Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Coding skills are vital for serious traders

Not until I've had to do my coding this year did I realize its importance. As financial markets today move from floor to electronic, the days of "discretionary trading" (with you stuck in a chair staring at the screen) are obsolete. Practically all institutional trading is automated at this point, because computers can be extremely fast, efficient, and immune to human errors.

Off personal experience, there is only so far one can go with excel spreadsheet modeling. Despite that Interactive Brokers offer DDE solutions for Excel users, its Java and C++ APIs are substantially more flexible and powerful. At work, we are currently running an in-house C# API to work through Orc Liquidator, a highly flexible software package for institutional trading.

Once the coding's all done, I basically watch and hope that the program does what it's supposed to do, until it does :)

Here's the good news. Coding isn't all that hard to learn, if you just do the reading and exercises. Plenty of free sources exist online. Here's a few:

1) Teach Yourself C++ in 21 Days, free C++ Compiler (Bloodshed Software)
2) Teach Yourself Java in 21 Days, free Java Compiler (Eclipse)

0 Reflections: