This news game, part of a series of articles on quantitative analysts, uses real market data and smart design to demystify one of the murkiest areas of finance: algorithmic trading. To make a potentially dull simulation into this fun and accessible game, we designed an intuitive, user-friendly interface with a satisfying feedback loop. The concept and interface is accessible enough for any reader to have a go (and receive instant feedback) but provides enough depth for even professional quants to compete.
What makes this project innovative?
We took inspiration from real-world algorithmic trading platforms such as Quantopia as well as consuming-facing web apps such as If This Then That. The most time-consuming aspect of developing \'Build Your Own Trading Bot\' was the interface, which needed to be simple enough to use with minimal instruction while complex enough to allow a sufficient number of different combinations.
What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?
Although we did not have time to implement a global scoreboard, readers shared their top scores on social media, including one who made a whopping $33,000. It was even a hit among professional quantitative analysts: I heard from a reporter about a group of quants who spent all night reverse-engineering the game to maximize their score. The game also helped contribute to the success of the overall \'The Quants\' series.
Source and methodology
We started building the interface with the Ractive framework, but quickly hit its limitations and switched to Facebook\'s React library. Although React has a considerable learning curve, it made building a complex dynamic interface much simpler and tracking down last-minute bugs much easier. The charts were made with D3, integrated with the React app.