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Barclays traders learn Python – Business Insider

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It’s time to go back to school for members of Barclays’ equities trading desk.

The bank has been encouraging and enabling its traders to learn how to code in the programming language Python in recent months. Daniel Nehren, Barclays’ head of statistical modeling and development for equities, told Business Insider the goal is to have traders develop and run their own post-trade analysis, as opposed to relying on Nehren’s team of roughly 30 quants to do it for them.

Doing so will free up Nehren’s team to have more time to analyze post-trade reports and make adjustments to improve how the bank executes trades for clients.

Read more: Barclays has the fastest growing stock trading team around — and it’s posing a threat to some of the biggest players

It’s a move that indicates a shift in how the bank services clients — gone are the days of on-size-fits-all. Clients of the British bank, which has one of the fastest growing stock trading teams in the industry, don’t want to be overburdened with a 40-page document that covers more information than they need, Nehren said. Instead, they’re interested in specific analysis geared exactly towards what they are looking for.

The issue, however, is that Nehren’s team only has so much time and resources.

“You have to find a way to balance, essentially, that bespoke resource-intensive view with the reality of, we are not going to have 500 quants running post-trade analytics for everybody,” Nehren said.

Barclays is setting up traders with code, template examples and blogs and online training classes they can watch to teach themselves how to code. No formal classes are held, but Nehren said his team is happy to sit down with any of the traders to talk through issues they are having or to help them code.

One of Python’s key benefits is its readability. Unlike other coding languages, Python can be more easily understood by those without a background in programming. Just because it is easily digestible doesn’t mean it has sacrificed any power, though. Python can be used for machine learning and data analysis.

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The language has become increasingly popular within the finance community. According to a recent GitHub report ranking the top technologies favored by its community, Python was the third most popular programming language.

Nehren also said he believes traders will be able to offer suggestions for improvements to algos the bank is using as they gain better insight through their Python programs.

“As we give them the depth of being able to look at what these algos do and how they behave, the innovation comes actually from this cross-pollination,” Nehren said. “The depth of partnership that just this effort has brought between my team and the coverage team and sales team, I think that just could be a game changer on its own.

Barclays’ equities business posted $614 million in 2018 third quarter revenue, an 33% increase from the year-ago period. It will report fourth quarter results later in February.

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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