?
  4. dom993


    I honestly think your best bet is learning C# and using NinjaTrader ... let me explain:

    - Ninja is free, as long as you don't use it to place your orders. Which means you can use its development environment to learn & develop your strategy, for how long as it takes you, without any cost.

    - Ninja's programming framework is decent ... it might not be as easy day-1 as EasyLanguage, but I guarantee you the object-oriented language (C#) & framework will eventually make your programming life much easier.

    - C# is a pretty good object-oriented language ... it is a cousin of C++, with a lot more built-in checks to catch way more programming errors than C++. The .NET framework (C# library from MS) has very nice features to speed-up your development, not matter what you are trying to do (of course, it will take you some time to get to grips with it).

    YES, Ninja has a number of bugs & limitations (which product doesn't ?) ... on the other hand, they have a great support team, really helping everyone understand the framework & achieve what they want to do with it.

    To learn C# from the very beginning, I suggest "The C# Yellow Book" from Rob Miles, available here:

  5. Rob227


    I'm interested in learning C# and doing some testing but I am just scratching the surface on this subject.

    I just had a look at the Ninjatrader site, the download is free but which do you choose for the data? It says a two week trial is provided but are there permanent options for data that don't cost anything that will be good enough?

    Also without knowing much about this yet can I simply transfer over the C# strategy from Ninjatrader to another trading platform that uses Microsoft Excel?
  6. dom993


    Ninja (free) comes w/ a free EoD Kinetick datafeed ... sure this isn't intraday data, but that gets you some data to get started programming.

    Also, with the Ninja free version you can connect to your broker (if one of the supported list) for data-feed ... it won't let you send orders, that's the only restriction.

    WRT migrating C# strategies back to Excel, I have no idea why you would ever want to do that ...
  7. Rob227


    I'll just give the Kinetick datafeed a try. I hope this doesn't have a two week limit to it.

    The broker I am using is not on the supported list so that is not an option.

    Basically I am trading through in house software that only my firm uses. It uses C# and Excel through it's API. I am not yet clear on how this works but that is why I am asking if I can test and develop the strategy and code and then transfer it to the in house software I will be using.