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Have no idea what I'm doing

Any tips would be appreciated. I don't know how to code or any of that stuff

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Step 1: learn to code

I like https://www.codecademy.com/ but there are many others. It's probably easiest to learn Python rather than C# but I'm biased. As I was learning the basics I started looking at other people's algorithms posted here and seeing how they worked using the documentation here.

Step 2: keep doing that for a few months and you will be live trading with an algorithm in no time.

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@Channing Blanco: Welcome to the club :-) This is a pretty open ended area with few fixed rules.

Learning to code is a great start though if you intend to implement anything yourself rather than teaming or hiring.

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Coding is not the hard part. Knowing what to write is.
If you are reading the docs, googling a lot, and finding decent stack overflow answers, it may only take you a week or so to get something working but unless you know finance and trading already, that will almost certainly lose money in a live run.

  • Read everything you can find about trading and finance in general. Maybe start by diving Investopedia to the point of exhaustion.
  • Do not run anything with real money until you are confident you know all of the ways in which you can quickly empty an account.
  • Like all debt, margin is toxic. Avoid it like the plague. (same applies to shorting) 
    • Some people will disagree with this. If you understand why at a deep level then you can think about using margin, carefully.

The main added challenge with algorithmic trading is that humans invariably misunderstand their own code. We often mistake what we are reading for what we wanted it to be and generally do a lot interpreting, judging, and re-framing with all of our sensory inputs. The machines make no such mistakes. They will do exactly what you actually told them to do and nothing else. (aside from crashing and dropping off networks)  

To compensate for this issue you will need to do a fair amount of testing and poking at your code to ensure that the machines are going to do what you intended. Always be thinking of how you could be wrong or mistaken and what things could cause your system to go sideways. Try to make those scenarios happen in your testing and code around them.

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