56. How to Learn Programming Skill for Algorithmic Trader

Published at 1652115405.513

Many wonder how to learn coding or a programming language. This article will provide directions and give resources to help you learn programming.

Which Programming Language to Learn

The key question is not what programming language you should learn but how to learn to code. The most important factor in learning is the programming mindset. It takes time to develop the right mindset; however, some languages will help you train better than others.

In our experience, Python is the easiest language for beginners to learn and practice because it’s most similar to natural language. Some other programming concepts and techniques may be better expressed in other languages like C or C++. Many university programming courses still start with C and C++ for introductory classes. A famous example is the CS50 course from Harvard University.

If you have a class of choice, it’s best to follow the programming language taught in the class.

Where to Learn Programming

There are many ways to learn programming such as in computer science majors during college, or vocational schools. Or you can also take short courses at IT centers. There are also online courses and other materials for self-study. These options will be presented more in-depth below.

Study at formal colleges or after-school centers. These are face-to-face, offline learning. If possible, formal education at a university or vocational school is a great option. However, it’s also the most expensive in terms of time and money. This option may not be suitable for those who have worked or studied a different discipline. Short-term courses (from 3 to 6 months), mostly outside working hours, are another option for working professionals. Offline classes help learners interact directly with instructors and shorten the learning time compared to self-study. These formal courses also make it easy for learners to engage in a community of fellow learners for lifelong connections. In summary, offline classes should be taken seriously if possible.

Online courses and online materials. Beginners can head to online platforms that help learn to code directly in the web browser like Codecademy and CodeSchool; online learning communities and online course marketplaces such as Skillshare and Udemy. There are also formal online courses such as Coursera, edX, and Udacity. Each has different pros and cons for learning how to program.

Online platform to program directly in the browser. There are many platforms like this but two stand out: Codecademy and CodeSchool. Both offer a wide range of courses for all levels from beginner to advanced in different programming languages such as Python and Java.

The advantage of these platforms is that learners can try and practice programming right in the web browser, without having to install and configure any programming language and supporting tools on a computer. This makes it easier for beginners to start programming. However, this option does not help learners understand how a programming language actually works in a computer system. When they need to develop a program that can run on a real system, they will need to learn the software development process and the computer system.

Online course marketplace and online learning communities. Udemy and Skillshare are two great examples of this type. Learners can find many courses related to programming, such as Python, Java, etc. These courses are created by independent content creators. The variety will help learners have more options to find suitable approaches and content for themselves. However, most of these classes are not free, and learners may have difficulty choosing the right courses due to the variety.

Formal online courses. These are the first major open online course platforms (MOOCs –Massive Open Online Courses), launched in 2011 and 2012 by professors from Stanford University (Coursera, Udacity), Harvard University, and MIT (edX).

These platforms offer courses from mainstream programs of top universities around the world. These courses can be an alternative to traditional face-to-face classes at university. These platforms have gradually structured their programs to be more relevant to online students.

For example, a course that initially lasts a few months (typically 3 to 4 months) is now broken down into several 1-month courses. So learners can keep up with the pace more easily. This is the closest option to traditional offline university courses. Learners can expect to learn programming from scratch in different programming languages. However, for those who don’t like the traditional way of learning, it can be difficult and sometimes boring to follow these courses.

In general, whether it’s an online or face-to-face class, learners need to carefully consider their needs and efforts (in terms of time and money) to choose a suitable option. A clear goal, like being able to write a simple Python program in 6 months while working full-time, would be helpful to motivate learners on the path ahead.

What if You Don’t Have Enough Time and Money to Learn Programming but Still Want to Pursue Algorithmic Trading?

This is also the key question ALGOTRADE founders have when starting the company. Our short-term goal is to make tools so that traders don’t need to know how to program to still start their journey with algorithmic trading. We are working hard to bring this tool to customers in the near future. We’ll keep you updated!