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Snakes and Securities: What Python is Doing in Finance

Python is making waves on Wall Street. With a capital P, Python refers to a programming language, just like Java or C++. It is a fully open-source language, and its most recent release boosts a very clean design. Since its creation nearly thirty years ago, Python has accumulated many data science libraries. These are some of the reasons that make it a favorite in Rapid Application Development and artificial intelligence.

Python also happens to be easy to learn, which is why we’re seeing more people who don’t have technical backgrounds using it to get their work done. Take, for example, the financial sector, where quants (aka quantitative analysts) gather and analyze data to project risks and decide how much investments are worth.

Thanks to developments in data storage and retrieval, quants today benefit from a giant, readily available amount of data - magnitudes more than analysts had at hand 20 years ago. Rather than sort through it all on their own, savvy quants will create programs to process this data. Letting the computer do what it does best - crunch the numbers - will generate accurate models in a fraction of the time it would take a person to do the same activity, without the risk of human error.

 

So how does someone with a background in finance all of a sudden start writing software? Python was developed to be so user-friendly that, with a basic level of technical literacy and a willingness to learn, most people have no trouble picking it up in a few weeks. There is a large community of supportive Python users online, and plenty of free resources available to help people start using this language to build their own applications.

 

As we increasingly rely on software to do our jobs, more software users are going to take the plunge and learn how to develop software - even if at a small scale - to meet the needs of their industry. Looking for ways to put your employees in the driver’s seat and get more done with software? Contact the computer scientists at XorFox for a free consultation.

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