Combining corporate finance and programming doesn’t have to be difficult
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Learning to code can be fun, and anyone with a passion can get started with any programming language. Financial professionals who want to venture into the tech world have a ton of options available to them. All they need is the right advice, the right resources, and the willingness to get started and keep going.
Have a plan in place
Before you start sorting through the many programming languages on the market or even sign up for the many free online resources, it is advisable to start by setting goals. The idea is to know what you want. For example, ask yourself the following questions to make sure you’re on the right track and don’t just succumb to the hype of being a coder:
- What value will learning a programming language add to my career in finance?
- Do I want to change jobs or move on to a more technical path in the finance niche?
- Do I already have coding skills?
- Where do I want to be professionally in two, three or five years?
The above questions are by no means exhaustive, but they will open your mind to knowing what you want. By going even further to define your goals, you can begin to map programming languages to their core functions. For example, you can learn:
- Java, Swift or Kotlin to help you develop fintech applications.
- Java, Python and SQL for financial modeling.
- Matlab, Python and C ++ to run simulations.
- R and Python to advance your data science skills.
- Matlab, C ++. Python, Perl and Java for the development of AI trading platforms and algorithms.
Knowing what you want and what you need to make it happen will take you to the next step: learning to code.
Learn to code
Since you’re a busy, full-time professional, the thought of taking a new programming course can seem a little daunting. The truth is, learning to code can also be quite demanding, and you will need to set your priorities correctly.
A rule of thumb is to describe the programming languages that you will need before you develop this application, write this algorithm, be a data analyst, etc. You may need to choose a mentor who is already doing what you want. That way, you’ll get the right advice, like which programming language to start with and the best resources to speed up your path to success.
Learning a programming language requires consistency, and you’ll need to take advantage of coding communities like stack overflow, freecodecamp, and relevant subreddits. Likewise, be sure to practice the new skills you learn. Andrew Hong, Technical Business Analyst at ConsenSys, recommends learning by doing.
Mastering a language in the coding world will not get you going. The reason being that real world problems require sophisticated solutions. That said, to develop your coding skills, you need to start at specific points.
Unlike other professions where you can start anywhere and start piecing everything together on the go, coding requires proper structuring. In other words, you can’t just apply the mapping from one language to another.
Before you start with a programming language, first understand how you are going to make it evolve. The first language can be difficult, but if you do it right the second will be a little easier. This is because you will have created a learning path, and switching to a new or related language won’t be much of a challenge.
As you learn to code and switch between languages, be sure to update your portfolio and start showing your skills to the world. Another important consideration is choosing a Coding Bootcamp as you don’t have a lot of spare time to learn how to code. That said, not all coding Bootcamps offer the same experience. Some are a bit expensive while others offer discounts to certain professionals / people.
Angela Stone is Marketing Manager at Eleven Fifty Academy.