How much coding is needed in Quantitative Finance

Quantitative Finance is a technical field that requires expertise in Mathematics and Programming. However, the programming requirements in Quantitative Finance are different from those in Software Engineering.

The programming used in Quantitative Finance is mostly scientific computing, which means that one needs to write code to perform Mathematical operations.

Scientific computer is less intensive than programming for software development, especially if you are comfortable with Mathematics. Hence, there is no need to worry if you do not have a coding background. If you are good at Mathematics and Statistics, you should be able to do well.

Note, however, there are some roles in Quantitative Finance where one is expected to have software engineering level programming knowledge. These roles are called Quantitative developer roles. Quantitative development is a sub-field of Quantitative Finance wherein one develops software for trading/risk management.

If you want to work as a Quantitative analyst, you need to learn C++/Python. In some places C# and Java are also used (but not in many places). SAS, R and MATLAB are also used (especially in big banks).

Python is becoming the language of choice in most places and SAS/MATLAB are losing their popularity. Therefore, if you are new to Quant Finance, Python should be your choice.

Focus on the below topics to begin with

  • Solving numerical equations
  • Writing an optimization routine
  • Coding for linear algebra problems (like matrix multiplication)
  • Data visualization
  • Exploratory data analysis
  • Statistical and Machine learning

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