Inaugural Chicago Algorithmic Development Conference Draws Huge Crowd

On June 7th the best and the brightest of the algorithmic trading community gathered at Hilton Chicago for the inaugural Chicago Algorithmic Trading Conference: for Developers, by Developers. The idea to host this conference was born from the realization that when a community is built around an idea, the sum becomes much greater than the parts. The aim of the conference was to educate and expand the community that has grown around algorithmic trading and to fill the knowledge transfer gap between the technological side and the business side of the trading industry.

The event provided an afternoon of educational sessions, expert discussion panels, and interactive workshops covering the hottest topics in algorithmic development and trading. The standing room only venue was filled with hundreds of developers, algorithmic traders, quantitative analysts, and financial technology professionals.

OptionsCity’s CTO, Victor Glava, and Freddy Guime, Director of Client Technology, teamed up to present the first session, Developing Algorithmic Trading in Java. The experts covered techniques they have used across-the-board to optimize execution time, including: caching, coalescing queues, and divide-and-conquer strategies. The end of the session was devoted to thread priorities and why setting thread priorities can be detrimental to performance. Developers and financial technology professionals alike found this discussion relevant to their own operations and many questions followed the session. View the full-length video of the presentation below.



The next presentation was a panel discussion on Criteria for a Successful Algorithmic Trading Operation, moderated by Senior Software Engineer, Robert Engels and included Ryan Eavy (CME Group), Jeff Gomberg (HTG Capital), Sameer Kulkarni (Ketchum Trading), Shyam Pillalamarri (Azul Systems), and Kevin Reeves (Axonometric, LLC).  The development leaders and industry experts discussed crucial concerns facing the development community, including potential pitfalls and novel strategies when designing a trading platform. Topical extensions in this session ranged from a developer’s fundamental choice of software language, to hardware upgrading and network topology, to parallel processing, back-testing, and monitoring.


Automated Trader Magazine’s CEO John Howard presented the recently published Algorithmic Trading Survey Report. He provided extensive insight into the key trends and developments taking place within the algorithmic trading industry.  Based on responses from over 500 market professionals, the report highlighted the extent to which firms are using some of the latest technologies, the types of data that are driving algos, as well as how firms are looking to leverage their IP across markets, asset classes and regions in their search for alpha opportunities. Following the survey presentation was an expert panel on Algorithmic Trading: The Rush Towards Automation, including Matt Haraburda (XR Trading), Mike Madigan (WH Trading), Scott Morris (Ronin Capital), Alan Shontz (CME Group), and Sanjay Tolia (Bengal Capital). The group debated the key points to emerge from Automated Trader Magazine’s survey report and discussed how the unrelenting rush towards full automation of the entire trade life-cycle has, and still is changing the way we trade. The group also explored where firms need to focus to maintain a competitive advantage.

The last session of the day was the Algo Devleopment Workshop, led by senior software engineers Robert Engels and Ben Sandmann of OptionsCity. The pair walked the crowd through all the steps – from conception, to coding, to testing, to deployment in Freeway, and then uploaded to the Algo Store – all performed using a real-world Futures Magazine example as an introduction to a problem domain and how to commercialize a solution. The developers engaged the audience and fielded questions about the process, the platform, and other real world examples. View the full-length video of the workshop below.



Afterwards, a smart algorithm was used to select a random seat in the crowd, and the lucky winner received an iPad3!


The day wrapped up with an industry meet-and-greet and networking reception.

OptionsCity would like to thank our outstanding partners, including Automated Trader Magazine, Azul Systems, and CME Group as well as stellar educational institutions University of Chicago and I.I.T, for helping make this event a spectacular and cultivating offering for the algorithmic trading community.

Stay tuned for more educational events and live webinars from OptionsCity.

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