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markd mod


Last Active


  • shammyx1
    Dear Mark
    Im looking to hire a programmer who can help me with my scans. What kind of background would that person need to help in the way that you are capable of?
    Best regards
    Mark S
    September 18
    • markd
      The Stockcharts scan language omits many features of a "real" programming language like variables and logic structures like if/then and loops. It does have some features of a programming language, mainly a few grammatical rules like having brackets for every condition, and limits on what can go in the brackets (two terms, separated by one operator).
      These rules are fairly easily mastered with some practice, especially if you start simple. (It seems to me from previous examples that you have this down.)

      So, the main benefit of a programming background is the habit of breaking down a problem into its parts, expressing each part in the (scan) language, and then deciding in what order to sequence the parts.

      Expressing each part of the problem in the scan language is usually what trips people up - in other words, it's the logic, not the language. You need to be able to state *specifically* what you want in terms the scan engine knows.

      For instance, it's not enough to say "I want a rising long term moving average". The scan engine doesn't understand that. So, first you have to specify *which* long term moving average (e.g. the 200 day, or sma(200,close) in scan language). And then you have specify what you mean by "rising". You could say greater than 20 days ago - sma(200, close) > 20 days ago sma(200, close). Or you could say, 10 per cent greater than 50 days ago - sma(200,close) > 50 days ago sma(200, close) * 1.1., or something else.

      If you hire a programmer, you are going to have to do this kind of thinking for them anyway - it's called writing the specifications - that's what the customer does - he tells the programmer what he wants, and then the programmer asks for specifics when the specification is not specific enough.

      I would guess you would want a programmer with a couple of years real life experience working directly with users, or a bright college kid who has written some programs and specifications of moderate difficulty. They should also have some familiarity with the market and market indicators or have a strong interest in learning.

      My personal opinion is, you will be spending a lot of time with him or her explaining what you want. That could be of some benefit because it will force you to clarify your own thinking. But, you are doing that with the scan engine anyway - when it won't run the scan or returns unexpected results, you have to clarify your thinking - and it's free. But, that may be a matter of cognitive style, so of course it's up to you.
  • Helpless
    Are interday (2 hr.) scans possible? Just a yes or no. If yes...I'll do the digging. Thanks for being alive. Conrad
    September 9