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DigitalRain
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 5th, 2011, 1:03 pm

Hi all,I am undertaking my course in finance at the moment and i have an elective unit which means i can take a subject from different faculties at my university. I can only do one and it narrows it down to either:VBA and SQL (covered in one unit) orJava. I can't do C++ as i dont have any computer science background.I was wondering which one of these are the most 'useful' or 'widely used' in the quant finance industry today?Thanks!
 
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capafan2
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 5th, 2011, 2:14 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: DigitalRainHi all,I am undertaking my course in finance at the moment and i have an elective unit which means i can take a subject from different faculties at my university. I can only do one and it narrows it down to either:VBA and SQL (covered in one unit) orJava. I can't do C++ as i dont have any computer science background.I was wondering which one of these are the most 'useful' or 'widely used' in the quant finance industry today?Thanks!Without prior CS background java is out of your reach as well. Stick to VBA - SQL is something you will have to learn and will learn along the way-no way to avoid it.
 
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quantmeh
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 5th, 2011, 2:47 pm

you dont need comp sci background to learn C++. treat it as accounting, GAAP or something like that: very boring, convoluted but simple if you have patience. you don't need any background any thing and minimal amount of brain power to learn the programming language
 
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katastrofa
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 5th, 2011, 4:52 pm

Java is becoming quite popular in high-frequency trading, and still allows doing quantitative stuff. VBA+SQL is strictly IT.
 
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tu160
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 5th, 2011, 6:21 pm

Last edited by tu160 on December 9th, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Cuchulainn
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 5th, 2011, 6:54 pm

QuoteI can't do C++ as i dont have any computer science background.This background is not necessary, as such. A number or MFE studies do hire external (and internal) trainers in C++. It is however useful if you can do a (wee) bit of programming. With C++ the emphasis should be on that 20% of the syntax that cuts 80% of the mustard (the other 80% that has 20% impact is _nice_to_have_).Personally, I would advise on C# instead of the others, esp. for desktop; it is so much easier. SQL can be learned on the job.
Last edited by Cuchulainn on February 4th, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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katastrofa
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 5th, 2011, 7:50 pm

QuoteOriginally posted by: tu160I wouldn't touch Java right now because it's unclear how it will be played out by Oracle. Oracle vs Google litigation does not produce any good for it. And Java is not much easier than C++.I wouldn't worry about Oracle. There is so much existing Java systems that they won't kill it. They may want to try to monetize Java a bit more aggressive than Sun (good luck), that's all.And I don't think many people will agree that Java is not much easier than C++. For one, IDE tools are much more advanced.
 
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Cuchulainn
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 5th, 2011, 9:13 pm

QuoteAnd I don't think many people will agree that Java is not much easier than C++. For one, IDE tools are much more advanced. It's a bit easier in the beginning, then it becomes just like any other language. IDEs are like cosmetics. I think Java is good for distrbuted apps; for the desktop it is more problematic I have heard (event model, Swing.) And Java generics is another story, it's not there. Only C++ has evolved in this respect. C# generics also has annoying limitations.
Last edited by Cuchulainn on February 4th, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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demha
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 5th, 2011, 9:53 pm

To fe fair, C# really is no better than Java for desktop development (both need similar resource requirements). However, Java has had a bad reputation traditionally due to a bad start in GUI development. Java Swing is a very efficient and capable framework today. Sun was never a leader in desktop tooling and Microsoft was always stronger here. Hence, Microsoft has made C# look much better than it is, by developing good tooling like the Visual Studio IDEs for it. In contrast one will be hard pressed to find something equivalent for Java GUI development.Regarding the question of needing Comp Sci for C++ programming, I'd say that any programmer will benefit from some theoretical Comp Sci, whether it be VBA, Fortran, Python etc. After one learns the syntax, one will be limited by their background in the theoretical underpinnings of software engineering as well as the more discrete mathematical apsects.
 
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tu160
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 5th, 2011, 10:06 pm

C# would be my top pick for beginner. They have reasonably coherent generics, linq, simple multithreading. Syntax is very C++ like. IDE is great. The only bad thing is that wall street firms just hate C# on your resume. Only VB.NET is worse.The same goes for C++ vs Java. Wall street pays more for beginner "quantish" C++ and it's MUCH closer to the front desk. This is the deal-breaker.
Last edited by tu160 on February 5th, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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renorm
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 5th, 2011, 11:39 pm

Java/C#/C++ don't require computer science background. These days most of the CS grads don't not know proper CS. They are mere IT specialist disguised as computer scientists.I personally recommend C++, since it is all macho programming language with every possible tool you can imagine (including unsafe ones).
Last edited by renorm on February 5th, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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capafan2
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 6th, 2011, 1:28 am

QuoteOriginally posted by: DigitalRainHi all,I am undertaking my course in finance at the moment and i have an elective unit which means i can take a subject from different faculties at my university. I can only do one and it narrows it down to either:VBA and SQL (covered in one unit) orJava. I can't do C++ as i dont have any computer science background.I was wondering which one of these are the most 'useful' or 'widely used' in the quant finance industry today?Thanks!How much java or C++ can you learn in a semester. Atleast with VBA/SQL you can be productive as a excel developer which is a marketable skill. With java/C++ you will not have enough knowledge to get through an entry level interview.People are very C++ macho here (C++ is a macho language - give me a break) . Learn C++ if you want to but if you are going to do one semester worth of work do VBA/SQL and learn something useful you can learn.
 
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Cuchulainn
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 6th, 2011, 8:45 am

QuoteTo fe fair, C# really is no better than Java for desktop development (both need similar resource requirements). Programmer productivity in C# is very high. Other factors that are important are its interop with Excel, C++/CLI and other MS products.I know Java but I think C# is somewhat more compact. Of course, C++ is the most flexible but C++ productivity tends to 4-5 less than that of C# in my experience.QuoteJava/C#/C++ don't require computer science background. These days most of the CS grads don't not know proper CS. They are mere IT specialist disguised as computer scientist.Sad, but true in many cases. What CS education tends to neglect is the _applications_ to external world.
Last edited by Cuchulainn on February 5th, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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renorm
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 6th, 2011, 8:56 am

I forgot a smiley in my previous post. It is fixed now C++ together with its little brothers Java and C# are the big 3. There is no 4-th one. Everything else is specialized and usually works together with one of the big 3.Btw, 1 semester of coursework won't get you too far in anything. IMHO, basic programming isn't the best use of class time. Programming should be learned by coding. Save your class time for something else.
Last edited by renorm on February 5th, 2011, 11:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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demha
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Which is more useful: VBA and SQL or Java?

February 6th, 2011, 2:08 pm

The following MIT Courseware program may teach you perhaps more than what your Uni is offering:http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/electrical-e ... 08/Teaches you the basics, but with a good foundation.
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