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Do You Have The Right Mindset to Be An EA Programmer?

So you want to start learning to program in MQL and begin writing you own EA’s. Well that’s great but before you start hitting the books and reading the tutorials ask yourself this question.

Do you have the right mindset to become a programmer?

Believe it or not most people aren’t naturally gifted with the right mindset to become a computer programmer. It’s a skill that takes time and determination but once acquired, and you can acquire it, it’s a skill that will serve you well not only when it comes to coding but in other aspects of your life too.

The reason it’s not a natural thing is because what’s required is the complete opposite of what you’ve probably been taught in whatever educational facilities you attended. It goes against every thing that your parents told you from your earliest days. We were all taught to ask questions, to search for reasons, to make sense of things and to ‘figure it out’. Now that’s great when it comes to learning maths or geography or English literature but it’s a HUGE hindrance when it comes to trying to learn to program.

If you approach the task of learning to code with this attitude you’re setting yourself up for a world of hurt believe me. I wasted about 3 months of my life over 10 years ago trying to figure out the reasoning behind C++. Why certain strings of characters and symbols did the things they did. And what did I achieve at the end of those 3 months? I’ll tell you…the worlds BIGGEST headache! I was no closer to learning to code in C++ than I was at the start of my journey and then it hit me like a bolt of lighting.

Most popular programming languages are what’s known as ‘high level’ languages. No that doesn’t mean high level as in they’re super advanced and only a maths genius from MIT could understand them. It simply means that the language sits high above the nitty gritty of what actually makes the computer do it’s magic. The ones and zeros, the bits and the bytes, programming languages hide all that complicated stuff from us and for one very good reason…WE DON’T NEED TO KNOW IT!!!

Once you understand that programming languages, whether it’s C++,, Python or MQL, are specifically designed to hide the complexity of what it is they’re actually doing, your adventure into becoming an MQL coder will become a lot easier. When you open up your mind and just accept that a certain word or line of text WILL create a certain outcome you’ve made a great leap forward and broken through one of the major obstacles that prevents many people from advancing.

Of course you still have to learn the syntax and the various constructs so that you can create your expert advisors but it suddenly becomes a lot easier when your mind is not being restricted by trying to understand EVERYTHING on EVERY tiny level.

Here’s a simple analogy to illustrate my point further.

I’ve been driving for almost 30 years but I know next to nothing about how a car actually works. I have a basic understanding and that’s kept me safe on the road for all this time. If I wanted to learn more I’m sure I could but the point is I don’t need to know all the details that go into making a car do what it does in order for me to be a good driver. I don’t need to know anything about how the factory put the car together or how the engine creates a spark that ignites some stuff that makes the wheels go round (see I told you I know next to nothing). I want to drive so all I need to know is how to operate the thing safely and the various rules of the road.

I’ve noticed that a few students start off my training courses with the wrong mindset and I can almost hear the anguish and frustration in there ‘virtual voices’. From their questions via chat or email I can tell that they’re struggling and trying to grasp the low level technicalities of coding in MQL. They believe that if they could ‘just figure it out’ then it would suddenly become a lot clearer and they can progress but as I’ve just explained their reasoning is flawed.

I usually write back to them with variations of what I’ve just written in this article and once they’ve had time to digest what I’ve explained they usually always come back and see the material with fresh eyes. That’s when the real learning begins.

Category: MQL Programming

About the Author (Author Profile)

Steve Fleming has been a professional programmer and Internet professional for over 15 years. is a way to empower the non-programmers and offers a FREE 5 day E-course showing how to build an EA (expert advisor). Steve also offers his mql programming services at very competitive rates and has programmed many, many strategies both for himself and his ever growing list of satisfied clients.

Comments (1)

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  1. oshaban says:

    Hi …
    Nice article. I like it 🙂
    I’m a professional programmer doing mql4 coding since +7 years and c++ since +15 ears ago.
    I just want to say I totally agree with you. I started learning c++ since 1996 where I did my MPhil degree (Masters by research) … At that time I have no any idea about c or c++. The only language I can do is Basic language. I have to code 3 or 4 thousand lines of c code to implement a coder and decoder software in digital image compression field. The start was something a person wants to break the mountain. My supervisor aske me to just start to learn only what you need. It was the start. After very few weeks I started to build a confidence that I can solve my codin problems using c/c++. After 4 months I finished all the codec system I was looking to do.
    Later, when I started forex learning/trading, I read one of the expert advisors open source mq4 file. I felt that I understand most of the code and I can code using mql4. I started using Gordago software to generate a little bit complex mql4 code. Once I get the mq4 file, I start to simplify it by reducing un-nessessary variables and definitions and repeated tasks for Buys and Sells rules. I posted my first expert advisor to a forum, It was stochastic and RSI overbought and oversold idea. It works fine. I got a lot of feedbacks. It was a big start and push for me. It was just because of my golden rule “Laern as you need and go on …”. That’s it 🙂

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