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The Trading Test

A big-time financial firm is recruiting tech talent by offering prizes to the college kids whose software chooses the best investments

4 min read

Brian Eckerly, an electrical engineering student at Ohio State University, booted up his Dell laptop one morning in January and loaded a little program he'd finished coding the night before. Numbers flashed on the screen, and Eckerly scanned them for a minute. Then he went to class.

That day, and in the following weeks, the laptop sat undisturbed at Eckerly's off-campus apartment in Columbus, carrying out his program's instructions. It connected to an online brokerage firm, gathered stock data, crunched some statistics, determined whether certain conditions had been met and, if so, executed trades. Eckerly began with a handsome sum--US $100 000--and in seven weeks his program increased it to $394 190.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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