When it comes to “coding” your algorithmic strategies, you may be a lot closer to doing it yourself than you think. But, what is coding?

One of the leading marketing points for the Trading Technologies Algo Design Lab is that it allows you to create custom trading algos “without writing a single line code”. I always found this to be a little troubling because I think you absolutely are writing code.

You might not be typing in every single command and subroutine, but come on, this is 2016. With all of the text-to-speech programs out there do you think every author types out every word of their books?

Of course with ADL you are not typing out every line by hand but why would you? More importantly why does that matter?

Spoiler Alert: Even the most hard core developers reuse code to do things that need to be repeated from application to application.

In fact, most software companies that have open APIs offer sample code to do the main communication with the exchanges they connect to. All of them show you how to pull data in and the vast majority provide you with the code for your most common outbound actions like “Send Order”, “Cancel Order” and “Change Order”.

Traditional API developers are just creating the business logic that triggers each of these pieces of sample code.

While this method does provide you the freedom to do almost anything, it comes with the heavy price tag of wasted time.

Learning a traditional programming language can take months if not years.
Learning Curve vs. Wasted Development Time

Becoming proficient in ADL isn’t a weekend project but if you put the effort in you can be creating some powerful tools in much less time.

Then there is the actual algo project itself. If you are coding, ADL will do it in a fraction of the time. That is not only extra time spent coding but also opportunity costs of not running your algo in production sooner.

We all know that some of these trades are only viable for a short time. Don’t waste it all getting ready to trade.

Reusable Knowledge is the best kind

Where this slow evolution issue starts all over is when you take into account what most successful seasoned traders do once they get an algo that executes their strategy as designed: Start working on the NEXT strategy.

If the algo truly has taken over much of your trading activities, what else are you going to do with this new free time? I would focus on refining the current algo, find more products it would work in and figure out what the next strategy will be.

The only problem is that if you are using traditional coding methods, this slow evolution issues starts all over again. And if you are already tied up coding the refinements to the last algo…….

What are you waiting for?

I don’t know about you guys, but I want to leverage whatever modern efficiencies I can to get me in the markets I want, trading the strategies I believe in, with tools that execute at speeds which allow me to be competitive for as long as possible.

The windows of opportunity for any particular strategy are getting smaller by the day, so I need to be "coding" with the fastest coding tools available.

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Professor Algo