Programming my setups - COMPLETE BEGINNER

Big_P

Member
67 9
Hi all,

I am looking to programme my setups. I'll give you some background first.

I have been part-time trading just one futures market, on one timeframe for over 10 years. My setups have got to the point of being so clearly defined that I believe they could be programmed. I would like to attempt this so that I can free up some time to start looking at other markets and expand my trading knowledge.

I really don't want this thread to get into a debate about whether this is possible or not. I believe it is, so please can we use that as a starting point and I'll let the computer prove me right or wrong!

The problem is, I have absolutely no idea how to go about this. My knowledge of programming is zero and when it comes to automating a strategy, I am utterly clueless. Conceptually, I understand that I could develop a code that would place a trade when x+y+z happens. Apart from that, I'm lost.

I trade with Ninjatrader level II through a US broker and use eSignal as my charting.

Ideally, I would like to employ a company who could sit down with me, take down my rules and code them up. I don't want a random individual on here saying "I'll do that for you!" as I'd be concerned about them nicking my 10 years of hard work. I'm looking for somebody who codes for a living and does this sort of thing all the time. Somebody who has absolutely no interest in whether my strategy makes money or not.

I don't have the skills to learn to code myself. Given my computer illiteracy, this would take decades!

Where on earth do I start please? I am very new to this side of trading, so please be gentle!

Big P
 

Trader333

Moderator
8,502 881
There is a thread on this although probably wont be of use if you want someone to do all the work for you which is here:
Algorithmic Trading

Also, I would caution against hiring someone who has no knowledge of trading as I know of other traders who have done this and because the programmer had no trading knowledge the code didn't work the way they wanted. Getting it sorted also took a lot of time and many interations before they were happy. What matters is that you have a very good abillity to clearly specify what you need from whoever you use to program the code. As for worrying that someone will take your ideas and use them, well that will also apply to anyone who writes the program in my view. It would be better to find someone who you can trust who has trading knowledge and coding ability and agree a joint venture with an agreed and signed NDA contract.
 
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NVP

Legendary member
36,765 1,880
Hi all,

I am looking to programme my setups. I'll give you some background first.

I have been part-time trading just one futures market, on one timeframe for over 10 years. My setups have got to the point of being so clearly defined that I believe they could be programmed. I would like to attempt this so that I can free up some time to start looking at other markets and expand my trading knowledge.

I really don't want this thread to get into a debate about whether this is possible or not. I believe it is, so please can we use that as a starting point and I'll let the computer prove me right or wrong!

The problem is, I have absolutely no idea how to go about this. My knowledge of programming is zero and when it comes to automating a strategy, I am utterly clueless. Conceptually, I understand that I could develop a code that would place a trade when x+y+z happens. Apart from that, I'm lost.

I trade with Ninjatrader level II through a US broker and use eSignal as my charting.

Ideally, I would like to employ a company who could sit down with me, take down my rules and code them up. I don't want a random individual on here saying "I'll do that for you!" as I'd be concerned about them nicking my 10 years of hard work. I'm looking for somebody who codes for a living and does this sort of thing all the time. Somebody who has absolutely no interest in whether my strategy makes money or not.

I don't have the skills to learn to code myself. Given my computer illiteracy, this would take decades!

Where on earth do I start please? I am very new to this side of trading, so please be gentle!

Big P

hey P


ok firstly dont worry ........if you need programming theres an army out there who work for peanuts .....i have used loads of contract programmers over the last 20 years .........alongside a lot of trader/programmers who did it for free as they were getting my ideas / strategies as payment ........

the thing you have to do first is get a few decent strategies together and also find your niche market , patterns , timeframe etc etc

until you specialise a little yuo cant get detailed on your system / rules

once you have some look for similar systems out there...........no one has original ideas anymore .....trust me

then if needed ask for programming help ..............i use freelancer.com ...........theres bags of trader programmers on there and most ive paid is perhaps $200 for something that was a BEAST !!........most stuff much cheaper

negociate with them and ensure you get what you paid for

worth it

N
 
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NVP

Legendary member
36,765 1,880
also .......if you can learn a little programmig it helps

in truth i never reveal the full strategy or settings to my programmers .......i offer up say 90% of system to be programmed ....then finnish it myself ...protecting my ideas

not being bigheaded ........but i refuse to pay them and hand them a decent system toboot !!

N
 
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Big_P

Member
67 9
Trader 333 and NVP,

Thanks very much both of you for your replies. Some great pointers there.

I am quite confident that one of my setups can be defined so clearly that I wouldn't have a problem explaining the rules to a programmer, even a non-trading programmer.

The two approaches are interesting ..

- A joint venture with a programmer with trading knowledge
- Going to freelancer.com or similar.

Food for thought. I'm going to mull this one over!

Thanks again

Big P
 

NVP

Legendary member
36,765 1,880
Trader 333 and NVP,

Thanks very much both of you for your replies. Some great pointers there.

I am quite confident that one of my setups can be defined so clearly that I wouldn't have a problem explaining the rules to a programmer, even a non-trading programmer.

The two approaches are interesting ..

- A joint venture with a programmer with trading knowledge
- Going to freelancer.com or similar.

Food for thought. I'm going to mull this one over!

Thanks again

Big P
you can always ask on the big forums for JV's with other traders .....dont be surprised though if you dont get any "big" names interested as they naturally get a lot of requests from many traders to team up ......they will tend to only work with other "names" who have proved that can trade and be sucessful (albeit without programming much)

i was lucky as once i had proved myself a few years back on here and other forums a few really good programmers stepped up and we did some great work together across the years ......the programming was way beyond my abilities ....lucky me

look over the posts and experience of anyone interested in you .....it takes time to trust people ......and that trust goes both ways

N
 

NVP

Legendary member
36,765 1,880
There is a thread on this although probably wont be of use if you want someone to do all the work for you which is here:
Algorithmic Trading

Also, I would caution against hiring someone who has no knowledge of trading as I know of other traders who have done this and because the programmer had no trading knowledge the code didn't work the way they wanted. Getting it sorted also took a lot of time and many interations before they were happy. What matters is that you have a very good abillity to clearly specify what you need from whoever you use to program the code. As for worrying that someone will take your ideas and use them, well that will also apply to anyone who writes the program in my view. It would be better to find someone who you can trust who has trading knowledge and coding ability and agree a joint venture with an agreed and signed NDA contract.
T333 is right ..........but in truth ive had many NDA's ignored in the past ..........a lot of cowboys out there ......sadly
 

NVP

Legendary member
36,765 1,880
the other bonus to getting strategies coded is that you will inevitably find you have not defined things anything like the precision needed ......that comes with time and practice .....you will realise this once you talk to a GOOD programmer ......!!
 
M

member275544

0 0
not sure if this is going to help, if anything perhaps a perspective..
what you want, depending on how complex it is, could be very expensive. there are companies that may offer a fixed price. you should look at this, rather than time which can just drag.
i've been using amibroker and my coding skills were also relatively zero when i started. gradually using examples and others codes it has become alot better. I'm going to suggest that you potentially try this approach

recently i asked someone to code something for me, and quite simply he got it completely wrong. however immediately afterwards, i'd managed to get a little further. so my advice is this:
start learning. you may have a great idea, however it wont be your last idea i suspect.
when you are comfortable you have exceeded your x+y+z then look for the very next part for help. but i wouldnt look at asking for a complete turnkey solution as you will learn nothing and be right back at the beginning as soon as you have another idea.

it wont take decades to get to a good enough level just to get to the next stage. sometimes you may need a hand, and thats fine just as long as you take something from it. also ninja if thats the program you're going to use, uses ninjascript which is as close to C if im not mistaken. this is a very common language, meaning there should be lots of free code you could get to leverage
this is certainly what i've found with amibroker

if you really do want to spend more, just beware it may not be as successful as you'd thought. then again back to square one and forked out however much
if you STILL want to ignore this message, choose someone who has demonstrated clear ability with a similar or same project they can show you. anyone can say " i'll do that for you". get them to show you
at least this way you know they have done it before

just a few lessons learnt from my side. I will be looking to study this area myself as i know time will go by, and strategies become less effective, i'll be looking for something else. or i'll be thinking of something else, such as what happens if i scale in, scale out of a position, if i add regular amounts to my account, if i compound, what is the optimum account size or position size etc. all these things, any little thought, makes your initial idea, to a large degree, a waste of money

let me know if at all i can help, and i'll try as much as i can. i do feel for you, as its an area that has taken a long time, however in this time ideas change, they get refined
 

Big_P

Member
67 9
Thanks again guys, some brilliant advice here.

NVP - It's interesting that you say NDAs get ignored. This was exactly my concern from the start. I like the idea of going to freelancer.com or similar and finding someone but you are right, who to trust?

It is feasible that I could give them 90% of the system and then do the rest myself. But then I'd have to learn to code. Which begs the question, why not do it all myself?

Malaguti - excellent reply, thank you. It's interesting that you said coders simply get it wrong. You probably all went through this, thinking that your rules were fool-proof. I guess I'm at that early stage at the moment, I'm sure I'll get a reality check at some point! I am going to take your advice and start looking at the basics, see how I get on.

My brother-in-law (well brother-in-law 'to be' ... I'm getting married this year) works in IT. I spoke to him about this and he said he might be able help. He doesn't have any trading background which worries me but I've decided to start down this route, see how it goes.

I'll keep you posted how I get on,

Big P
 

NVP

Legendary member
36,765 1,880
MT4 is pretty easy to learn .......even i did it ......:)

all the other stuff...forget it ....

as an example .....

I was really lucky a few years back and partnered with an actual quant programmer for mega uk Bank (met him on here at T2win as he was fascinated with my correlation / strengthmeter work)

we worked together for around 2 years and he built what still represents 80% of my own bespoke trading systems at present time

sadly he went back in F/T to programming and never had the time to trade much or work me since .....

N
 

Trader333

Moderator
8,502 881
....sadly he went back in F/T to programming and never had the time to trade much or work me since .....
Was that because he was unable to make an adequate profit from trading or did he not trade at all ?
 

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