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My first job out of college was building a TA package at a then-small Bloomberg competitor. I knew basically nothing about any of this and just approached it as a technical challenge, and I had a generally ok time just getting paid to write software that was vaguely mathy. This was software that was actually used by people trading, who were paying on the order of tens of thousands of dollars a year per seat.

The first signs that something was amiss arose pretty early. I kept some printouts of what the various metrics were in my desk. Occasionally a support employee would come over and say so-and-so at some bank wants to know how (say) Bollinger Bands are defined. I'd hand them a copy of my definitions sheet covered in capital pi's and sigmas. They'd look at it, their eyes would glaze over, they'd wander away, and I never got a single followup question.

About four years later a client discovered that there'd been a bug in a few of the calculations that made them wildly "incorrect." Many people used the product for years as happy customers without realizing this.

At that point I must have googled "technical analysis wtf" or something, and realized that basically what I had been spending my time on was the financial equivalent of biblical numerology. So it goes.




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