I work as an IT consultant and I'd like to make a move from the IT field to trading. I plan to work part time 2-3 days a week at IT and the rest at trading so that I can ease into it without needing the trading income to pay bills. I'm really lost with all the software. I currently have Fidelity's active trader program which gives me wealth lab developer for free. But I'm concerned about learning this software because I don't think I'll remain an active trader there since I'm wanting to move to futures. I am in the process of opening an IB account for the futures but then I read the data doesn't have ticks which I'm not sure if I need or not (I plan to try some of the setups from Carter's "Mastering the Trade" and he uses ticks a lot). Furthermore, because I have a strong programming background, I'd like something I can program and backtest. Once I learn how to develop this I'd like to focus my IT work on developing ATS and backtesting. So I'm thinking tradestation is the way to go. But everyone and I mean everyone complains about TS as a broker and says don't do it. But it's tempting to save $250/month by using them as my broker. So should I just place the min 10 trades a month there and do the rest at IB? I plan to trade only e-minis (mostly YM) so I don't expect to do a ton of trades every day. It seems in all the good books they mention TS & eSignal, and whenever I see indicators and backtesting it's one of those two. I don't mind spending the money if it's really worth it but I'm just not sure if I need it or if there is another option. Thanks for your advice.